Thompson Center Tops 2017 Endangered Places List
Apr06

Thompson Center Tops 2017 Endangered Places List

Landmarks Illinois is out with its annual list of the most endangered places in the Land of Lincoln.  At the top of the list is a state office building that Chicagoans love to hate: The Thompson Center (100 West Randolph Street). The Thompson Center’s beauty is most certainly in the eye of the beholder.  Some find it a fine example of post-modern deconstructionism.  Others think it’s a garish display of outdated...

Read More
Cruise Up State Street Soon to Catch A Piece of History Before it Vanishes
Oct03

Cruise Up State Street Soon to Catch A Piece of History Before it Vanishes

Like any city with longevity, Chicago is a city of history. One way it communicates its history is through its architecture. Layers upon layers of architecture that overlap, overwhelm, and sometimes slip through the cracks of time. One of those time capsules is going away soon. It’s a worker’s cottage at 1241 North State Street. Worker’s cottages are to Chicago in the late 1800’s what prairie bungalows were to...

Read More
The Legacy of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic Bid
Aug05

The Legacy of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic Bid

The Summer Olympic Games begin in Rio de Janiero today. And amid the pageantry and intrigue and brand logos are the lingering worries about the game-centric infrastructure. Much has been written about how Rio simply doesn’t have its act together. Twitter is full of horror stories from Olympians longing for the days before it was required to hold the Games in every third world craphole around the globe. But then again, Rio Olympic...

Read More
The Plymouth Building: Printers Row’s Newest Landmark
Jun22

The Plymouth Building: Printers Row’s Newest Landmark

Chicago’s Printers Row neighborhood is a walk-though gallery of great architecture.  Even the ugly buildings have pretty details.  And the pretty buildings have historic pasts.  Recently one of those pretty buildings, The Plymouth Building at 417 South Dearborn Street, was recommended for city landmark status. The building is being converted into student housing by LG Development, so this seems like as good a time as any to give...

Read More
Your Click Can Save Pullman
Jun14

Your Click Can Save Pullman

If you’ve ever taken the long bus ride down to the Pullman Historic District, you know the neighborhood is overflowing with great architecture and untapped potential.  National Geographic is giving you an opportunity to help preserve the focal point of Pullman’s architecture collection — the Pullman Palace Car Company Administration Building (748 East 111th Street). The building is amazing, even when viewed from behind the...

Read More
CTA Quincy Station Is Next In Line For Rehab
Jun09

CTA Quincy Station Is Next In Line For Rehab

The Chicago Transit Authority has announced it will spend $18 million renovating the historic Quincy L Station in the Loop.  The project is just the latest in a series of CTA station additions and upgrades in recent years, including the ongoing $75 million consolidation of the Madison/Wabash and Randolph/Wabash Stations  into the new Madison/Wabash Station on the opposite side of The Loop. The Quincy Station is best known as the only...

Read More
Throwback Thursday: You Tore Down WHAT?!
Jun09

Throwback Thursday: You Tore Down WHAT?!

Living in a large city with lots of enormous buildings, it can seem like those structures have been there forever.  Especially when they’re government buildings, with all their monumental unfriendliness. Such is the case with the Federal Center, three black-as-a-coal-miner’s-tuckus Mies van der Rohe buildings fencing in Alexander Calder’s stark raving red Flamingo sculpture.  It seems like it’s all been there...

Read More
Lakeview Homes of Chicago’s Former Elite to be Landmarked
May03

Lakeview Homes of Chicago’s Former Elite to be Landmarked

A group of unassuming dark brick townhomes in the Park West neighborhood are in line to become the city’s next landmarks. The diminutive delegation from 2700 to 2710 North Lakeview Avenue is designated the Lakeview Avenue Row House District, and includes four actual homes and two ghost homes erected between 1915 and 1917.  They were designed by familiar Chicago name David Adler, and slightly less familiar Chicago name Henry...

Read More
New Zoning Rules Give a Historic Chicago Bathhouse Another Second Chance
May03

New Zoning Rules Give a Historic Chicago Bathhouse Another Second Chance

A derelict piece of Chicago’s architectural and social heritage is getting a second chance.  Again.  The Simon Baruch Bathhouse, tucked away on a residential stretch at 1911 West Cullerton Street in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood, may finally be converted into residences. “Finally” because back in 2015 an application was filed with the city to change the zoning for the bathhouse from C1-2 Neighborhood Commercial...

Read More
Why The Former Chicago Public Schools Headquarters Is Becoming a Landmark
Apr12

Why The Former Chicago Public Schools Headquarters Is Becoming a Landmark

The City of Chicago is moving forward with a plan to landmark the former Chicago Public Schools headquarters building at 125 South Clark Street. You probably know it better as the building with the 7-Eleven on the corner across the street from the Federal Plaza Post Office. But it was originally known as the Commercial National Bank Building.  It’s currently being renovated and rebranded into an office building called The...

Read More