WBEZ | Keck & Keck http://www.wbez.org/tags/keck-keck Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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 Midcentury fans push for people to live glass houses http://www.wbez.org/content/midcentury-fans-push-people-live-glass-houses <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-23/Minsk House 1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>You don’t have to look very hard to see Chicago’s tradition of midcentury modern architecture. A Mies here, a Frank Lloyd Wright there; we’re lousy with ‘em. Classics like Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina City are on full display in the city (and through January, in <a href="http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/exhibition/bertrandgoldberg">a marvelous exhibit</a> in the Art Institute’s Modern Wing that is the architect’s first retrospective).</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-23/Minsk House 1.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 260px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title="The Minsk House in Riverwoods, Ill. (Dan Obermaier)">But for every IBM building there are a number of smaller gems scattered throughout the region: private homes, many if not most of which are in the suburbs.</p><p>Gary Gand founded the group <a href="http://www.chicagobauhausbeyond.org/">Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond</a> to document and preserve the architectural heritage of these homes, and he and his family practice what they preach. He and his wife, Joan, live in the <a href="http://jetsetmodern.com/keck.htm">Minsk House</a>, a low glass box of a home in Riverwoods, Ill. The house was built in 1955 by Chicago architects Keck &amp; Keck, best known for their contributions to the Century of Progress World's Fair, the <a href="http://houseplansllc.wordpress.com/category/round-houses/">House of Tomorrow</a> and the <a href="http://housing.progressivedisclosure.net/categories/homes/history-prefabricated-home/keck-crystal-house-george-fred-keck-1933-1934.html">Crystal House</a>.</p><p>When Gand spoke at the Chicago Architecture Foundation last year, he was there to celebrate the release of Bauhaus and Beyond’s first publication: <a href="http://www.chicagobauhausbeyond.org/news.htm">a book of Chicago Midcentury homes</a> captured by legendary architectural photographer Julius Shulman. And in the talk as in the book, Gand’s own home was very much on display. During the talk Gand described “what it’s like to live in a glass box” (answer: “We love it”) and explained why, when they moved in, they had to buy all new furniture to match the house. You can listen above.</p><p><em><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Gary Gand spoke at an event presented by the </em><em><a href="http://caf.architecture.org/"><em>Chicago Architecture Foundation</em></a></em><em>in June of 2010. Click </em><em><a href="../../episode-segments/julius-shulman-chicago-mid-century-modernism"><em>here </em></a></em><em>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Fri, 23 Sep 2011 19:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/midcentury-fans-push-people-live-glass-houses