WBEZ | Chicago architecture http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-architecture Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chase Tower: Seeds for skyscraper were planted 50 years ago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-06/chase-tower-seeds-skyscraper-were-planted-50-years-ago-107619 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P5042673.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">There have been times I&#39;ve walked past downtown&#39;s Chase Tower and thought the building to be magnificent.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Think of that sunken plaza with the Marc Chagall mosaic. Or the way the 850-foot tall skyscraper sweeps itself upward from that plaza. It is as wide-legged as a letter &#39;a&#39; at the base then tapers with curve as it rises. Good stuff, no?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Then on other days, I&#39;ve been less impressed. Too much Texas granite cladding. The windows and mullions look cheaply done. The building looks more &quot;Houston,&quot; than &quot;Chicago&quot;?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The latest round of my mental push-and-pull over the building happened when my travels took me and my camera by Chase Tower a few days ago. Completed in 1969 as headquarters for First National Bank of Chicago, the tower&#39;s life essentially began in 1963 when the bank bought the 45-story <a href="http://www.cardcow.com/images/set11/card15115_fr.jpg">Morrison Hotel</a> at Clark and Madison. The purchase, along with that of two neighboring large buildings, gave First National ownership of a block bounded by Clark, Dearborn, Madison and Monroe.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The entire block was razed to build the new tower. The Morrison Hotel was the tallest building ever voluntarily demolished&mdash;a feat surpassed in 1968 when New York brought down the 47-story Singer Building in 1968.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Chase Tower was designed by architecture firms Perkins &amp; Will and C.F. Murphy &amp; Associates. Because branch banking was not legal when the building was designed, architects gave the tower a big ground-floor banking hall. The tower got slender as it rose and transitioned to office space. It was a darn good design solution, but I find the execution maddenlingy uneven.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The building looks<a href="http://www.earthinpictures.com/world/usa/chicago/chase_tower_-_view_from_the_sears_tower.jpg"> great from afar</a>. But up close, sometimes things get a little clumsy:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P5042691.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The plaza is right-angled and symmetrical. &nbsp;Try sitting there in the summertime and all that hardscape can broil you, if the sun is in certain positions. I&#39;d like to see landscape architects revisit this space with modern eyes&mdash;and solutions.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P5042745.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">As the tower neared completion, a 1968 <em>Chicago Tribune</em>&nbsp;headine asked &quot;It&#39;s handsome&mdash;but is it great?&quot; Almost 45 years later, it&#39;s a question still worth pondering.</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-06/chase-tower-seeds-skyscraper-were-planted-50-years-ago-107619 Here's one for the books: a former printing house enjoys second life as a student residence hall http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-04/heres-one-books-former-printing-house-enjoys-second-life-student-residence <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P3289733.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">I&#39;ve passed by the Printer&#39;s Row corner of Polk St., and Plymouth Ct., countless times on foot and by car. But it wasn&#39;t until a recent stroll that I saw&ndash;and I mean really <em>saw</em>&ndash;the magnificent 19th century jewel on the intersection&#39;s northeast side.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The brick and limestone edifice at 731 S. Plymouth Ct celebrates its 20th year as the Columbia College Residence Center, one of an abundance of South Loop buildings bought and repurposed by the arts college in recent decades. The structure was built in 1899 as the Lakeside Press Building, part of the R.R. Donnelly publishing empire.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">It&#39;s an industrial building. Let that sink in for a bit. Far removed, designwise, from the cement block and corrugated metal roof ciphers that often house industry these days, this printing press building has piers, symmetry, arches, detailing, presence&mdash;it&#39;s all there.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">No wonder, given the building was designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw, a premiere architect of his day. His work includes the under appreciated Mentor Building, a Prairie School skyscraper at 39 S. State St., prestigious homes in Lake Forest, and the larger and better-known Lakeside Press Building, 350 E.Cermak.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The Lakeside Press Building on Plymouth Ct., was Shaw&#39;s first big commission. He was 30 when the building was completed. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P3289759.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P3289739.jpg" title="" /></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-04/heres-one-books-former-printing-house-enjoys-second-life-student-residence On an unexpectedly mod corner in Gage Park, could a midcentury bank be at risk? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-03/mod-corner-gage-park-106356 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P3198995.