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Archive for the ‘architecture’ tag

Favorite uploads to Flickr in April 2012

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Continuing a tradition: these are my 24 (!) personal favorites, all developed in my digital darkroom last month. In no particular order…

/ Posted in / 2012 / April (122 items)

(click here to see more Flickr: Archive of your uploads to Flickr in April 2012.)

And yeah, I have too many favorites this month. A good problem, but a problem nonetheless.

Where Did All The Blue Skies Go
Where Did All The Blue Skies Go

Waiting for the Seed To Sprout
Waiting for the Seed To Sprout

Golden Plowshares
Golden Plowshares

Waiting for A Friend
Waiting for A Friend

The former USPS building, still not being developed.

River City and Van Buren Street Bridge
River City and Van Buren Street Bridge

Washing the Trump
Washing the Trump

Don't Reveal a Thing You've Learned
Don’t Reveal a Thing You’ve Learned

April 18th Blues
April 18th Blues

Franklin Street Bridge at Night
Franklin Street Bridge at Night
This one made it to Flickr Explore. Taken from the Holiday Inn at Wolf Point – my folks were in town for the night on their way to Italy for three weeks.

Wounded In The Line of Duty
Wounded In The Line of Duty

Little Tramp
Little Tramp

London.

Eyeing John Marshall Law School
Eyeing John Marshall Law School

Word Gets Around Eventually
Word Gets Around Eventually

World Weary - Copper Blue
World Weary – Copper Blue

World Weary - Red Bleach
World Weary – Red Bleach

World Weary - Duotoned
World Weary – Duotoned

London Towers
London Towers

Someone To Tell Your Troubles To
Someone To Tell Your Troubles To

Suspicions
Suspicions

Painted Trees Overlooking LSD
Painted Trees Overlooking LSD

Wherever I Lay My Head
Wherever I Lay My Head

Mysterious Language of Lines and Circles
Mysterious Language of Lines and Circles

Coach Has Arrived
Coach Has Arrived

Waiting For Air Traffic Control
Waiting For Air Traffic Control

Slide show version here

(Last month’s edition)

Written by Seth Anderson

May 4th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

InterContinental Chicago aka Medinah Athletic Club

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InterContinental Chicago aka Medinah Athletic Club
InterContinental Chicago aka Medinah Athletic Club, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

South Tower, designed by architect Walter W. Ahlschlager. Click here for lightbox version.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InterContinental_Chicago

The Medinah Athletic Club building was intended to combine elements of many architectural styles. At the eighth floor, its Indiana limestone facade was decorated by three large relief carvings in ancient Assyrian style. Each frieze depicted a different scene in the order of constructing a building, with Contribution on the south wall, Wisdom represented on the west wall and Consecration on the north. (According to an article in the Chicago Tribune from Sept 16, 1928 entitled “Building art inspires panels”:“The friezes were designed by George Unger, in collaboration with Walter Ahlschlager, and carved by Leon Hermant. The figures are costumed in the period of the building, which is that of an old fortress in Mesopotamia in Xerxes time, about 5th century BC.

The theme of the panels as explained by Mr. Unger, was inspired by the history of construction of any building. The south panel starts the story. Here a magnificent cortege is displayed. This panel, termed Contribution, signifies the getting together of treasures for the construction of the building. In the west panel, facing Michigan Avenue, a ruler is shown with his counselors and an architect is shown bringing in a model of the building planned. The north panel shows the consecration of the building after it has been built. A priest is sacrificing a white bull whose blood will be mixed with crushed grapes and poured into the earth. A monkey trainer and his animals are shown. Since the animals represented bigotry in the ancient drawings, they are shown here in leash as symbolic belief that bigotry has no place in the Masonic order.”) The figures in all three scenes are said to be modeled after the faces of club members at the time of its design. Three Sumerian warriors were also carved into the facade at the twelfth floor setback, directly above the Michigan Avenue entrance, and remain visible today.

The exotic gold dome, which is Moorish in influence, originated as part of a decorative docking port for dirigibles – a notion conceived before the Hindenburg disaster in 1937. Years later, the building would lose several feet with the dismantling of an ornamental canopy on the small turret north of the dome. This chimney-like structure was originally intended to assist in the docking of these air ships, but it was never put into use. Inside the dome, a glass cupola and spiral iron staircase resembling the top of a lighthouse led down to the hotel’s upper elevator landing.

