Video Advocating For Thompson Center Wins Award
May02

Video Advocating For Thompson Center Wins Award

The James R. Thompson Center was controversial when it went up.  And now that a lot of people want to tear it down, it’s controversial once again. There has been much hullabaloo created by people in Springfield and also in Chicago who want to see the building sold for tear-down and redevelopment. Part of the impetus is the fact that Illinois doesn’t have enough money to pay its bills and owes money like a meth addict in...

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Illinois’ Most Endangered Buildings: 2018 Edition
Apr25

Illinois’ Most Endangered Buildings: 2018 Edition

Architecture and history advocacy group Landmarks Illinois is out with its annual list of the most endangered buildings and places in Illinois. The group has been putting out the lists for a while now and seems to be earning a bigger and bigger voice in the public discourse about what gets praised and what gets razed in the land of Lincoln. In honor of Illinois’ bicentennial, this year’s list includes several items that...

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“The 78” to Transform Chicago’s South Loop
Oct18

“The 78” to Transform Chicago’s South Loop

If you’ve been wondering why things have been so quiet between Roosevelt Road and Chinatown, it turns out things have been going on behind the scenes.  Big things. Tomorrow morning, Governor Bruce Rauner will announce a public-private partnership that will turn the 62-acre site owned by Related Midwest into a massive collegiate research park.  The academics involved in “The 78” innovation center are the University of...

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Thompson Center Tops 2017 Endangered Places List
Apr06

Thompson Center Tops 2017 Endangered Places List

Landmarks Illinois is out with its annual list of the most endangered places in the Land of Lincoln.  At the top of the list is a state office building that Chicagoans love to hate: The Thompson Center (100 West Randolph Street). The Thompson Center’s beauty is most certainly in the eye of the beholder.  Some find it a fine example of post-modern deconstructionism.  Others think it’s a garish display of outdated...

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4 Steps to Make the 115-Story Thompson Center Replacement a Reality
Jan23

4 Steps to Make the 115-Story Thompson Center Replacement a Reality

Late last week a group of rural state legislators released some sketches showing a shiny, twisting 115-story skyscraper replacing the neglected Thompson Center at 100 West Randolph Street.  Immediately, skyscraper nerds from Forest Park to Park Forest wet themselves. The details of the Thompson Tower are a 1,700-foot-tall mixed-use building with a hotel, residences, and an observation deck.  An alternate plan calls for several...

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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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What To Do With the Thompson Center? Part 3: SCB’s Martin Wolf
Nov25

What To Do With the Thompson Center? Part 3: SCB’s Martin Wolf

In October Governor Bruce Rauner announced plans for the State of Illinois to sell the Thompson Center (100 West Randolph Street), possibly for demolition and redevelopment.   We spent the last few weeks talking to a dozen Chicago architects and developers about what they think of the building and its predicament. Today we hear from Martin Wolf, Design Principal at Chicago architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz.  Unfortunately, our...

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What To Do With the Thompson Center? Part 2: FitzGerald Associates
Nov16

What To Do With the Thompson Center? Part 2: FitzGerald Associates

In October Governor Bruce Rauner announced plans for the State of Illinois to sell the Thompson Center (100 West Randolph Street), possibly for demolition and redevelopment.   We spent the last few weeks talking to a dozen Chicago architects and developers about what they think of the building and its predicament. Today we hear from the West Loop architecture firm FitzGerald Associates Architects, which has sympathy for the aging,...

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What To Do With the Thompson Center? Part 1: SCB’s John Lahey
Nov09

What To Do With the Thompson Center? Part 1: SCB’s John Lahey

In October Governor Bruce Rauner announced plans for the State of Illinois to sell the Thompson Center (100 West Randolph Street), possibly for demolition and redevelopment.   We spent the last few weeks talking to a dozen Chicago architects and developers about what they think of the building and its predicament. Today we hear from John Lahey, Design Principal at Chicago architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz. John...

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Architect Jahn Tries to Save His Baby from Governor Rauner’s Budget Axe
Oct14

Architect Jahn Tries to Save His Baby from Governor Rauner’s Budget Axe

Widely considered unsightly by those who see it from the outside, and dysfunctional by those who work on the inside, there was little surprise when Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday announced he want to offload the Thompson Center (100 West Randolph Street). The governor argues that selling the building makes financial sense for a number of reasons.  It’s an expensive building to run; the Loop real estate market is hot enough that...

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