TWBTA and IDEA Chosen to Design Obama Presidential Library on Chicago’s South Side
Jun30

TWBTA and IDEA Chosen to Design Obama Presidential Library on Chicago’s South Side

After months of anticipation, the Obama Foundation has decided in which direction it wants to go with the Barack Obama Presidential Center: TWBTA out of New York and IDEA in Chicago. You may know TWBTA (Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects) from such projects as the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts and the Phoenix Art Museum.  Locally, IDEA was the architect of record for Renzo Piano’s Art Institute of...

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Still Holding Lucas Museum Hostage, Park Pals Have Ransom Demand List
Jun20

Still Holding Lucas Museum Hostage, Park Pals Have Ransom Demand List

After nearly suing the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art out of existence, Crain’s Chicago Business reports that gadfly group Friends of the Parks has a list of what it wants from the city in exchange for dropping the lawsuit. Crain’s describes the enumeration as a “wish list,” as if it was Ralphie asking Santa for an official a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.  But considering that the...

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It’s Been a While, But Downtown Lake Shore Drive Reconfig Still “Has a Chance”
May31

It’s Been a While, But Downtown Lake Shore Drive Reconfig Still “Has a Chance”

It’s been over five years since we first heard about city plans to re-configure Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago.  A lot of work has been done on the Drive in other parts of the city, but the downtown portion remains congested, dangerous, and falling apart.  But according to 2nd Ward Adlerman Brian Hopkins, “This is a bold, visionary project that has a chance to come to fruition.”  It’s been a long time...

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Building Great Chicago Open Spaces From Above and Below
May25

Building Great Chicago Open Spaces From Above and Below

  Do you love parks?  Of course you do! Do you love construction?  Of course you do! Like chocolate and peanut butter, the good people over at Walsh Construction have put together parks and construction into a single video about their work creating great urban open spaces in Chicago. You’ve seen the big green Walsh logo in places high and low across this city.  When it comes to parks, it was the general contractor on...

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Caisson Equipment Reports For Duty at One Bennett Park
Apr14

Caisson Equipment Reports For Duty at One Bennett Park

  As earth-moving machines continue to scrape, dig, and smooth things out at 451 East Grand Avenue in Streeterville, the next step in the process of building One Bennett Park has made an appearance on the construction site. Our Streeterville Spy Thomas dropped us a line that the first piece of Case Foundation equipment had arrived on site. That means caisson work is in the cards for the Robert A.M. Stern-designed masterpiece in...

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Trading Parkas for Parks: Fullerton’s the Place to Go
Apr06

Trading Parkas for Parks: Fullerton’s the Place to Go

April showers have so far left us with little chance to shed winter’s garb and grab some vitamin D the old fashioned way.  But when it is time to trade North Face parkas for lying on the grass facing north in the park, Fullerton and the lakefront is the place to me. That’s where Walsh Construction has finished with a new erosion protection plan that also includes adding new parkland to Chicago’s Lake Michigan...

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Obama Library Says “Hey, Remember Us?”
Mar28

Obama Library Says “Hey, Remember Us?”

For months, the people of the city of Chicago have waited patiently for the people at the Obama Foundation to decide who’s going to design the new Obama Presidential Center.  What we know so far is that it will be somewhere on the South Side, quite likely in Jackson or Washington Parks, where no one will wail and complain and sue over the loss of public space like the Lucas Museum because… South Side. Today the Obama...

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One Bennett Park Removes Park and Gets to Digging
Mar15

One Bennett Park Removes Park and Gets to Digging

Within two weeks of hearing work crews would be fencing off access to the park bounded by Grand Avenue, Peshtigo Court, Illinois Street, and McClurg Court in Streeterville, trees have been removed and ground is being torn up in preparation for One Bennett Park. At the east of the lot, what used to be the fenced-in dog run has become Ground Zero for earth movers tearing at the earth for Robert A.M. Stern’s forthcoming...

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Lucas Museum Groundbreaking Imperiled; Mayor Accused of “Cover Up”
Feb04

Lucas Museum Groundbreaking Imperiled; Mayor Accused of “Cover Up”

The city of Chicago’s effort to throw out a lawsuit opposing the construction of the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on Chicago’s lakefront has failed.  Today, federal District Judge John Darrah ruled that the lawsuit trying to stop the new museum from replacing a surface parking lot next to Soldier Field can move forward. The lawsuit was brought by Friends of the Parks, which doesn’t think the museum belongs on...

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Slice of Life: Skating with the Skyline
Jan29

Slice of Life: Skating with the Skyline

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: while Chicago has had some dang cold days in January, it’s been a mild Winter of 2016 so far. And while you’ll never see the elbow-to-elbow crowds like North Avenue Beach draws during the summer months, there are still those in Chicago who insist on venturing outdoors for fun, even as wind chills dip below freezing. Chicago has two ice skating venues perfectly located for tourists...

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