Here’s Your Excuse to Visit Joliet
Sep06

Here’s Your Excuse to Visit Joliet

The coolest piece of architecture in Joliet is no longer the old Correctional Center.  It’s the new courthouse.  The West Loop’s Wight and Company has been given a big fat architecture award for the Will County Courthouse Specifically, it’s a citation from the American Institute of Architects’ Academy of Architecture for Justice.  That’s the AIAAAJ for short.  Its friends call it “Buddy.”...

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Gov. Rauner Announces $62 Billion Plan to Move Illinois Capitol to Chicago
Apr01

Gov. Rauner Announces $62 Billion Plan to Move Illinois Capitol to Chicago

Citing a need to modernize the state’s bureaucratic infrastructure and reduce costs, today Governor Bruce Rauner announced a $62 billion plan to move the state’s capitol to Chicago. “Let’s face it, Chicago is Illinois,” he told a stunned capitol press corps inside the 127-year-old Springfield rotunda this morning.  “We’ve been here [in Springfield] since the 1880s.  You wouldn’t believe...

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How Don Draper And “Mad Men” Drew More Attention To Endangered Illinois Buildings
Apr30

How Don Draper And “Mad Men” Drew More Attention To Endangered Illinois Buildings

When a new season of “Mad Men” begins, it often generates popularity of classic cocktails–Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Tom Collinses. The show also has helped call attention to an endangered but important Chicago architectural style. Mid-century modern buildings are on the 2015 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois list, and Landmarks Illinois president Bonnie McDonald credits the AMC hit “Mad Men” for its celebration of style in...

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The Pullman District Could Become America’s Newest National Park
Aug27

The Pullman District Could Become America’s Newest National Park

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer and a lazy afternoon devoted to the three B’s: barbecue, beer and beanbag toss. It’s also a holiday that grew directly out of events in Chicago. The year was 1894, and a nationwide railroad strike shut down most of the rail traffic west of Detroit. The origin of the strike was Chicago, where on May 11, 4,000 Pullman employees staged a wildcat strike. Things got ugly, military troops were...

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Wolf Trapped – Point Plan Paused As Reilly Reams Real Estate Developers
Nov27

Wolf Trapped – Point Plan Paused As Reilly Reams Real Estate Developers

The largest real estate development on the books in Chicago is now officially off the books, as 42nd ward Alderman Brendan Reilly asked the city’s planning commission to yank the proposal from its dockett. The Chicago Plan Commission was scheduled to hear testimony about, and possibly approve, the three-tower Wolf Point project (350 North Orleans Street).  But shortly before the commission was scheduled to meet in a public...

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Another Crappy Corner of the Loop Getting a Makeover

For years there has been a grotty corner of the Loop that, in spite of all the urban renewal happening around it, remained run down and permeated with the complimentary odors of mold and urine.  Not surprisingly, these buildings are owned by the federal government. Which means that, in a very high school civics kind of way, they are owned by you.  And with money from Barack Obama’s stimulus program, you’re finally fixing...

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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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