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The Gage Park community is a classic city neighborhood with the ranks of Chicago bungalows, brick two-flats and other buildings constructed before the Great Depression.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But the working class neighborhood went a bit go-go in the 1950s and 1960s, and the result is some unexpectedly modern buildings turning up here and there in the mainly pre-War landscape.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">A prime example is the corner of 55th and Kedzie, which boasts the former Talman Federal Savings &amp; Loan, the midcentury gem by Skidmore Owings &amp; Merrill seen above and St. Gall Catholic Church, a curved modern stunner with a 60 foot stainless steel crucifix in front. The church was designed by the unheralded (but quite worthy) Pavlecic <span class="st">Kovacevic &amp; Ota</span>.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P3198978.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 601px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Built in 1956, St. Gall is in use and I&#39;m not worried about its future. But I wonder about the long-vacant Talman Federal. The block long building has been vacant for years and is currently for sale. Given it occupies a well-traveled corner and has surface parking present and zoned-in, I fear a pharmacy chain or another retail coveter of spots like this will demo the building and break up this intriguing pair of modernist buildings. Especially as the economy picks up a bit.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The former Talman S&amp;L was built in 1955. Along with mechanical revolving doors and heated sidewalks, SOM gave the bank a glassy corner lobby that leads to the banking floor. The boxy, overhanging second and third stories are clad in blue tile. The design won a Certificate of Merit award from the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1957.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Today it sits bare. Ghost lettering shows where the name was strippped from the facade:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P3199043.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">A major three-story addition to the south in 1968 took its design cues from the SOM building.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P3198935.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Could the building be repurposed? Might there be another use for the office spaces and facilities within? Could it become a library, a public school or a community center? It&#39;s a conversation worth having, while we can. On a single intersection, two cathedrals&mdash;one to God, the other to Mammon&mdash;have stood together for almost 60 years. Here&#39;s hoping there is room enough and time enough for them both.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ****</div><div class="image-insert-image ">About Pavlecic <span class="st">Kovacevic &amp; Ota</span>, the now-defunct architecture firm that designed St. Gall&#39;s: The small firm operating around Chicago and suburbs is worth researching and revisiting. I&#39;ll close with this gem, the firm&#39;s former Brookfield Savings and Loan (now Citibank) at 9009 Ogden in Brookfield.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3261958694_519a216d94_o.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 531px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 05:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-03/mod-corner-gage-park-106356 Richard H. Driehaus Prize to be awarded to Chicago architect http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/richard-h-driehaus-prize-be-awarded-chicago-architect-106239 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS7156_hwashington-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Oak Park native Thomas H. Beeby will receive the Richard H. Driehaus Prize Saturday.</p><p>Beeby is the architect behind buildings including the Harold Washington Library and the Harris Theater at Millennium Park. It&#39;s the first time a Chicago area architect is taking home the international award.</p><p>WBEZ&rsquo;s architecture blogger Lee Bey said Beeby&rsquo;s style is very important to the city.</p><p>&ldquo;The genius of Tom&rsquo;s work is that he incorporates these elements in a way that references the past but doesn&rsquo;t somehow replicate the past,&quot; Bey said. &quot;It&rsquo;s a really fine line and he is able to master it.&rdquo;</p><p>Beeby is known for designs of large and sturdy public buildings that fully embrace classical columns and arches.</p><p>The $200,000 prize is given out to living architects whose work embodies ideals of traditional and classical architecture.</p></p> Fri, 22 Mar 2013 15:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/richard-h-driehaus-prize-be-awarded-chicago-architect-106239 A midcentury gem: Chicago's Diamond Bank http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-03/midcentury-gem-chicagos-diamond-bank-105868 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2277808.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 408px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">I&#39;d passed the corner of Clark and North countless times without noticing--really noticing--the Diamond Bank building on the intersection&#39;s northwest corner.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Built in 1961 as North Federal Savings &amp; Loan, the two-story modernist building is visually overshadowed by the huge, Byzantine-styled Moody Church just to the north. But as I discovered last week, the glassy, transparent and well-kept bank building is worth a look--inside and out.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image ">The building was designed by Naess &amp; Murphy on the heels of the firm&#39;s better-known works such the Prudential Building and the former Sun-Times Building, 401 N. Wabash. While those buildings read as updated pre-World War II structures, North Federal was full-on modernism,with a glass curtain wall wrapping around the long rectangular structure and exposed exterior columns creating an unobstructed banking floor inside.