Old McDonald’s HQ Will Get a Half-Billion Dollar Overhaul
May29

Old McDonald’s HQ Will Get a Half-Billion Dollar Overhaul

A $500 million redevelopment project would be big news in downtown Chicago. It’s even bigger news when it happens out in Oak Brook. Rendering of Oak Brook Commons (via Antunovich Associates) For over a year, Houston’s Hines has been wooing the west suburban village with plans for office space, retail space, a hotel, a few hundred new residences, and a shiny new park. After some modifications, yesterday the village board...

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Zero Energy Rec Center Lands in Southwest Suburbs
May21

Zero Energy Rec Center Lands in Southwest Suburbs

It only makes sense that an organization dedicated to parks should try its hardest to be environmentally responsible. In southwest suburban Plainfield, the park district has opened a new Net Zero community building. PARC (Courtesy of Wight & Company) It’s called PARC, which stands for Prairie Activity and Recreation Center, and is located in a park: Gregory B. Bott Park. The facility sports an oversized gymnasium, a fitness...

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Chicago Places Join Giraffes on Endangered List
May08

Chicago Places Join Giraffes on Endangered List

Just days after the Fish and Wildlife Service started talking about adding giraffes to its endangered species list, Landmarks Illinois put out its annual list of the Prairie State’s most endangered places.  There are a dozen entries on the list, with three in Chicago, three in the surrounding area, and the remainder scattered across the state.  Here’s the endangered dozen: Chicago The Thompson Center James R. Thompson...

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Goettsch Partners Tops Out Its Tallest Building Ever
Feb28

Goettsch Partners Tops Out Its Tallest Building Ever

When you’re in school you tug on your beret and tell your professors and peers that skyscrapers are nothing more than phallic symbols, and the real craft of architecture is in small-scale context sensitive creations that leverage the holistic blah blah blah blah.   Nobody’s taking an architecture boat tour down the Chicago River to look things that are small. Nanning China Resources Center (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners) And while the...

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Neighbor News: Lawsuit Tries to Stop Demolition of Historic Illinois Courthouse
Feb11

Neighbor News: Lawsuit Tries to Stop Demolition of Historic Illinois Courthouse

A coalition of preservation groups, and one angry western Illinois bondholder have filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the demolition of the historic Rock Island County Courthouse. The groups, led by Landmarks Illinois, allege that Rock Island County is trying to illegally demolish the 1896 building after building a new Justice Center Annex a couple of dozen feet away. The old Rock Island County Courthouse and construction for the new...

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Chicago Exports: Goettsch Plants Another Flag in China 
Jan16

Chicago Exports: Goettsch Plants Another Flag in China 

Today we continue a series of reports we call “Chicago Exports.” So much of the world’s great architecture is designed right here in Chicago by Chicagoans, but it’s not built in Chicagoland so it goes unseen by the hometown crowd. That’s why we are featuring the great works produced by Chicago architects continuing the city’s proud legacy as the birthplace of the skyscraper, and a global center of architecture. Loop architecture firm...

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Chicago Exports: Goettsch Completes the Grand Hyatt Bogotá
Dec04

Chicago Exports: Goettsch Completes the Grand Hyatt Bogotá

Today we continue a series of reports we call “Chicago Exports.” So much of the world’s great architecture is designed right here in Chicago by Chicagoans, but it’s not built in Chicagoland so it goes unseen by the hometown crowd. That’s why we are featuring the great works produced by Chicago architects continuing the city’s proud legacy as the birthplace of the skyscraper, and a global center of architecture. Loop architecture firm...

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A Chicago Architecture Mystery in America’s Loneliest Corner
Sep07

A Chicago Architecture Mystery in America’s Loneliest Corner

I spend a lot of time in the lesser-traveled corners of the nation.  Places where the roads are sand, the mines are lithium, and life is weird. In one of these places where internet service is even scarcer than water, and a plastic jug of gas is $20 a gallon (I shit you not), I found this relic of days past: Yes, that’s a pair of giant wrought iron… entrances.  And if you can read this, you’ve already read that the...

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Just When You Thought Going to Ravinia Couldn’t Get Any Better…
Jun25

Just When You Thought Going to Ravinia Couldn’t Get Any Better…

With summer here, it’s time to think about hopping on a Metra train and making the annual pilgrimage to Ravinia to soak up some culture.  For some, that means the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  For others it’s ZZ Top reminding us all that “every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.” The last time we were there was to see A Prairie Home Companion.  Garrison...

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Illinois’ Most Endangered Buildings: 2018 Edition
Apr25

Illinois’ Most Endangered Buildings: 2018 Edition

Architecture and history advocacy group Landmarks Illinois is out with its annual list of the most endangered buildings and places in Illinois. The group has been putting out the lists for a while now and seems to be earning a bigger and bigger voice in the public discourse about what gets praised and what gets razed in the land of Lincoln. In honor of Illinois’ bicentennial, this year’s list includes several items that...

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