Odd Chicago Zoning Rule Says No to Skyscraper, Yes to Typewriter Repair Shop
Dec12

Odd Chicago Zoning Rule Says No to Skyscraper, Yes to Typewriter Repair Shop

The history of Chicago is written in its zoning rules.  Leafing through the pages you get a sense of how successive generations used the letter of the law to shape the ways in which the city would grow and change. Since both history and urban planning are messy affairs, it’s not surprising to find grains of sand in these oysters of wisdom.  One of them surfaced recently at 401 North State Street, where the parking garage is...

Read More
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...

Read More
A Look at a Landmark Skyscraper’s Leading-Edge Past, and Luxurious Future
Jul20

A Look at a Landmark Skyscraper’s Leading-Edge Past, and Luxurious Future

With the recent opening of the Langham, Chicago hotel inside 330 North Wabash Avenue, there’s been a lot of focus on Mies van der Rohe’s 1971 skyscraper. Usually mentioned only briefly on architecture tours, this elegant structure doesn’t always receive the attention it deserves. Perhaps because it is often overshadowed by the popular Marina City “corncobs,” and more recently by the assertive Trump Tower....

Read More