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">By the 1960s, Naess &amp; Murphy would become C.F. Murphy Associates, a modernist powerhouse with work that includes the stellar CNA Building at Jackson and Wabash, McCormick Place&#39;s Lakeside Center, the Daley Center and more.&nbsp; North Federal is a small, but noteworthy step in the firm&#39;s evolution.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2277730.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 447px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The building&#39;s design phase began in 1959, according to the city&#39;s landmark commission&#39;s report on the bank. The report also said the look was influenced by Manhattan&#39;s Manufacturers Trust bank building, designed by Gordon Bunshaft of SOM. <a href="http://www.postalesinventadas.com/2012/08/manufacturers-trust-bank-dear-charles.html">Agreed</a>, but Bunshaft&#39;s columns are inside the curtain wall, allowing the box to read a bit purer.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Diamond Bank looks good on the inside as well. The interior&#39;s decor has been updated, but the midcentury bones, spirit and layout are still evident. Praise the bank for not cluttering up this view with window signs:</div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2277834-Edit-Edit.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 450px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">...and for keeping this ceiling of suspended light diffusers, which also have a sculptural effect:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2277882.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 808px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">A staircase wraps around an exposed elevator core--that is covered in gold ceramic tile. That terrazo floor is pretty cool, too.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2277901.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 493px;" title="" /></div></div><p>Diamond Bank had been considered for landmark status a few years ago as part of a designation honoring neighborhood bank buildings. But the building was denied because it was the only midcentury building in the proposed designation.</p><p>Architect <span data-ft="{&quot;tn&quot;:&quot;K&quot;}" id=".reactRoot[56].[1][2][1]{comment114226092097409_26372}.0.[1].0.[1].0.[0].[0][2]"><span class="UFICommentBody" id=".reactRoot[56].[1][2][1]{comment114226092097409_26372}.0.[1].0.[1].0.[0].[0][2].0"><span id=".reactRoot[56].[1][2][1]{comment114226092097409_26372}.0.[1].0.[1].0.[0].[0][2].0.[0]">Mits Otsuji</span></span></span> designed the bank while at Naess &amp; Murphy, according to Vince Michael, architecture historian and executive director of the Global Heritage Fund.&nbsp; As for C.F. Murphy, the firm became Murphy/Jahn and now, <a href="http://www.jahn-us.com/">Jahn</a>.</p></p> Mon, 04 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-03/midcentury-gem-chicagos-diamond-bank-105868 New college dorm in Pilsen is gaining attention--and accolades http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-02/new-college-dorm-pilsen-gaining-attention-and-accolades-105573 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2167337.jpg" title="" />Much too often, Chicago neighborhoods get stuck with a bad pieces of architecture.<p>So it is worth celebrating when good design occurs in the community, as is the case with La Casa Student Housing and Resource Center, a college dorm that opened last fall in the Pilsen neighborhood.</p><p>The six-story building at 18<sup>th</sup> and Paulina cuts a tall, graceful figure along 18<sup>th</sup>,&nbsp; with masonry exterior walls that pull back&mdash;and up&mdash;to reveal glassy corners and a base.The building hits the right note in the historic neighborhood by using heft and masonry of its older neighbors, then reworking the elements into a contemporary form.</p><p>Designed for Chicago college students who want to stay close to home, the $12 million building is the brainchild of <a href="http://resurrectionproject.org/">The Resurrection Project</a>.&nbsp; La Casa has 25 four-bedroom suites and amenities such as a fitness center, tutors and on-site counseling.</p><p>The building&rsquo;s purpose and program have garnered it early acclaim, including a New York Times profile. And now its design is getting notice. La Casa&rsquo;s architecture earned the Richard Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design at the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards held at the Chicago Hilton &amp; Towers last Wednesday.</p></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2167404.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2167341.jpg" title="" />La Casa was designed by UrbanWorks, a Chicago architecture firm that&rsquo;s been on a pretty good tear lately, particularly with an <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-09/architecture-design-unos-newest-charter-school-deserves-praise-102764">UNO school</a> in Galewood and Roseland&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.urbanworksarchitecture.com/projects/residential_10.html">All Saints Residence </a>home for seniors.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-02/new-college-dorm-pilsen-gaining-attention-and-accolades-105573 And there it Goes: Demolition claims historic South Side printing company building http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-02/and-there-it-goes-demolition-claims-historic-south-side-printing-company <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2126959.