Architects Not Giving Up On The Thompson Center
Jun21

Architects Not Giving Up On The Thompson Center

There is no shortage of opinions about what to do with The Thompson Center, sulking at 100 West Randolph Street like that sad, oversized kitten that nobody wants quietly mewing in the corner of the viewing room at PAWS. The Thompson Center (File) In our off-the-record conversations with Chicago architects over the last 18 years, sentiment has shifted from balanced pessimism to outright exasperation in some quarters.  In 2003,...

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Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center
Jun02

Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center

When architects get together in their buttery leather chairs and tweed jackets, sitting in front of a roaring fireplace, stuffing pipes, drinking cognac, and doing other fictional things, one of the common topics of conversation is the James R. Thompson Center.  It’s become something of a parlor game to try to come up with ways — practical and impractical — of dealing with the former state office building that seems all but...

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Deconstructionist Thompson Center A Step Closer to Being Deconstructed
Jun01

Deconstructionist Thompson Center A Step Closer to Being Deconstructed

Inside the Thompson Center rotunda. (File) Chicago City Council has approved an ordinance that will help whomever buys the James R. Thompson Center to turn it into rubble. The ordinance is short.  Just three sentences.  But it will have a massive impact on downtown Chicago.  If you’d like to read it, here it is: BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO: SECTION 1. Title 17 of the Municipal Code....

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Helmut Jahn 1940 – 2021
May09

Helmut Jahn 1940 – 2021

Helmut Jahn, the legendary architect who used skyscrapers to leave his mark on Chicagoland and the rest of the world, died Saturday afternoon at the age of 81. According to the Kane County Chronicle, a police report indicates that Jahn was riding his bicycle on Old Lafox Road in far west suburban Campton Hills, and didn’t stop for a stop sign at Burlington Road. He was struck by two cars, and died at the scene. Helmut Jahn in...

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These Are the Most Endangered Buildings in Illinois
May09

These Are the Most Endangered Buildings in Illinois

While Illinois hasn’t yet reached Atlanta or Los Angeles-levels of disregard for its built history, fewer and fewer people seem to understand the value of the past. For this reason, the work of Preservation Illinois is becoming more and more important. The group has put out its annual list of the state’s Most Endangered Buildings. And while there is the usual smattering of buildings and boulevard that nobody’s ever...

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Governor Pritzker Sells Thompson Center to Himself, Plans Giant Loop Mansion
Apr01

Governor Pritzker Sells Thompson Center to Himself, Plans Giant Loop Mansion

In a widely-anticipated move, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker today announced the fate of the former government office building known as the Thompson Center.  He’s going to buy it himself. In a Zoom news conference, the governor stated, “This is an important day for Illinois.  I have forged a unique public-private partnership between myself and myself, relieving the taxpayers of the burden of maintaining this terrible...

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“My job is done” — Stanley Tigerman: 1930-2019
Jun04

“My job is done” — Stanley Tigerman: 1930-2019

One of the elder statesmen of Chicago architecture has died.  Stanley Tigerman passed away Monday at the age of 88. Stanley Tigerman (Courtesy of Tigerman McCurry Architects) Born in Chicago, and educated at MIT and the Yale School of Architecture, his first job was for modernist architect George Keck, known for the House of Tomorrow, and his tenure at IIT. Tigerman is best known for the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie. But he...

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Loop Plot Zoned For a 600-Foot Tower Getting a 140-foot Hotel
Jun02

Loop Plot Zoned For a 600-Foot Tower Getting a 140-foot Hotel

There was a time when we’d sit in the Starbucks in the Hotel Allegro, write stories about architecture, and gaze through the rain wondering what might become of the surface parking lot next to the wonderful Randolph Tower (188 West Randolph Street). 180 West Randolph Street The wondering is now over, as 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly has told his constituents that the West Loop’s Convexity Properties wants to put up a...

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Chicago Places Join Giraffes on Endangered List
May08

Chicago Places Join Giraffes on Endangered List

Just days after the Fish and Wildlife Service started talking about adding giraffes to its endangered species list, Landmarks Illinois put out its annual list of the Prairie State’s most endangered places.  There are a dozen entries on the list, with three in Chicago, three in the surrounding area, and the remainder scattered across the state.  Here’s the endangered dozen: Chicago The Thompson Center James R. Thompson...

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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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