Slice of Life: Skyscrapers and Clouds
Jul22

Slice of Life: Skyscrapers and Clouds

  A time-lapse video of summer afternoon clouds boiling across the Chicago skyline.  Taken from Aqua, visible (left to right) are: 303 East Wacker 680 North Lake Shore Drive Streeter Place River East Center 401 East Ontario Onterie Center Swissôtel Did you enjoy this article? Click to give the author a few...

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Amid Dirt, Cranes and Bulldozers, Official Groundbreaking for Wolf Point West
Jul18

Amid Dirt, Cranes and Bulldozers, Official Groundbreaking for Wolf Point West

  One of Chicago’s most anticipated building projects of the last 50 years is now officially underway. Formal groundbreaking ceremonies were held today for Wolf Point West, the first of three skyscrapers in the billion-dollar Wolf Point development at the confluence of the Chicago River’s main channel and North Branch. As we’ve documented here over the last few months, construction is already well underway.  But...

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It’s Chicago Architects Versus Kids in a Battle of LEGOs
Jul18

It’s Chicago Architects Versus Kids in a Battle of LEGOs

There’s a 15-year-old kid in Iowa City named Rasmus who’s better equipped to design buildings than I am. It’s slightly unnerving, but I’m OK with it. As Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Designing a building, evidently, is not my forte. Last night, I joined a handful of architects and some lay folks to try our hand designing stuff at the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s ArcelorMittal Design Studio (224 South...

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Balthazar Korab Architecture Photography Now on Display in Chicago
Jul14

Balthazar Korab Architecture Photography Now on Display in Chicago

Stunning black and white photographs of 20th-century cityscapes comprise the new photography exhibit Inflected Modernism: The Architecture Photography of Balthazar Korab running now through the end of this week at the Cliff Dwellers Club high above Michigan Avenue. Korab (1926-2013) was one of the most prolific and celebrated photographers of architecture practicing during the second half of the last century. Chicago architect Trish...

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Supertall Skyscraper Planned Along Chicago River at Lakeshore East
Jul08

Supertall Skyscraper Planned Along Chicago River at Lakeshore East

Prolific Chinese real estate developer and investment company Wanda Group has announced that it will build a new 1,150-foot-tall skyscraper in Chicago. Wanda Group isn’t a household name in Chicago… yet. But it has big plans to move into the American real estate development sector very aggressively in the near future. It already has 55 five-star hotels and 78 department stores in China. In America, you may know it as the...

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Graffiti Artist Xenz Visualizes A Dark Turn Of The Century Chicago Loop
Jul08

Graffiti Artist Xenz Visualizes A Dark Turn Of The Century Chicago Loop

A fountain gently burbled as I walked into the pocket park at West Monroe and South Wells in the Loop this afternoon. Worker bees ate Jersey Mike’s subs and fiddled with their smartphones. Did any of them know the grisly, infamous history of this site? My guess is, probably not, unless they read Gus Russo’s 2003 book “The Outfit.” Russo specializes in researching the Mafia and the JFK assassination. “The Outfit” traces Chicago’s...

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Status Update: The First Tree is Planted in Maggie Daley Park
Jul03

Status Update: The First Tree is Planted in Maggie Daley Park

It’s been a long 21 months since construction began at the future site of Maggie Daley Park. When complete, it should be a spectacular addition to the city’s park system and a facility that can be used all year round. For months we’ve watched as the space went from a traditional urban park to a mud pit to a concrete roof to a foam fortress then back to mud. And now it’s starting to really take shape. In the...

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200 North Michigan: The Incredible Shrinking Skyscraper
Jul02

200 North Michigan: The Incredible Shrinking Skyscraper

If you’ve been saving your pennies so that you can live on the 44th floor of the shiny new residential tower going up at 200 North Michigan Avenue… It may be time to re-think that plan. That’s because the 44th floor no longer exists.  Nor does the 43rd or the 42nd.  In fact, the entire skyscraper has been downsized about 9% from 537 feet tall to 488 feet tall. According to papers filed with the city by the developer,...

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Chicago to Debut Its First International Architecture Exhibition
Jun30

Chicago to Debut Its First International Architecture Exhibition

The city of Chicago has long been known as forward-thinking on architecture. Many greats like Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, and recent stars like Jeanne Gang and John Ronan have put their stamp on modern architecture right here in Chicago. And next year, the city will debut a global architecture exhibition in the first Chicago Architecture Biennial. The city is calling this biennial “North America’s biggest...

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How Chicago’s Mayor Used The Power Of Architecture To Influence Politics
Jun23

How Chicago’s Mayor Used The Power Of Architecture To Influence Politics

Richard J. Daley didn’t much care for modernist architecture. But his personal preference for classical design didn’t deter him from championing the development of sleek, steel-and-glass buildings like the Chicago Civic Center, the Sears Tower, the Inland Steel Building, and the Federal Plaza complex.   In fact, during his tenure as the city’s boss, the Loop and downtown Chicago underwent a transformational building boom. Along...

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