Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center
Jun02

Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center

When architects get together in their buttery leather chairs and tweed jackets, sitting in front of a roaring fireplace, stuffing pipes, drinking cognac, and doing other fictional things, one of the common topics of conversation is the James R. Thompson Center.  It’s become something of a parlor game to try to come up with ways — practical and impractical — of dealing with the former state office building that seems all but...

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Deconstructionist Thompson Center A Step Closer to Being Deconstructed
Jun01

Deconstructionist Thompson Center A Step Closer to Being Deconstructed

Inside the Thompson Center rotunda. (File) Chicago City Council has approved an ordinance that will help whomever buys the James R. Thompson Center to turn it into rubble. The ordinance is short.  Just three sentences.  But it will have a massive impact on downtown Chicago.  If you’d like to read it, here it is: BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO: SECTION 1. Title 17 of the Municipal Code....

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Bridgeport Church Seeks Preservation, While Lincoln Park Holy Site Heads to Demolition
Jun01

Bridgeport Church Seeks Preservation, While Lincoln Park Holy Site Heads to Demolition

The news about the dwindling number of Chicago holy places is mixed this week.  On Thursday (June 3, 2021), the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider two proposals related to the city’s religious history. Monastery of the Holy Cross (via Apple Maps) In Bridgeport, the Monastery of the Holy Cross is up for landmark status.  It’s the former Immaculate Conception Church on the corner of 31st Street and Aberdeen that...

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Another Piece of Chicago Architecture History Goes From Dust to Dust
Mar28

Another Piece of Chicago Architecture History Goes From Dust to Dust

Easter is a time to celebrate miracles.  But unless The Big Guy, Himself decides to go all Lazarus on 1319 South Ashland Avenue, Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church is gone forever. Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church in August 2020 (Courtesy of Little Italy Spy Blake) Little Italy Spy Blake tithed our tip line with the news that demolition crews have finally done with demolition crews do, and turned this once...

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ADM Flour Mill on Ogden Meets the Wrecking Ball
Feb15

ADM Flour Mill on Ogden Meets the Wrecking Ball

Chicagoans love their industrial history.  They also love to tear that history down and put up square, boring buildings that maximize shareholder value.   The ADM flour mill at 1300 West Carroll Avenue being demolished on February 11, 2021. (Courtesy of YoChicago!) Our tip line went nuts on Thursday when heavy machinery from Heneghan Wrecking started tearing into the 1897 Archer Daniels Midland flour mill on Ogden Avenue in West...

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West Erie Street Demolitions Slightly Less of a Mystery
Jan24

West Erie Street Demolitions Slightly Less of a Mystery

Last week we told you that demolition work is underway on 16 and 22 West Erie Street, just behind what is now the Eurostars Magnificent Mile Hotel, a hotel that is three-and-a-half blocks away from the Magnificent Mile, and four-thousand miles away from Europe. 16 and 22 West Erie Street. Pay no attention to the man sipping coffee on the stoop. (Via Apple Maps) At one time, numbers 14, 16, and 22 West Erie were part of a plan to build...

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Demolition Approaches For Code Orange South Side Church
Aug23

Demolition Approaches For Code Orange South Side Church

A number of holy places in Chicago have met their demise over the last 20 years. Some have been repurposed. Some have been demolished. The former Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church looks like it’s next in line to meet the hot kiss of the wrecking ball. Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church in August 2020 (Courtesy of Little Italy Spy Blake) Little Italy Spy Blake sent in the photograph above, showing the current...

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Optima Digs Lakeview at Treasure Island
Jul12

Optima Digs Lakeview at Treasure Island

If you paint the words “Treasure Island” across the broad side of a block wall, it’s only natural to expect someone to start digging there eventually. And that’s exactly what’s happening at 3460 North Broadway, where the Optima Lakeview apartments are going to replace the castaway market. Optima Lakeview under construction (July 2020. Courtesy of Lake View Spy Joel) Lake View Spy Joel took the photograph...

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Easter Weekend Demolition Freaks Out Chicago Neighborhood
Apr13

Easter Weekend Demolition Freaks Out Chicago Neighborhood

The smokestack for the former Crawford Power Generating Station was brought down by explosives in the early morning hours of Saturday, sending an enormous cloud of dust into the neighborhood across Pulaski Road. The wafting cloud coated homes, cars, trees, and streets with a fine powder at a time when people have been ordered to stay in their homes because of a pandemic that kills people by attacking their lungs.  People in the area...

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Awkward Crane Yoga Behind Trib Tower
Apr12

Awkward Crane Yoga Behind Trib Tower

The transformation of the treasured, historic, landmark Tribune Tower from the offices of a once-mighty media empire into 163 luxury condominiums continues in Streeterville. Some of the world’s most influential writers once parked here. Or at least their bosses did. (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) The most visible sign of this recently showed up in the parking lot ’round back. That’s where Joe Zekas of YoChicago!...

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