IIT’s Main Building to Become Student Housing
Feb15

IIT’s Main Building to Become Student Housing

One of the great architectural institutions that helped transform Chicagoland is undergoing a change, itself.  The Illinois Institute of Technology wants to renovate the Main Building at 3300 South Federal Street into residences.  Right now, according to I.I.T.’s web site, it is used for “student services.”  It was built in 1892, and named a city landmark in 2004. The plan is to completely re-do the inside of the...

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Brick Jockey Building Downtown Chicago One Lego at a Time
Jun08

Brick Jockey Building Downtown Chicago One Lego at a Time

Who of a certain age doesn’t love Legos?  As children we used piles of the multi-colored magic to turn our fantasies into reality, while barefooted nocturnal fathers cursed the tiny bricks, and indifferent mothers Hoovered them into clattering oblivion. No such tension exists in the Bronzeville home of Rocco Buttliere, where the IIT student is re-creating Chicago’s architectural nexus out of thousands of shiny plastic...

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It Looks Like Any Other Hardware Store, but There’s a Jazzy Surprise Inside Meyers
Nov26

It Looks Like Any Other Hardware Store, but There’s a Jazzy Surprise Inside Meyers

The Ace Hardware web site gives you the hours of operation at Bronzeville’s Meyers Ace Hardware Store, and a reminder that Ace is the helpful hardware place. What’s not covered in the online write-up is that Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Dizzie Gillespie each spent time in the building at 315 East 35th Street. And they weren’t looking for crescent wrenches. You see, Meyers Ace Hardware is in the space that was once home to the...

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New Serpentine Suspension Bridges Bronzeville to Lakefront
Aug05

New Serpentine Suspension Bridges Bronzeville to Lakefront

Construction has begun on a new pedestrian bridge connecting Bronzeville with Lake Michigan. The current bridge is a rusted relic of the area’s past.   The new design is sleek, modern, and very visible as an architectural landmark with its cable-stayed design.  Its long approaches and span curve gently as they cross Metra and Canadian National railroad tracks as well as South Lake Shore Drive before arriving at the lakefront....

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IIT College of Architecture Creates New Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize
Mar26

IIT College of Architecture Creates New Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize

Watch out Pritzker family because the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology is adding another architecture prize to the Chicago mix. The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) and the MCHAP for Emerging Architecture will be awarded every two years with the intent of, “recognizing the most distinguished built constructs of the North and South American continents,” the College of Architecture Dean Wiel Arets...

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The Chicago Building That Inspired A Song And A Poem
Mar16

The Chicago Building That Inspired A Song And A Poem

Chicago buildings lay claim to many architectural firsts. Some structures past and present were cultural touchstones as well. One even had a song named after it—“Mecca Flat Blues.” Later, it became the setting for a major poem, “In The Mecca” by Gwendolyn Brooks. The Bronzeville apartment building at 34th and State Streets has been gone for more than 60 years, but it was significant for both its design and sociological reasons. Mecca...

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Week Links – June 30, 2013
Jun30

Week Links – June 30, 2013

Free as in beer: The City of Chicago’s new tourism department now has an official app (linky).  It’s also the app used by the city’s Information Guides who help tourists find their way around The Loop, Streeterville, Near North, and the Gold Coast.  You can get your business featured for anywhere from $99-$699/year (linky). Want to know about Chicago’s Bus Rapid Transit scheme?  Here’s the web site....

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Week Links: April 6, 2012
Apr06

Week Links: April 6, 2012

You may (or may not) have noticed that we didn’t post much last week.  That was because we were on a photo shoot at a client’s building.  Architectural photography is what we do here, and if you have an office, hotel, wigwam, or yurt that needs good photography, give us a shout. That said, because of our preoccupation with a client, not all of this week’s Week Links are “news” as in “new.”...

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Briefly: Honoring Ida, Old Saint, New Hotel
Nov04

Briefly: Honoring Ida, Old Saint, New Hotel

Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt has been selected to create a monument honoring historic anti-lynching published Ida B. Wells to be placed on the median at East 37th Street and South Langley Street in Bronzeville.  More information here. The people behind the proposed Old Saint Patrick’s Tower will present a revised plan for their West Loop skyscraper next week.  The last 22-story proposal set off the grump-o-meters for a lot of...

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Free Citywide Chicago Architecture Tours This Weekend

Chicago has several on-going architecture tours that run daily. But this weekend offers a special opportunity to visit some of the city’s less accessible sites. Open House Chicago 2011 is a free, self-guided tour that invites the general public to see inside and learn about a variety of different architectural styles and building types in Chicago. Normally you would only be able see an open house when visiting Chicago homes in which...

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