Never took a good photo of this building before last month.

Written by swanksalot

May 2nd, 2012 at 7:49 am

Jewels of Olmsted’s Unspoiled Midwest – Jackson Park

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Lagoon in jackson park with bird
Lagoon in jackson park with bird

Coincidentally, we are planning on visiting this park on Labor Day…

FEW people can claim to know America as deeply as Frederick Law Olmsted did. During a long, full and peripatetic life (1822-1903), he crisscrossed the country by rail, stagecoach, horseback and on foot. “I was born for a traveler,” he once said.

Ever the reformer, he was also drawn to the notion that landscape architecture could serve various social engineering purposes, providing respite from teeming cities, say, or forcing people of varied backgrounds to mix and mingle. He once described his park work as a “democratic development of the highest significance.”

Here, then, is a look at some of his work in the Midwest — lesser-known than his most famous projects, but still life-changing for millions of Americans.

Jackson Park, Chicago

Recognizing that the pomp of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago had the potential to overwhelm visitors, Olmsted1 was intent on creating a landscape that would act as a soothing naturalistic counterpoint. First, he selected the fair’s site, singling out a parcel on the city’s South Side. Years earlier, Olmsted and Calvert Vaux — his collaborator on early works like Central Park — had designed a park for this very spot, but little of their plan had been executed.

Working solo, Olmsted set out to complete the park, which was by then chosen for fairgrounds. He created an intricate network of lagoons, so that visitors could travel through the fair on small boats. He also repurposed muck that was dredged to create the lagoons in order to bulk up a lonely little hillock into the 16-acre Wooded Island, which he planted with hemlock and other trees.

During the fair, Teddy Roosevelt thought it was the ideal spot to set up his Boone and Crockett hunting club, but Olmsted said no to the future president and other exhibitors who wanted a piece of his island. He intended it, he wrote in a letter, as “a place of relief from all the splendor and glory and noise and human multitudinousness of the great surrounding Babylon.”

The famous White City — a collection of neo-Classical buildings lined with electric lights, a dazzling new invention at the time — is mostly long gone. But Olmsted’s fairgrounds, now known as Jackson Park, remain. Within its 600 acres, you can still find stretches of the original lagoons. The Wooded Island is still there, too, and it’s my favorite part of the park: an oasis of calm smack in the center of hectic Chicago.

 

(click here to continue reading Jewels of Olmsted’s Unspoiled Midwest – NYTimes.com.)

Footnotes:
  1. Frederick Law Olmsted’s Wikipedia entry []

Written by Seth Anderson

September 3rd, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Arts,Chicago-esque

Tagged with

New pavilion for the Chicago zoo

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Pavilion, Nature Boardwalk

Played hooky this afternoon, and walked over in Lincoln Park to see the new Urban Oasis, as the prairie restoration and redesign of the south of the Lincoln Park Zoo is being called. So pretty, even though a lot of the plants haven’t filled in yet.  Studio Gang did the work, with Chicago architect Jeanne Gang the leading force.

Enter Studio Gang, the local firm that has built many of the city’s recent landmarks, including the Aqua condo tower and the new media center at Columbia College. With a mission to turn the 19th-century urban park from a city-tap fed water source into a natural habitat boasting a vibrant “pond life”, the firm set out to recreate the landscape, through accessible pathways embedded with educational pavilions and exhibit design. In essence, the holistic scheme combines the natural habitat with captivating (but not overwhelming) architecture.

First came the ecological considerations. The firm deepened the pond for better oxygenation, building a surrounding watershed and integrating plant shelves for filtering runoff. Then came the built aspect of the project: Studio Gang devised a winding boardwalk made of recycled plastic milk bottles and featuring educational kiosks. This is a place, after all, where elementary school kids will perform pH tests on the soil and test water quality.

It’s also a place that bicyclists, yogis and the general public will enjoy thanks to *the brilliant pavilion on the boardwalk. The tortoise shell–inspired structure is made of prefab wooden parts, milled and assembled in a self-supporting arch that eschews columns. Uplit by the boardwalk’s recessed ground lights, the structure glows at night like honeycomb lanterns.

(click here to continue reading Azure :: Jeanne Gang’s brilliant pavilion for a Chicago zoo.)

I took some photos with my Nikon, but haven’t processed them yet, so iPhone photos1 will have to suffice for now.

