Old Social Engineering Concept to be Reborn as Chicago Architecture
Oct24

Old Social Engineering Concept to be Reborn as Chicago Architecture

The 1960’s and 70’s were a great time for public art. Cities around the world spent millions of dollars on sculptures, paintings, and other works of art not for the lucky few, but for the unwashed masses. They were placed in public plazas, municipal buildings, schools and other places where they were intended to inspire, enlighten, and even passively educate. The idea was part of a utopian social engineering concept born...

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A History of Chicago’s City Hall and Cook County Building
Jan26

A History of Chicago’s City Hall and Cook County Building

Chicago’s City Hall and County Building is intriguing. It is not a single building but is, instead, two identical buildings joined as one. The County Building—(118 North Clark Street) facing east and Daley Plaza —is the slightly older of the two (1907) and houses Cook County department offices. City Hall (121 North LaSalle Street) faces west and was completed in 1911. It contains the Mayor’s office, the City Clerk, City Council,...

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Emanuel Trying to Keep Chicago From Being Trumped Again
Sep29

Emanuel Trying to Keep Chicago From Being Trumped Again

Without a doubt, Donald Trump has put his stamp on Chicago thanks to the giant Trump sign adorning his namesake Trump International Hotel and Tower. Love it or despise it, the signage on the second-tallest building in the city is here to stay since both the city zoning committee and City Council signed off on it. However, in order to make sure such a loud statement is never again featured so brazenly along the Chicago River, Mayor...

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Reilly Rules Wolf Point Won’t Be Spayed By Howling Neighbors
Nov11

Reilly Rules Wolf Point Won’t Be Spayed By Howling Neighbors

The three skyscrapered mega-project due to sprout along the Chicago River late this year has been officially given the nod of approval from 42nd ward alderman Brendan Reilly. Some think replacing the surface parking lot at Wolf Point (350 North Orleans Street) with two office one residential tower is just too much for the neighborhood, the traffic grid, and their views.  But in an e-mail sent to his constituents, Reilly let it be...

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Prentice Womens’ Hospital Gets a Reprieve… For Now

Today, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks was supposed to discuss whether the embattled Prentice Womens’ Hospital (320 East Huron Street) is worthy of designation as a Chicago landmark.  This would have given preservation groups some small ammunition in their fight to save the unique structure from demolition.  See our previous coverage here, and here. A small group of Prentice preservationists showed up at Chicago City Hall to...

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Willoughby Tower Firefighter Memorial

One of the things Chicago does well is honor its police and firefighters.  Especially those who die in the line of duty.  At Chicago fire station #1 (419 South Wells Street), there is a memorial to two firefighters who were killed in one of the Loop’s skyscrapers. It happened about a mile away at the Willoughby Tower (8 South Michigan Avenue) in September of 1981.  One member of a group of firefighters trying to escape a smoky...

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The Marketing of Downtown Chicago

Last month, we noted two important announcements for the health and vitality of downtown Chicago: The new CityTarget coming to the Sullivan Center (35 South State Street), and Wal-Mart’s new Urban Market to be installed at Presidential Towers (555 West Madison Street). As much as we hate giving credit to politicians for jobs well done, the outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley really deserves a laurel, and hardy handshake for these...

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Chicago’s Germania Club Building Inches Closer to Landmark Status

I got an e-mail from Alderman Reilly’s office  last week about the Germania Club.  I have to admit, I’ve walked past this building a number of times, but never really noticed it, other than to note that it has one of the nicest, friendliest Starbucks outlets in the area.  Fortunately, others have learned to appreciate the building’s architectural merits, so now it’s headed for landmark status. You can read the...

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North Side NIMBYs win another one

Looks like another vacant lot will remain vacant instead of homes for people paying taxes and contributing to society.  The alert came from Alderman Reilly’s office the other day: Clark & Chestnut Development Update — Project Has Been Withdrawn Earlier this year, LG Development filed an application to amend Planned Development #313, requesting approval for a 370-foot, 28-story residential condominium structure to...

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