Status Update: The New Kid on the Block Working Hard to Fit In
Mar31

Status Update: The New Kid on the Block Working Hard to Fit In

Six months ago, an historic South Loop home spent two days as Chicago’s media darling because it did something that few homes ever do: It changed its address. The Rees House was hefted onto a massive dolly and ever-so-gently rolled down the street from 2110 South Prairie Avenue to its new, and current, home at 2017 South Prairie Avenue. It was an event that had something for everyone — big construction machines, police...

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McPier Plan Progresses as Prairie People Press Parking, Pileups and Pocket Parks Points
Aug25

McPier Plan Progresses as Prairie People Press Parking, Pileups and Pocket Parks Points

  The scaled-back plan to build a new hotel, a data center, and an arena on the edge of the Prairie Avenue District is marching forward, with proposals for two of the three components already in McPier’s hands. This past Friday was the deadline for companies to submit their proposals to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (“McPier”) for the new Marriott Marquis hotel and the Events Center.  Earlier...

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Preservation and McPier Learn To Live Together in the South Loop
Apr04

Preservation and McPier Learn To Live Together in the South Loop

When the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority announced plans for a half-billion dollar expansion from its lakeside perch into the surrounding neighborhood, it was as if a pack of rabid wolves was let loose in the South Loop. At public meetings, people howled and shouted about property values, traffic, and most importantly—historic preservation.  They didn’t mind the convention center complex oozing into the many, many...

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McPier Contracts McCormick Expansion, Motor Row Boutique Hotel to Wait
Jan29

McPier Contracts McCormick Expansion, Motor Row Boutique Hotel to Wait

  The organization that runs, and wants to expand, Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center has released its Plan B, after the original expansion plan unveiled last year ran into legal challenges. At a presentation earlier this week, executives and architects outlined how they’re going to get out of the current courtroom impasse, and get the expansion rolling. The new proposal shuffles some buildings around, and postpones the...

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It’s Been An Eventful 177 Years For The Oldest* House In Chicago
Sep09

It’s Been An Eventful 177 Years For The Oldest* House In Chicago

From its earliest frontier days Chicago has been a beacon to those looking for opportunity. Merchant Henry B. Clarke was one of the early pioneers seeking his fortune in the town on the shores of Lake Michigan. And the history of Henry Clarke’s house (now at 1855 South Indiana Avenue) is intertwined with that of the burgeoning city. Clarke and his wife Caroline, along with three children and a servant, moved to Chicago from upstate...

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McPier’s Big Plans For the South Loop Have Neighbors All Over The Map
Jul01

McPier’s Big Plans For the South Loop Have Neighbors All Over The Map

  The latest plans for a new hotel and arena for the McCormick Place Convention Center are so far-reaching and so entangled with other nearby developments that many otherwise sensible neighborhood residents aren’t sure what to think. At the heart of the proposal from the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (“McPier”) is a so-called “Headquarters Hotel” it wants to put up across South Indiana...

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The South Loop’s Revival Brings New Appreciation for Chicago’s Landmark Second Presbyterian Church
Jun13

The South Loop’s Revival Brings New Appreciation for Chicago’s Landmark Second Presbyterian Church

The late 19th-century Arts and Crafts movement that came out of England was widely embraced in the United States – especially in Chicago. And the South Loop has one of the largest and best preserved examples of the movement’s precepts: the interior of Second Presbyterian Church (1936 South Michigan Avenue). In March, 2013 Second Presbyterian became the only church in the city of Chicago to be designated a National Historic...

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The Glessner House: How Forward-Thinking Homeowners Helped a Revolutionary Architect Make His Mark in Chicago
Apr22

The Glessner House: How Forward-Thinking Homeowners Helped a Revolutionary Architect Make His Mark in Chicago

“It looks like an old jail,” one lady commented. “It takes courage to build a house like that,” said another. “Which church is this?” a passerby inquired. “I don’t like it and wish it was not there,” complained neighbor George Pullman, who felt himself cursed by the daily sight of the John J. Glessner House (1800 South Prairie Avenue). Amidst the Gilded Age splendor that was...

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Week Links: January 27-February 2, 2013
Feb02

Week Links: January 27-February 2, 2013

Chicago bike lanes are a disaster in the ice and snow  The Glessner House Museum (1800 South Prairie Avenue) and the Clarke House (1855 South Indiana Avenue) are looking for docents.  Click here and scroll down to “Vounteer” for more information. The renovation of an art deco office building in the West Loop into the new headquarters for Hillshire Brands is finished.  There’s a public open house late this month at...

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Week Links: May 25, 2012
May25

Week Links: May 25, 2012

The Glessner House Museum (1800 South Prairie Avenue) is having a book signing for Olivia Newport’s The Prusuit of Lucy Banning.  “Set on the corner of Prairie Avenue and 18th Street, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning gives readers an inside look at the rich and powerful on the eve of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chcago. Olivia Newport transports readers to a time of opulence in the first installment in the...

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