Chicago Matters: Can Architecture Transform a City?

Chicago Matters: Can Architecture Transform a City?

Chicago is a city that many would say is defined by its architecture, both past and present. But in October the city began demolition on the Michael Reese hospital campus on Chicago’s South Side. The site includes a series of post- World War II modernist buildings co-designed by the architect Walter Gropius. Gropius is considered by many to be one of the pioneers of modern architecture. People are actually gathering to protest the demolition today in Daley Plaza. Still this isn’t the first time that Chicago has decided to get rid of the old and hustle in the new.

As part of our ongoing series Chicago Matters Beyond Burnham, we spend the hour talking about the role that architecture plays in a city’s identity. We’ll hear from a local architect who’s busy building a new 82 story LEED certified tower near Millenium Park, and we’ll also take a quick look at the city’s rich architectural history and the monuments and neighborhoods that are recognized worldwide. Our guests today included:

Lee Bey is the Executive Director of the Chicago Central Area Committee and the former architecture critic for the Chicago Sun -Times. He writes the blog Lee Bey: the Urban Observer.

Robert Bruegmann is a historian of architecture, landscape and the built environment. He is on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Architecture and Art History. He’s written several books on the history of architecture and urban planning.

Karrie Jacobs is a contributing editor to Metropolis magazine, where she writes the America column. She is also on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts’ graduate program in Design Criticism and the author of the book “The Perfect $100,000 House.”

Jeanne Gang is the principal and founder of Studio Gang, an architecture firm based here in Chicago, and the architect behind Chicago’s newest skyscraper, the Aqua building.