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Goes Lithographing Company was a Chicago fixture for better than a century, with stock certificates, iconic colorful posters for the 1933 World&#39;s Fair, the Illinois Central Railroad--even President Obama calendars--rolling out from its Washington Park neighborhood plant.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Built in 1904, Goes building was a bit of an icon itself: a handsome 75,000 square-foot complex with a three-story main building topped with Flemish diagonal bond brickwork and masterfully-done brick dentils. Tucked away at 61st and Perry, the family-owned business was a remaining bright spot in the neighborhood&#39;s long-faded industrial corridor.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But no more. In 2010 Goes left and moved 92 miles north to the town of Delavan, WI.&nbsp; And now within days, the company&#39;s 109-year-old former building--a beautiful example of early 20th century industrial architecture--will be demolished. Northfolk Southern Railroad bought the building and will build a truck depot on its site. The company has a railyard nearby at 63rd and State.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Goes president Chris Goes said the company decided to move after discovering vibrations from passsing trains would jostle sensitive new presses.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;The vibration of the railroad would affect the quality of the print on an electronic printing press,&quot;&nbsp; said Goes, whose great grandfather built the structure. &quot;The railroad created too much vibrations when it passed.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In addition, Goes said the old building wasn&#39;t fully air-conditioned. And the city wasn&#39;t much help in keeping the area around the building clean or enforcing better upkeep of the nearby railroad embankment, he said.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;I would say as far as manufacturing goes, they don&#39;t give a good goddamn,&quot; Goes said of the city. &quot;So were up here in Delavan, continuing our business.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>Workers were removing Goes signage from the building when I visited last week with my camera. The plant&#39;s low-rise north wing had already been demolished along with an adjoining exterior wall of the main building--revealing the bones of the structure and its interior spaces.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2127217.jpg" title="" /></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2127099.jpg" title="" /></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">I took a peek inside the building:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2127171.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">A section of signage is lowered to the ground:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P2127066.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">If only the building could have been reused. Artists&#39; space. A business incubator. Manufacturing of a different kind. <em>Anything</em> but demolition.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">At least with a truck depot there, the land won&#39;t become yet another vacant South Side lot.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;Which might be a good thing because [the site] is still active,&quot; Goes said.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;But it might be a bad thing because everything in the trucks is made in China.&quot;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 18 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-02/and-there-it-goes-demolition-claims-historic-south-side-printing-company Faded architectural star of Chicago world's fair now in peril http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-05/faded-architectural-star-chicago-worlds-fair-now-peril-98673 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-2354.jpg" style="width: 540px; height: 476px;" title=""></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The House of Tomorrow, a modernist,12-sided exhibition home built for Chicago's 1933 World's Fair is among Indiana's 10 most endangered buildings, according to the state's leading preservation group.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The vacant, 90-year-old home is one of five surviving exhibition homes from the Century of Progress fair that were relocated to Beverly Shores, Ind. in 1934 by developer Robert Bartlett. In its announcement, Indiana Landmarks said the House of Tomorrow is "the most important and [most] deteriorated of the five." The organization said the home is in need of an owner who can repair the property.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Designed by Chicago architects George and William Keck, the house wowed fairgoers with then unheard of features such as glass exterior walls, air conditioning, a dishwasher and automatically opening kitchen and garage doors. The home even had an airplane bay on its ground floor.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Here's how the home originally looked:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/House_Of_Tomorrow_01663A.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 291px;" title="(Courtesy Hedrich Blessing Photographers)"></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><p>A close-up of the space beneath the home, taken during my visit the house two years ago, shows the deterioration:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-2358.jpg" style="width: 440px; height: 265px;" title=""></div><p>The home and four others from the fair sit on a lakeside spot that ultimately became the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore--and are owned by the National Park Service. The park service cannot sell the homes, but had rented them out--and has not done much to maintain the houses--since the 1960s. The House of Tomorrow and the other fair homes were named to the Indiana Landmarks' "Most Endangered" list in 1993.