Four Minutes of GEMS: Chicago’s Urban Vertical School
Nov09

Four Minutes of GEMS: Chicago’s Urban Vertical School

It’s been a few years since GEMS World Academy opened its Lower School in Lakeshore East.  The bKL-designed building won a bunch of awards, and did a great job of filling in a difficult space with something that looks like it belongs. What an awesome school facade looks like. Recently, bKL put out a promotional video showing off its work.  Even if you’re familiar with this project, it’s worth seeing it again...

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Here’s What it Looks Like Under Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper
Jan09

Here’s What it Looks Like Under Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper

Real estate folk are always trying to “get in on the ground floor” of the next big thing. The next big thing in the Gold Coast is One Chicago. And the person in on the ground floor is Joe Zekas from YoChicago!. But he’s not just in on the ground floor. He was deep underground in the coffer dam in the northwest corner of this project recently. Donning hardhat, he channeled his inner James Brown to get down and get...

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Chicago’s Loop Gets Its First Scramble Crossing [Video]
May31

Chicago’s Loop Gets Its First Scramble Crossing [Video]

As the Chicago Department of Transportation continues to prioritize pedestrian safety and mobility, it’s opened Chicago’s first scramble crossing. The intersection of South State Street and Jackson Boulevard was re-striped early this morning not only with zebra stripes in the city’s usual four-square configuration, but also with diagonal crossings cutting across the intersection. Once per cycle the traffic lights...

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West Loop Model Makers Bring Small Scale To Big Developments [Video]
Jan09

West Loop Model Makers Bring Small Scale To Big Developments [Video]

A few minutes after I entered Columbian Model & Exhibit Works (1528 West Adams Street), I expected to see Lilliputians scurrying around. The exhibit and architectural model company operates out of a sprawling second-floor West Loop warehouse and is chock-full of scale-model replicas of buildings you see all around town. Except for those that never made it past the design stage. But that’s the whole idea of models — a real estate...

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Video: Trump Tower Time Lapse
Jul20

Video: Trump Tower Time Lapse

Here’s a little fun for your weekend.  It’s a time-lapse video we made earlier this week of clouds around and reflected in the Trump International Hotel and Tower (401 North Wabash Avenue). You can see how the skin of the building changes color in reaction to its environment.  Architects always talk about that sort of thing, but here you can really see it in...

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Video Slice: Spring at Chicago’s Osaka Garden
Apr17

Video Slice: Spring at Chicago’s Osaka Garden

Spring has stubbornly refused to spring in Chicago.  But in some parts of the city, the flowers are pushing forth anyway. Here are some photos and a video we took at the Osaka Garden in Jackson Park last week.  Think warm thoughts!  ...

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Video: What’s So Great About the Fulton River District?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Self, what’s so great about the Fulton River District?”  I haven’t either.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great things there. For tens of thousands of people, it’s a way to get from their offices in the Loop to their homes in the suburbs.  But the Fulton River District Association wants people to know there’s a lot more going on on the...

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Raccoons Are Not Afraid of the El

Digging through some old files I came across this piece of video.  It shows a raccoon getting its dinner on an El platform while passengers and trains come and go.  The critter doesn’t seem to care. The video is pretty poor quality because it was shot in 2003 with a Sony Clie UX-50 — a kind of souped-up Palm Pilot.  It was state of the art at the time, but the art has changed a lot since...

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Historic Video of the Unveiling of Chicago’s Picasso

There’s a video on YouTube showing the unveiling of the massive Picasso sculpture in front of the Daley Center back in...

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Video: Chicago "City of Superlatives" in 1948

This video is making the rounds these days, and I thought people here on the Chicago Architecture Blog would enjoy it. It’s a travel film produced in 1948.  It’s a great look at where Chicago was just 60 short years ago.  The city looks very different, and very familiar...

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