Urban Oasis in Lincoln Park

De Zeen Design Magazine has more details of the structure, if you are interested.

Footnotes:
  1. Hipstamatic, natch []

Written by Seth Anderson

May 23rd, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Posted in Arts,Chicago-esque

Tagged with ,

Frank Schmidt and Son aka Susie China

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Susie China

Susie China, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

store front on Lincoln (?) Ave. Love some of the details – probably meant something to the original owner. The only symbol I’m sure about is the Chicago Y in the upper center – symbolizing the three branches of the Chicago River.

The restaurant itself is closed now too. I should revisit with my better camera

(this was taken in 2006 with a D70 – my current camera is ten times better. Well, at least in name, D7000)

Written by swanksalot

May 15th, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , ,

CCP Holden Building purchased by SCC

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CCP Holden 1872

Good news re: an old, seemingly abandoned historic Chicago building on W. Madison. Local ad agency Schafer Condon Carter has purchased it, and it going to restore it. I don’t know how much they paid, nor how much they’ve budgeted to modernize it, but I’m happy they are doing so.

An employee left the following comment on the above Flickr photo:

Hey, good news! The advertising agency I work for, Schafer Condon Carter, recently bought the building and are in the early stages of internal demolition. We will be moved in by November of this year! The space has been vacant for quite some time and desperately needs some love which we’re all excited to give it! You can track the buildings progress from our site, www.sccadv.com. We will be installing time-lapsing cameras to catch its development. Cheers.

and via www.urbanremainschicago.com/item.aspx?itemID=700

charles p. holden was a well-known chicago resident during the 1860’s & 70’s. he was deeply involved in real estate and/or development in and around the westside of chicago. this particular building was built shortly after the great chicago fire of 1871. as a consequence of the fire, this structure contains 8 seperate vaults w/ ornamental cast iron safe doors. that way, any valuable assets stashed away could be rescued if another conflaguration was to arise. in addition to the vaults, the first floor contained cast iron fluted columns w. corinthian capitals. the window and door casings were milled in a deep relief pine wood (typical of this period). interestingly, the load bearing columns on all of the upper floors were fashioned in the form of rounded wood columns w/ simple banding near the cap. the decorative stone facade will be rehabilitated during the building’s conversion to other uses.

From the SCC website:

Schafer|Condon|Carter (SCC) is pleased to announce its purchase of the C.C.P. Holden building at 1027 W. Madison Street in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The agency plans to move its operations to the 34,500 square-foot building in the fall of 2011 after an extensive renovation.

C.C.P. Holden, a well-known Chicago political figure, railroad magnate and real estate developer was very involved in the massive reconstruction efforts after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and built the Italianate limestone, sandstone, terra cotta, brick and timber structure in 1872. It is one of only a handful of such architectural gems in Chicago. SCC will be working with Chicago-based Widler Architecture on the restoration.  When finished it will be a model of conservation and sustainability.

(click here to continue reading Schafer | Condon | Carter.)

1872 C C P Holden
another view

I’ll have to stop over there later this summer and see what changes are visible from the outside.

Written by Seth Anderson

April 13th, 2011 at 11:03 am

Full

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Full

Chicago’s iconic Marina City Tower, closeup. Designed by Bertrand Goldberg. If I’m not mistaken, if you park here, there is a valet service that will back your car into your designated spot. I’d be a little nervous parking here, at least the first few times.

Six Planes Over Marina City

here’s a different angle of the same building.

Written by Seth Anderson

March 31st, 2011 at 9:25 am

Posted in Chicago-esque,Photography

Tagged with

Demolition of Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Hospital Scheduled

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Any Porthole in a Storm

I had thought the Bertrand Goldberg designed Prentice Women’s Hospital was already demolished years ago, but apparently not.

As Rahm Emanuel prepares to takes office May 16, the first big historic preservation battle of his mayoralty is taking shape: Northwestern University is gearing up to tear down the old Prentice Women’s Hospital, designed by Bertrand Goldberg, the architect of Marina City, and replace it with a new medical research building.

If the university wins city permission for demolition, it could be wrecking the boldly sculptural, brilliantly engineered high-rise at the very time the Art Institute of Chicago is celebrating it as part of a major exhibition of Goldberg’s work. “Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention,” opens September 10 and runs through Jan. 8, 2012.

