History Under Your Feet and Over Your Head

Walk down Clark Street in the Loop and if you’re not careful, you might just walk right over this. It’s a medallion in the sidewalk  on the west side of the Walgreens (79 West Monroe Street) on the corner of Clark and Monroe.  But oddly, though it takes up most of the width of the sidewalk, it is oriented so that it faces into pretty much the blank side of the building. That’s because in years past, that...

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An Architect’s Building

What kind of building would an architect buy, if he could buy any building?  The answer is 30 West Monroe Street, the former Inland Steel Building.  The building has been a favorite of architects since its construction because of its many leading-edge design features. Bruce Graham and Walter Netsch of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill put the structural supports on the building’s exterior and the elevator and services in...

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Pepsi’s Chicago Wind Farm

There have been a lot of cases lately of private corporations taking over public spaces from the taxpayers.  But in Chicago, one company is doing the opposite. Chicago is home to a regional office of Pepsico, and it recently located in a new building at 555 West Monroe Street.  One of the features of the building is a public park on the podium’s roof.  It’s just two stories above the cacophony below, but it...

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Status Update: The Nichols Bridgeway
Feb27

Status Update: The Nichols Bridgeway

After yesterday’s mini-rant about the Art Institute’s Modern Wing, it seemed logical to follow that up with an update on the bridge that will link the museum with Millennium Park. The 620-foot-long bridge has a Renzo Piano pedigree and like most modern architecture is simple in design.  In fact, it’s a big white pipe cut in half.  A culvert, really.  Which I guess is symbolic or ironic or something since it’s...

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Status Update: The Park Monroe

You can call it the Park Monroe all you want, but to us it’s still Mid-Continental Plaza .  The conversion of the upper stories of this office building into swanky double-height condominiums actually appears to have done the building some good. It’s no longer a boing box of grey pinstripes.  The change in form at the residential level gives it an interesting visual cap and helps it stand out more than it did...

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Status Update: The Legacy at Millennium Park

If the Waterview Tower ever gets completed, I’d like to think that this is what it would look like.  The Legacy at Millennium Park spent a couple of years trying to restore and preserve some pretty nasty retail storefronts.  Now that it’s free to rise upward, it is; and at quite a pace. There are three reasons I like this building: It echoes the art deco-era towers that sit in front of it along Michigan Avenue It...

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