WBEZ | Skidmore Owings & Merrill http://www.wbez.org/tags/skidmore-owings-merrill Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en In Gage Park, a midcentury bank and piece of Chicago history vanish http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-11/gage-park-midcentury-bank-and-piece-chicago-history-vanish-109238 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/10592307763_ef9d84ee4c_c.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px;" title="" /></p>The former Talman Federal Savings building, a Southwest Side midcentury modernist structure designed by Skidmore Owings &amp; Merrill, has been demolished.<p>Its expected replacement? An LA Fitness health club.</p><p>It&#39;s a sad end to a neighborhood building that not only stood on the corner of 55th and Kedzie, but also occupied the intersection of Chicago architecture and history.</p><p>Talman Federal began in 1922 at the kitchen table of 29-year-old Ben Bohac, living at&nbsp;51st and Talman. By 1955, Bohac&#39;s enterprise was one of the state&#39;s most successful savings and loan associations, with enough money and clout to hire a blue-chip architecture firm like&nbsp;Skidmore Owings &amp; Merrill to design the new building. The design won a certificate of merit award from the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1957.</p><p>The building is gone now, along with an addition and parking and banking annex across Kedzie. Photographer Martin Gonzalez documented Talman&#39;s demise last month.&nbsp;His photo above looks northwest, across the ruins to the former entry lobby in the background. Below is a photograph I took of the vacant, but still standing, Talman earlier this year.</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/P3199043_0.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Another view from Gonzalez. Bohac&#39;s name was still on the building as the demo equipment rolled:<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/10995418936_c7fa2f3107_z.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px;" title="" /></div><p>Again, here&#39;s Talman when I visited the building in April:</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/P3198995_0.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">This is an image from Gonzalez showing the 55th Street frontage under demolition and with graffiti:</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/10345669655_5d57379180_c.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 902px;" title="" /></div></div><p>Talman merged with LaSalle Bank, a&nbsp;subsidiary of&nbsp;Dutch banking giant&nbsp;ABN AMRO Bank N.V., in the 1990s, ending the empire Ben Bohac created.</p><p>Scores of 1950s and 1960s commercial buildings and churches are scattered among the pre-war Chicago bungalows and two-flats on the Southwest Side. If any good (other than the prospect of firm abs) can come of Talman&#39;s demolition, let&#39;s hope that it brings more attention&nbsp; to these neighborhoods and buildings.</p><p>Meanwhile, check out more of Martin Gonzalez&#39; work <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/25165196@N08/">here on flickr.</a></p><p><em>Lee Bey writes about Chicago architecture for WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter @LeeBey.</em></p></p> Tue, 26 Nov 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-11/gage-park-midcentury-bank-and-piece-chicago-history-vanish-109238 Demolition slated for an early Skidmore Owings & Merrill http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-07-12/demolition-slated-early-skidmore-owings-merrill-89003 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-12/Skidmore home_WBEZ_Lee Bey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-12/LloydHouseLCFPD_4.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>A dilapidated one-time country estate that is among the first works by the architecture firm that later became Skidmore Owings &amp; Merrill will be demolished by Lake County Forest Preserve, officials there said.</p><p>The Glen A. Lloyd House, built in 1936 in what is now Wright Woods Forest Preserve in suburban Mettawa, was designed by architect Nathaniel Owings and was completed the year the firm--then only Skidmore &amp; Owings--was founded.&nbsp; The forest preserve district acquired the vacant home and its surrounding acres in 2005; the home has suffered years of water damage and lack of maintenance since then.</p><p>The move to demolish the house comes after the district unsuccessfully tried to find a person or entity to repair and restore the home in exchange for a low-cost, long-term lease--an effort this blog <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-05-18/early-skidmore-owings-merrill-designed-home-faces-uncertain-future-86628">reported in May</a>. Repair estimates on the 6,000 sq ft dwelling ran past $1 million. No one stepped forward.</p><p>“In the end, we did not get any responses at all,” Lake County Forest Preserve Executive Director Tom Hahn told the <em>Daily Herald</em> earlier this week. “I know it’s hard for a number of the commissioners, but there really was no one out there."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-12/LloydHouseLCFPD_2.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The district's finance committee voted last week to demolish the house, but will first have the building documented. Salvaged pieces from the home could be donated to the Lake County Discovery Museum.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 12 Jul 2011 10:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-07-12/demolition-slated-early-skidmore-owings-merrill-89003 Redeveloping Wacker Drive, and Chicago’s riverfront http://www.wbez.org/story/architecture/redeveloping-wacker-drive-and-chicago%E2%80%99s-riverfront <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/riverwalk dan perry.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="../../../../../../blog/justin-kaufmann/video-sarah-jindra-gives-birds-eye-view-wacker-drive-traffic">Traffic has been snarled</a> in the Loop this week thanks to the second phase of <a href="http://www.wackerdrive.org/projects.cfm">Revive Wacker Drive</a>, a major reconstruction of the famous double-decker street. This three year, $366 million endeavor will shore up the stability of the north-south portion of the roadway and will rebuild the Congress Parkway interchange that leads to I-90/94 and I-290.</p> <div>The first phase of Wacker&rsquo;s redevelopment started in 1999 with improvements to the east-west portion of the street. And although it was not the project&rsquo;s primary goal, a second set of redevelopment opportunities arose along the Chicago River. Wacker Drive is just one part of the complex built environment along the river, and Mayor Daley encouraged the project managers to reclaim some of the area in front of the river for public use. You can see the results in the form of the Chicago Riverwalk, which runs along the east-west portion of Wacker near the Michigan Ave. bridge.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Riverwalk was the first part of a patchwork of plans past and future to improve public access to the downtown portion of the Chicago River. The city&rsquo;s vision for the riverfront was laid out in a 2009 plan developed by Chicago firm <a href="http://www.som.com/content.cfm/www_home">Skidmore, Owings &amp; Merrill</a> and includes wide pathways for walking and biking, a new market district, and theater space. If completed, the project would transform the face of Chicago&rsquo;s downtown. (You can see the entire Skidmore, Owings &amp; Merrill proposal in the extras section below.)</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>One key player in drafting plans for future improvements to the riverfront was Michelle Woods. Woods describes herself as a &ldquo;bridge builder,&rdquo; and in this case her meaning is literal. She is a bridge engineer for the Chicago Department of Transportation and was so heavily involved with the development of the under-bridge connections at Michigan and Wabash Avenues in 2009 that she joked they should rename the bridge &ldquo;Michelligan Ave.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the audio excerpt posted above, Woods explains what it took to transform the riverfront area along East and West Wacker. (Among other things it took creating new land in the middle of the river and securing an act of Congress.) It&rsquo;s a good reminder of how much work would be involved in developing the north-south portion of the river along Wacker, too. But if you&rsquo;ve been stuck in traffic this week you probably already knew that.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="../../../../../../series/dynamic-range"><em>Dynamic Range</em></a><em> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Michelle Woods spoke to an audience at the </em><a href="http://caf.architecture.org/"><em>Chicago Architecture Foundation</em></a><em> in May of 2010. Click </em><a href="../../../../../../episode-segments/chicago-riverwalk"><em>here</em></a><em> to hear her talk in its entirety, and click </em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wbez/id364380278"><em>here</em></a><em> to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast. </em></div></p> Fri, 07 Jan 2011 17:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/architecture/redeveloping-wacker-drive-and-chicago%E2%80%99s-riverfront