By a Thousand Cuts: Another Tiny Slice of Gold Coast History to be Chopped
Nov04

By a Thousand Cuts: Another Tiny Slice of Gold Coast History to be Chopped

If you walk down the Oak Street Retail Corridor your eye may be caught by fancy brand names, people with impossibly polished skin, and the place where Governor Blagojevich used to get his famous hair famously cut before now getting clipped at a federal pokey in Colorado.  But if you look beyond what is commonly seen to what is not commonly seen, you will see two things: architecture and history. 113 East Oak Street (July 2007) The...

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Restoration of the Village Theater Facade in Old Town Looks Pretty Spiffy
Sep17

Restoration of the Village Theater Facade in Old Town Looks Pretty Spiffy

It’s been a very long time since Old Town’s Village Theater stopped entertaining people and became a hulking presence lurking a Starbucks’ throw from the lovely and historic Germania Club next door.  Now we’re getting a look at the results of a project to restore that facade to its former splendor. September 2019 construction of Fifteen Fifty on the Park (provided) In the photograph above you can see that...

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A Close Look at the Demolition of the Tribune Tower
Sep04

A Close Look at the Demolition of the Tribune Tower

We really don’t know how to feel about this. Streeterville Spy Joel sent in the photographs on this page showing the demolition happening at the once and future Tribune Tower. September 2019 Tribune Tower renovation (Courtesy of Streeterville Spy Joel.) You can see all kinds of work being done.  Walls are being torn down, balconies are being put up, and there’s a tailings pile from some presumably tracked machine...

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Old Cook County Hospital Building Gets a $3 Million Preservation Boost
Sep03

Old Cook County Hospital Building Gets a $3 Million Preservation Boost

You can do lots of things with money.  You can help someone in need.  You can buy a cat.  And with enough of it, you can save the old Cook County Hospital Building. The former Cook County Hospital (March 2009) A big step in the direction of saving that structure is coming from the State of Illinois, which has chosen the vacant hospital building to receive three million dollars in tax credits for its rehabilitation. The money comes...

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Andersonville School Close to Becoming a Landmark
Jun10

Andersonville School Close to Becoming a Landmark

Chicago’s Landmarks Commission has approved a plan to make the former Lyman Trumbull school building in Andersonville the city’s newest landmark. The building on the northwest corner of Ashland and Foster was designed by Dwight H. Perkins (once of Burnham & Root), and built in 1909. Lyman Trumbull school building (Via Apple Maps) A report for the Landmarks Commission describes the building thusly: Trumbull is regarded...

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Refreshed Park May Sort of Honor One of Chicago’s Oddest People
May20

Refreshed Park May Sort of Honor One of Chicago’s Oddest People

There are lots of neighborhoods in Chicago that are short on parks. Streeterville is short two of them. First, there’s the long-promised, never-delivered, and no longer radioactive DuSable Park. City Hall has been promising that patch of greenery to its citizens since the Washington administration (Harold, not George). Bennett Park under construction (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) Then there’s the park that’s...

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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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Historic Chicago Mod Kitchen May Cook Once Again
Feb19

Historic Chicago Mod Kitchen May Cook Once Again

Chicago loves architecture history. But it has a bad habit of tearing it down and leaving it strewn around the region. Now a historic kitchen has a chance of being loved once again. Landmarks Illinois disassembled the kitchen and moved it into storage of safe keeping. Now it’s looking for someone to give the kitchen a new home, in a place where the public can get to know not only its important design, but its important history....

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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...

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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...

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