</p><p>In 1996, Indiana Landmarks arranged <a href="http://www.nps.gov/indu/historyculture/leasing.htm">a new deal</a> with the National Park Service that would allow residents to live in the homes for free in exchange for fixing them up. The program has helped rescue two of the homes with the most spectacular save being the Florida Tropical House, once a flamingo-colored wreck. Here it is now:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled%20shoot-2338.jpg" style="width: 540px; height: 365px;" title=""></div></div></div><p>Indiana Landmarks 2012 Most Endangered list <a href="http://www.indianalandmarks.org/NewsPhotos/10most/Pages/default.aspx">can be found here</a>.</p></p> Tue, 01 May 2012 13:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-05/faded-architectural-star-chicago-worlds-fair-now-peril-98673 September 11th and its lasting effect on Chicago architecture http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-09/september-11th-and-its-lasting-effect-chicago-architecture-91756 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-09/RS3729_Water Taxi on Chi River_Flickr_Keith Johnston.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>September 11th had potential to change many of the familiar elements in our landscape: Take the physical structures that form Chicago. Architecture, a critical part of the city's DNA, from the famous skyline all the way down to the massive Deep Tunnel. After the attacks, many viewed some of the city’s bold and iconic designs as potential targets.</p><p>Blair Kamin and Lee Bey joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss how much architecture changed after 9/11. Ten years ago, Bey was deputy chief of staff for architecture and urban planning, under Mayor Daley. <a href="http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/theskyline/" target="_blank">Kamin</a> is architecture critic for the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> and author of <em>Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age</em>. Bey now writes about the city and photographs local structures for <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey" target="_blank">WBEZ.org</a>. Bey is also the executive director of the Chicago Central Area Committee.</p></p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 14:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-09/september-11th-and-its-lasting-effect-chicago-architecture-91756 Architectural sketches of South Shore http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-05-16/architectural-sketches-south-shore-86632 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-17/South Shore blgd_Lee Bey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-17/P5073342.jpg" style="width: 497px; height: 323px;" title=""></p><p>I took a photostroll recently through a section of South Shore.</p><p>The neighborhood has a wealth of fine residential and pre-war commercial architecture that goes largely unsung--at least by many of those who aren't from the area. The folks who live there know what they've got, but more on that later.</p><p>Let's begin at the top of the post with a two-story retail building--with second story apartments--on 71st Street.It is a handsome brick-and-terra-cotta structure. The rounded first floor store entrance is a welcoming presence on the wide intersection. The Metra Electric travels on the rails in the foreground.&nbsp;</p><p>The home below is in South Shore's Jackson Highlands subsection, where the broad lawns and larger homes resemble the stuff you'd see in Oak Park, Beverly or other largely middle-to-upper middle class areas built before World War II.&nbsp;</p><p>I'm digging that Dutch gambrel roof and the well-cut shrubbery (although depending on your monitor, you might be getting unfortunate <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moir%C3%A9_pattern">moire</a></em> lines across the brickwork):</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-17/P5073351.jpg" style="width: 472px; height: 420px;" title=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Look at this Florentine beauty at 70th and Constance, also in the Jackson Highlands. The 84-year-old home boasts a Mediterranean tile roof and some traffic-stopping exterior brickwork.</p><p>Louis Richardson, vice president of the Rock Island Railroad, built the house in 1927, but died four years later. His widow, Mahala, died in 1934 at the age of 56:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-17/P5073356.jpg" style="width: 507px; height: 592px;" title=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The home is the work of architects Betts, Holcomb &amp; Baron. Holcomb &amp; Baron is a firm that also designed movie theaters.&nbsp; Looks like the house suffered some interior fire damage. Workers were their either cleaning it or fixing it when I walked by.</p><p>Meawhile, gaze (because mere "looking" hardly suffices) at the home's main entrance:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-17/P5073359.jpg" style="width: 439px; height: 658px;" title=""></p><p>I took the photostroll with South Shore residents who are newly-trained as neighborhood docents by the <a href="http://caf.architecture.org/">Chicago Architecture Foundation</a>.</p><p>It's a <a href="http://www.southshorechamberinc.org/blog/?p=361">new program</a> in which the organization partners with community leaders to raise up local experts--the folks who already know what they've got--and give them the docent skills to lead tours, identify and talk about the buildings and important places in their neighborhoods. In their own voice. And with their own stories.</p><p>The program soon will expand to include Chatham and other neighborhoods.</p></p> Tue, 17 May 2011 04:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-05-16/architectural-sketches-south-shore-86632