The Last Days of Michael Reese Hospital
Oct06

The Last Days of Michael Reese Hospital

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s recent announcement that the city is going to finally push the abandoned Michael Reese Hospital site into the development pipeline has got a lot of people thinking.  Architects are dreaming of the sorts of outstanding things they could do with such a large, blank canvas.  Developers are thinking of the oodles of money they can make turning the wasteland into the Next Big Thing™.  And the rest of us, are just...

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Throwback Thursday: Chicago Gets Trumped
Jun16

Throwback Thursday: Chicago Gets Trumped

Today we burrow into the archive ten years, and come up in 2006, where we find the Trump International Hotel and Tower rising on the north bank of the Chicago River. It was something of a stunner when the proposal came around to replace the old Chicago Sun-Times building, sending the newspaper packing.  This was before the Great Recession, and even though the rise of internet news and information sites like Jeeves, Yahoo!, and Ask had...

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Throwback Thursday: You Tore Down WHAT?!
Jun09

Throwback Thursday: You Tore Down WHAT?!

Living in a large city with lots of enormous buildings, it can seem like those structures have been there forever.  Especially when they’re government buildings, with all their monumental unfriendliness. Such is the case with the Federal Center, three black-as-a-coal-miner’s-tuckus Mies van der Rohe buildings fencing in Alexander Calder’s stark raving red Flamingo sculpture.  It seems like it’s all been there...

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Throwback Thursday: The Shiny New Apple on North Michigan Avenue
Jun02

Throwback Thursday: The Shiny New Apple on North Michigan Avenue

How well do you remember 2003?  It was the year that 13 people were killed and 57 hurt when a porch collapsed in Lincoln Park.  R.E.M. played the United Center.  And in one of the most Mayor Daley events in Mayor Daley history, Mayor Daley ordered a team of bulldozers to destroy Meigs Field airport in the middle of the night. It was also the year that Apple (then called Apple Computer) opened its Chicago flagship store at 679 North...

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Throwback Thursday: Chicago Never Looked So Bad
May19

Throwback Thursday: Chicago Never Looked So Bad

  Lots of TV shows use the cities they’re set in as a kind of supporting actor that adds color and depth to the production.  If it’s a situation comedy, the cities are celebrated for being wonderful places for fun and family (Full House, Laverne & Shirley).  If it’s a cop drama, the city can be moody and interesting (Dragnet, Hill Street Blues). And then there’s Lady Blue. It’s a cop drama.  But...

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Throwback Thursday, Revisited: North Morgan Mystery Lot Loses Acreage
Apr21

Throwback Thursday, Revisited: North Morgan Mystery Lot Loses Acreage

Last month, we shared a story about a plot of land in Chicago’s Meat Packing District with a bizarre and sordid history. Summed up, the gist is that there’s a 15-year-old permit still posted at 373 North Morgan Street, for a project that almost started, then sorta did, then was torn down, and then sat idle. At the time, we had noticed some work being done on the site, but couldn’t figure out what it might have been,...

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150 North Riverside, Before It Reached Peak Skyscraper
Mar17

150 North Riverside, Before It Reached Peak Skyscraper

We’ve reached our final height – tallest building west of the Chicago River! — 150 North Riverside (@150NRiverside) March 14, 2016 And with that tweet, 150 North Riverside announced it had achieved its latest milestone. The engineering marvel Chicago’s own Goettsch Partners designed along the Chicago River has been a wonder to behold. Despite a wind storm, a minor concrete collapse, and a major sunken barge, the 54-story...

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Throwback Thursday: Preservation Chicago Echos Our Laments
Mar03

Throwback Thursday: Preservation Chicago Echos Our Laments

Each year the advocacy group Preservation Chicago puts out a list of buildings it considers both important to the fabric of Chicago, and also in danger of being demolished, altered beyond recognition, or otherwise threatened. At an event held yesterday at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the group released its 2016 roster.  It includes: The Thompson Center (100 West Randolph Street) — The state office building is just over 30...

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Staring Down From The Rock
Oct01

Staring Down From The Rock

Earlier this week we showed you photographs from the party that was thrown recently on the roof of the not-quite-completed skyscraper at 200 North Michigan Avenue called MiLa. The photographer was Joe Zekas of YoChicago!, and Mr. Zekas must have some crazy good photo gear because of what we were able to notice in the background of one of the pictures he sent us: It’s the old observation deck that used to awe tourists and locals...

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Throwback Thursday: Peeking in at Perkins + Will
Jul23

Throwback Thursday: Peeking in at Perkins + Will

Last week, Chicago’s largest architecture firm announced it is leaving the historic AMA Plaza (330 North Wabash Avenue) for the even-more-historic Wrigley Building next door at 400 North Michigan Avenue. It made us think of our last after-hours visit to Perkins + Will‘s headquarters in what was once was IBM Plaza, designed by Mies van der Rohe, who never got to see it built. So we’ve set the wayback machine to 2011...

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