Category Archives: Chicago

Diagnosing the Future: Modernism, Medicine and Historic Preservation

by Michael R. Allen Last week, the Chicago Commission on Landmarks for the second time unanimously voted to rescind the landmark designation for Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital (completed in 1975). The vote essentially dooms the innovative concrete-shell modernist hospital … Continue reading

Posted in Central West End, Chicago, Historic Preservation, Hospitals, Mid-Century Modern, The Ville | Leave a comment

The Chicago School of Architecture in Less Than 90 Seconds

by Michael R. Allen I found this neat little video in which inimitable Tim Samuelson explains the design principles of the Chicago School in under 90 seconds, using Chicago’s Marquette Building (1895, Holabird & Roche) as an example. The video … Continue reading

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Chicago Mayoral Preservation Survey

by Michael R. Allen Preservation organizations can be afraid of engaging electoral politics, but avoidance is not the best action. Leadership is needed on preservation policy, and it need not involve endorsement or direct participation in an election cycle. Landmarks … Continue reading

Posted in Best Practices, Chicago, Illinois | Leave a comment

Two Wayfinding Ideas from Illinois

by Michael R. Allen On a recent trip to Chicago, I came across the wonderful “Dearborn Avenue Cultural Walk.”  The “walk” is a self-guided architectural and cultural tour with information placed on illustrated signs along Dearborn. Each sign contains information … Continue reading

Posted in Belleville, Illinois, Best Practices, Chicago, Illinois | 2 Comments

Chicago Landmark Ordinance Case Returns to Circuit Court

by Michael R. Allen The legal battle to to overturn Chicago’s 42-year-old landmark ordinance continues, with a chilling effect on designation in Chicago and cautious attention elsewhere. Two property owners in local historic districts sued the city a few years … Continue reading

Posted in Chicago, Public Policy | 1 Comment

Blair Kamin in St. Louis

by Michael R. Allen Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin turns his Cityscapes blog toward St. Louis. Today’s introductory post includes this provocative assessment of Busch Stadium: “a retro ballpark that is too competent and context-driven to hate, but too … Continue reading

Posted in Chicago, Downtown | Leave a comment

Illinois Historic Tax Credit Bill Not Down or Out

by Michael R. Allen Illinois may yet pass a state historic rehabilitation tax credit this year. On March 18, the Illinois Senate passed SB 2559, which is now heading through the House committee process in the final days of this … Continue reading

Posted in Chicago, Illinois, Public Policy | Leave a comment

"Saving" a Chicago Church

by Michael R. Allen Over at ArchitectureChicago PLUS, Lynn Becker has posted renderings of a bizarre plan to “save” Chicago’s St. Boniface Church by retaining the front elevation and the street face of the crossing, demolishing the rest and constructing … Continue reading

Posted in Adaptive Reuse, Chicago, Historic Preservation | 4 Comments

An Update on the Louis Sullivan Film

by Michael R. Allen Two years ago, Mark Richard Smith began filming Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture. He visited St. Louis that year, shooting in the city at and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and I spent some time with … Continue reading

Posted in Architects, Chicago, Louis Sullivan | Leave a comment

Chicago Still Destroying Gropius’ Work

by Michael R. Allen St. Louis has a long way to go to catch up to Chicago. While our Archdiocese senselessly demolished a motel by Charles Colbert this year, Chicago city government has been working to demolish the Michael Reese … Continue reading

Posted in Chicago, Demolition, Mid-Century Modern | Leave a comment