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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2016-01-15 02:07:00
click image for larger viewThis weeks marks the 12th anniversary of my first article being published in Chicago Reader.  What better time to call a time out?"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money," Dr. Johnson famously observed.  I have become that blockhead.So I'm taking a hiatus to vegetate and experiment - fiction, poetry, screenplays, prescription drug disclaimers - …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2016-01-02 14:32:00
click images for larger viewFirst things first.  Sunday is closing day at the Cultural Center for the First Chicago Architecture Biennial.  If you haven't seen it, make the trip.  The Biennial has not been universally loved, but I'm betting that unless you're Zaha Hadid, you'll find things that intrigue and perhaps even amaze you.For an opening salvo for what is hoped …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-12-30 15:08:00
click images for larger view (all images from Richard Nickel Dangerous Years,courtesy Cityfiles PressRichard Nickel Dangerous Years What He Saw What He Wrote,  Hardcover: 264 pages. $60.00 (Online Price: $50.00, including tax and shipping.)Ultimately, you buy a book about Richard Nickel for his beautiful, often haunting photographs, and the new book Richard Nickel Dangerous Years: What He Saw and What He …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-11-18 06:12:00
Source: Chicago Department of Planning and Development, via the Chicago Tribune (click images for larger view)Late Thursday evening, Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin released five renderings presented to the Chicago Department of Planning and Development for the long-rumored new Apple Store in Chicago's Pioneer Court along the north bank of the Chicago River just east of Michigan Avenue.Source: Chicago Department …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-11-10 04:45:00
click images for larger viewJust months ago, the Fulton Street Market district was declared an official Chicago architectural landmark, protecting contributing structures spread out on over two dozen city blocks.  Above is the front of one of the newly protected buildings.And this is what's behind.  Could there be any more accurate symbol of the current transitioning of one of Chicago's most …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-11-09 19:03:00
As we've mentioned before, our current conditions, including architecture, derive from being at the culmination of the Age of the Supply Chain, whose defining impulse is bringing the widest range of goods to the broadest number of people over the farthest geographic range using the minimum of human labor. One of the key components of this process is the standardized, interchangeable …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-11-05 19:36:00
click images for larger view (recommended)There are many nasty things to be said about New City, the massive 370,000 square-feet retail/residential center now coming on-line just south of the booming Halsted/Clybourn/North retail corridor.Most of all, that the seemingly endless exterior elevations  are not just bad, but horrifically, what-were-they-thinking, soul crushing bad.  Actually it's easy to imagine what they were thinking.  Those …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-11-03 19:01:00
click images for larger viewNo, Apple didn't decide to go pre-fab for the new store it's announced for Pioneer Court, the public plaza fronting Michigan Avenue just north of the Chicago River.  For that project, neither a design or a ground-breaking date have yet to be revealed.Instead, the swooping, curved structure at Pioneer Court is another example of the virtual world …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-10-31 13:48:00
click images for larger view"All the lights were on, but no one was home." Did you ever walk down a street late at night and have that phrase pop into your head.?A street with restaurants you were used to seeing bright and filled with people?A street they've told you is about to change utterly?  About to become still another avenue of tall, …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-10-23 16:21:00
Elva Rubio, Carlo Parente, Karla Sierralta, Carl Ray Miller, Stanley Tigerman, Martin Kläschen,Eva MaddoxIn the late 1970's, with Mies van der Rohe dead for nearly a decade and so-called "Miesian" architecture at its greatest point of power, architect Stanley Tigerman declared war with a single photo montage . . .click images for larger view"Two of us," Tigerman recalled last Thursday at …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-10-16 11:31:00
click images for larger viewFriday, October 16 at 9:30 a.m., in Room 1103 of City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will be holding a hearing for the public, owners, and any "unknown owners" to present comment on the proposal to make Bertrand Goldberg's Marina City complex an official Chicago landmark.A week or so ago, I had heard …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-10-12 11:27:00
click images to larger views What's an Architecture Biennial if you don't actually build stuff?  There are a number of full-up houses constructed inside the Chicago Cultural Center, but that wasn't enough.  The Chicago Architecture Biennial also seeks to colonize the Chicago lakefront with a series of four pavilions. The idea is to upgrade the poor quality of the 40+ small buildings …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-10-05 05:30:00
First of all, it's an incredible show.  The Cultural Center never looked so good.  As Margaret [McCurrey] said last night, this is a much better venue than in Venice.  I really am thrilled by the exhibition, by the energy of the catalog, the series of events that are going on and on and on for the next many weeks.  This show …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-09-30 06:39:00
click images for larger viewTwo years ago, the administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a Request for Proposals for the adoption of 49 underused public places owned by the city.  The parcels are all across the city, and range in size from 41,000 down to 436 square feet, with an average of 8,600.  Some, like the Nelson Algren Memorial at …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-09-22 04:50:00
click images for larger view The first Chicago Architecture Biennial doesn't begin until October 3rd, but already things with events relating to the opening last Saturday of the Art Institute's blockbuster exhibition, Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye.  Last Wednesday, the Tanzanian born, Britain-based architect was in conversation with exhibition curator Zoė Ryan, and on Saturday, Adjaye  and Ryan were back …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-09-07 16:03:00
click images for larger viewMany monuments of the labor movement can no longer be found.  That includes Solon Spencer Beman's Arcade Building in the company town of Pullman, now part of Chicago's far south side.  The photograph below is from the 1894 Pullman strike, called after the sleeping car company drastically cut wages while refusing to lower the rents it charged …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-09-02 05:13:00
click images for larger viewAs best as I can tell, not so much as an inch of Chicago's lakefront has any continuity to its original natural state, its shore was restlessly reshaped to meet the successive needs of explosively compounding metropolis.  Today, you'll find hardly a trace of original sand dune edge or the lowland marshes in which the stinky onions …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-08-30 19:01:00
And you thought the Verizon store was bad? This is the rendering accompanying a Saturday report by the Trib's Gregory Karp on the 60,000 square-foot Chicago flagship store for Japanese retailer Uniqlo. This is the latest addition to 830 North Michigan, just north of the Water Tower.  And this, again courtesy of the Trib, is where we started, back in 1949.Believe …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-08-24 13:54:00
I knew what was up the moment I saw them at the Fullerton L stop.  Young people, elegant dress, all in white, carrying food, wine and flowers.  I had seen it all before.  Two years ago, to be exact, when I came upon similar groups making their way up Michigan Avenue.So I followed them.  I had to follow them, because of …


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ArchitectureChicago PLUS 2015-08-12 11:26:00
click images for larger view PARK will take place this Saturday, August 15th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., at 2600 South Sacramento.  More information here.   Do you have a car in shades of black, brown or white? You still have the chance to participate  in PARK + 96 Acres . . . a large-scale data visualization, public art, and radio broadcast event …


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