Art Institute of Chicago Buildings Getting a Makeover
Sep12

Art Institute of Chicago Buildings Getting a Makeover

One of the city’s most important buildings is in for a change.  Spanish architecture powerhouse Barozzi/Veiga plans to transform the Art Institute of Chicago’s multi-building campus which sprawls across the Metra tracks in Grant Park. The Art Institute’s good side (file) The company is named for its founders, Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga. We wanted to assess their museum chops, but unfortunately, there’s...

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Architecture Party at the Water Tower!  No, Really.
Aug26

Architecture Party at the Water Tower! No, Really.

If you’ve looked at the “Hang in there, kitty!” calendar tacked to your cubicle partition you may have noticed that posted in proximity to the perilously pendulous puss is a fat red circle around Saturday, September 14th. As a good student of Chicago architecture, we don’t have to tell you what that day means.  But in case you spent the majority of freshman history class doodling cranes and girders protruding...

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A tree grows in Streeterville. And a bush. And a slide. And a sandbox.
Aug12

A tree grows in Streeterville. And a bush. And a slide. And a sandbox.

The greening of Chicago’s core continues, but not at the hands of the city’s Park District.  Instead many of Chicago’s newest parks come through the work of private firms building skyscrapers, and the parks are tacked on as revenue drivers, or out of political necessity. Bennett Park (August 2019. Photo by Cory Dewald, Courtesy of Related Midwest) The latest park to land in downtown is Bennett Park, in the core of...

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Fed’s Report on Jackson Park Obama Center a Little Rough; Here Are the Highlights
Jul30

Fed’s Report on Jackson Park Obama Center a Little Rough; Here Are the Highlights

A draft of the federal government’s report on the proposed construction of the Barack Obama Presidential Center is out. It was prepared for the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration, and IDOT by the City of Chicago. The report spells out what happens if the Obama Center is built in Jackson Park, and what it really means. Obama Presidential Center model (Courtesy of the Obama Foundation) It’s a lot of...

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Navy Pier Flyover Almost Reaches Lake Shore Drive Bridge
Jul23

Navy Pier Flyover Almost Reaches Lake Shore Drive Bridge

It’s been a lot of years that cyclists, rollerbladers, walkers, people pushing prams, and just anyone who enjoys walking along Chicago’s lakefront have been waiting for the Navy Pier Flyover to be completed.   While northern sections have been done and open to the public for some time, the key bottleneck in the whole lakefront parade — the Lake Shore Drive Bridge — is still a work in progress. Loop Spy Joel sent in these...

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Linear Park Construction Continues Near Addison Where A RiverRuns Through It
Jul22

Linear Park Construction Continues Near Addison Where A RiverRuns Through It

The construction of Chicago’s latest linear park is chugging right along, with bridgework happening near Addison and Rockwell.  Think of 312 RiverRun as a moist version of The 606, except instead of being built on an old industrial rail bed, it’s being built over the old industrial North Branch of the Chicago River. Construction of the 312 RiverRun at Addison (July 2019, courtesy of Avondale Spy Joel) Avondale Spy Joel...

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New Streeterville Park a Good Alternative to Crowded Maggie Daley
Jul08

New Streeterville Park a Good Alternative to Crowded Maggie Daley

There’s still more hammers and hard hats than tykes on bikes at Bennett Park in Streeterville, but not for long. Bennett Park under construction (July, 2019. Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) Joe Zekas from YoChicago! floated a new raft of photographs our way showing that the quasi-public space next to the new One Bennett Park skyscraper looks just about done. New York’s Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates is transforming...

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Zero Energy Rec Center Lands in Southwest Suburbs
May21

Zero Energy Rec Center Lands in Southwest Suburbs

It only makes sense that an organization dedicated to parks should try its hardest to be environmentally responsible. In southwest suburban Plainfield, the park district has opened a new Net Zero community building. PARC (Courtesy of Wight & Company) It’s called PARC, which stands for Prairie Activity and Recreation Center, and is located in a park: Gregory B. Bott Park. The facility sports an oversized gymnasium, a fitness...

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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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The View From Grant Park Keeps A-Changin’
Mar20

The View From Grant Park Keeps A-Changin’

If you’ve gone to a festival, played softball, or just walked around Grant Park in the last decade or so, you’ve been a first-hand witness to the changing of Chicago’s skyline. 340 On The Park, The Legacy, Heritage At Millennium Park, Roosevelt University’s Wabash Building, Trump International Hotel and Tower, and the 300 East Randolph vertical expansion all added drama to the park border. Chicago skyline...

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