Lakeside Center sits there, overlooking the shore as it has for 40 years. One wonders for how much longer.
For more than a decade after its 1971 completion, when you said "McCormick Place," the big, dark, glassy pavilion was it. Then came a quarter century of McCormick Place additions--a westward expansion that, thankfully, saved the lakefront, but left a landmark-quality modernist gem looking rather marooned on the east side of Lake Shore Drive. Separated from the pack and underutilized, the original McCormick Place seems a bit vulnerable now.
Will it come down? Mayor Daley has threatened a decade ago when he called it the Berlin Wall of the lakefront--he's right--and said it was too costly to maintain. And last year, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which owns McCormick Place, figured it would cost $100 million just to update the building; and a multi-million updating of the facility in the late 1990s is barely more than a decade old...
What would you do with the building? Keep it? Demolish it? A demo would be a blow to the city's fledgling efforts to protect modern architecture. Would we want to lose a building by Gene R.