2017 Ragdale Ring Winners Announced
Mar28

2017 Ragdale Ring Winners Announced

For more than a century, Chicago architects have had a love affair with the North Shore’s idyllic bedroom communities.  For renowned arts and crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, his private Idaho was Lake Forest, and the estate he built there named Ragdale. These days the estate operates as a retreat for 150 creative types selected yearly to spend time away from their regular lives to get their creative juices flowing.  In...

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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...

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Inside The Creative Process: How The 2014 Ragdale Ring Winners Came Up With Their Concept
May30

Inside The Creative Process: How The 2014 Ragdale Ring Winners Came Up With Their Concept

  Creative people are wired up differently than ordinary folks. And that’s a good thing. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to look out at the Chicago skyline and be wowed each and every day. The two young architects who won the 2014 Ragdale Ring competition embody creativity and experimentation. Their design is a bold mixture of straight lines and wattles (hay wrapped in tubes). If it sounds odd, well, you have to see the nearly finished...

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Evocative Chicago Places
Dec13

Evocative Chicago Places

Back in July I wrote a piece titled Chicago’s Best Worst Block.  It was about the little stretch of urban decay known as the 400 block of South Clark Street. People liked it.  A lot.  Enough that as of this writing it’s the third-most-popular article on this blog in the last two years.  It also got me invited onto The Afternoon Shift on Chicago Public Radio to talk about the city’s evocative urban spaces.  Places in...

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Stepping Back In Time

In Chicagoland’s varied stores, restaurants, and  neighborhoods you can experience life as if you were in another country.  And in some places, you can experience life as if you were in another time. Take, for example, the downtown square in Lake Forest.  It’s bordered on one side by a Metra train station (691 North Western Avenue, Lake Forest), built in 1901 that still features a vintage barber shop, businessmen in...

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