OHC Offers A Big Weekend Ahead In Chicago For Architecture Buffs
Oct15

OHC Offers A Big Weekend Ahead In Chicago For Architecture Buffs

The Cubs are on their way to the National League Championship Series and you can drink hooch at a Taco Bell in Wicker Park. So clearly, there’s a lot to like about Chicago right now. And, if you’re an architecture buff, you have an embarrassment of riches with the Chicago Architecture Biennial now in full swing, and this weekend, the Chicago Architecture Foundation bonanza, Open House Chicago. The Foundation succinctly...

Read More
IIT Goes High Tech With The Latest In Sun Shading For New Innovation Center
May26

IIT Goes High Tech With The Latest In Sun Shading For New Innovation Center

When Illinois Institute of Technology began planning its new innovation center, John Ronan, the project’s architect, came to one early conclusion. “It’s a building for innovation, so the building itself should be innovative,” Ronan told me. He certainly made good on that promise. IIT’s new Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship will fit nicely in the Mies Campus with its sleek, modern exterior. And, if...

Read More
Design With Company Named 2015 Ragdale Ring Winning Team With Shaw Town
Mar26

Design With Company Named 2015 Ragdale Ring Winning Team With Shaw Town

When Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer began developing a concept for their Ragdale Ring entry, they found their inspiration in the person of Howard Van Doren Shaw. The outdoor theater at Ragdale was originally designed by Shaw in 1912. The Ragdale Ring competition allows design teams to reinterpret Shaw’s vision. That vision will come to life this summer under the direction of Hicks and Newmeyer, partners in the West Loop firm...

Read More
How Exotic Woods Find Chicago Homes
Jan14

How Exotic Woods Find Chicago Homes

There’s a very good reason that people who build furniture and decking choose teak if price isn’t a concern. It’s one of the most durable woods available, and resistant to the elements. It’s also ideal for high-end yachts and sailboats. Most of the world’s teak grows in Southeast Asia. It’s an area — and a wood — David Cabanas knows well. As the owner of Old Temple Chicago at 843 West Van Buren Street, Cabanas carries a...

Read More
Made in Chicago: Sustainable Furniture from Environmental Disaster
Sep05

Made in Chicago: Sustainable Furniture from Environmental Disaster

It’s been decades since Chicago was considered a global manufacturing hub.  The city’s steel mills are almost gone.  Products invented by Chicago minds actually get built in Asia and Africa.  And it seems the only thing that actually gets “made in Chicago” these days are cupcakes. That trend is changing.  In places like the West Loop, Bridgeport, and Ravenswood there is a quiet renaissance going on: a renaissance in small-scale...

Read More
Best. Sign. Ever.
Jul02

Best. Sign. Ever.

It’s said that when a company can go from using text for its name to just using a symbol, it’s arrived. Witness Starbucks, which recently dropped its name from its logo, leaving just the siren as its symbol.  And at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, down the street from our corporate headquarters, a giant siren peeks out of the giant central tower of the old Sears catalog factory where the Starbuckers run the show. A...

Read More

Donald Trump’s Electric Snail

Back in the early days of the internet, back when e-mail addresses were just starting to get “@” symbols in them, I heard something quite remarkable. I was told that the French don’t have an equivalency for the @ symbol, so instead of calling it “at” they call it “snail.” I’m reminded of that every time I walk past the Trump International Hotel and Tower (401 North Wabash Street) and...

Read More

Three Kinds of Blue on Dearborn Street

Have you seen the new subway entrances that the CTA is using in the Loop?  They’re nice.  They remind you of the quaint Quincy elevated station (the only CTA station without advertising). When a pack of businessmen in trench coats and fedoras flush out of the tunnel during rush hour it just feels like you’re looking back in time.  I’m not sure if Chicago is the only city in the world where men still...

Read More