Such a glaring juxtaposition, with creativity displayed on the museum’s walls and ransacked outside them, would reveal to the world anew that Chicago destroys architectural landmarks as fast as the city builds them. And it would demonstrate just how hard it can be to save leading examples of mid-20th Century modernism. Although widely admired by architects, old Prentice is by no means beloved by the broader public. Some liken it to a prison.

Located at 333 E. Superior St., the 36-year-old high-rise is unquestionably a major work in Goldberg’s career.

Preservationists have already laid the groundwork for a fight, meeting on old Prentice with downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd). “He’s one of the people who said you need to show how it can be reused,” said Jim Peters, president of Landmarks Illinois. Reilly didn’t return phone calls asking for comment. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the preservationists have taken a cue from his emphasis on finding a new use for the building.

Three Chicago architectural firms worked pro bono for Landmarks Illinois to prepare a study which looks at whether old Prentice could be re-used for offices, apartments or a research lab. The study makes a compelling case for the latter, arguing that the four quadrants of the former maternity floors could be sub-divided into research team areas and that the common space once occupied by nursing stations and nurseries could work well as a central breakout space.

(click here to continue reading Cityscapes: Northwestern wants to tear down Goldberg’s Prentice Hospital; preservationists have other ideas.)

I’d be pleased if the city found a way to preserve this building somehow, but I wouldn’t expect it to happen.

Written by Seth Anderson

March 26th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Virgin Hotel Possibility for Chicago

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35 E Wacker Drive aka Jewelers Building

Looks like Branson’s first choice, the Chicago Motor Club building, might be off the table.

With his U.S. airline getting ready to fly into Chicago, Sir Richard Branson wants a hotel to go with it.

New York-based Virgin Hotels, the British billionaire’s upstart chain, has been scouting downtown for a location, recently breaking off talks to build a 189-room hotel in a vacant Art Deco building in the East Loop.

The venture, which plans to invest about $500 million in four-star hotels over the next few years, is Mr. Branson’s latest effort to subvert an established industry with his iconic brand, which has been slapped on everything from record stores to spaceships.

Virgin entered into talks last year with a venture led by local investor Sam Roti that owns the empty 17-story tower, court records show. In a December letter to Mr. Roti, Virgin said it was considering investing as much as $10 million in a $74-million project, including the construction of a new tower next door.

The Motor Club property is tied up in a dispute between Mr. Roti and one of the property’s lenders, Chicago-based Aries Capital LLC, which won a judgment of foreclosure in September. A few weeks later, Mr. Roti sought to thwart Aries’ foreclosure by seeking Chapter 11 protection for the Motor Club venture.

Virgin ended talks with Mr. Roti in early February, according to court documents, which don’t cite a reason.

(click here to continue reading Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels looks to open in Chicago)

Jewelers Building - Transformers 3

Built in 1928 to be the home of the motor club, the distinctive structure was designed by Chicago architects Holabird & Root, who also built the Chicago Board of Trade and the Palmolive Building. The lobby features a mural map showing 19 major auto routes across the country by John W. Norton, who also painted a mural of Ceres, the Roman goddess of the harvest, in the Chicago Board of Trade Building, 141 W. Jackson Blvd.

(click here to continue reading Foreclosure suit hits Motor Club building | News | Crain’s Chicago Business.)

Too bad, that is an attractive building, imo. If I have the right building. For some reason, I thought this was called the Jeweler’s Building. Unfortunately, my Chicago architecture book is at my other office. Doh!

Written by Seth Anderson

March 7th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Posted in Business,Chicago-esque

Tagged with ,

Oriental Consistory

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Oriental Consistory

From the NYT, April 18, 1905

High Masons At Chicago
Members of the Masonic Order assembled here today to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Oriental Consistory. The new home of the Oriental Consistory, at Dearborn Avenue and Walton Place, is to be dedicated.

Members are here from England, Turkey, France, Hawaii, and Cuba. The one hundredth convention of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Valley of Chicago is also being held.

 

Written by Seth Anderson

February 24th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Photography

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Carbon and Carbide Building blues

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Carbon and Carbide Building blues

Still browsing photo archives from years past, such as this photo from January, 2006, of the Carbon and Carbide Building, Burnham Brothers, 1929. Processed in Photoshop using the AlienSkin plugin, Exposure.

Eveready Battery

The Carbon and Carbide building in a more conventional photo, taken in March of 2005.

Written by Seth Anderson

February 16th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Posted in Photography

Tagged with ,

Marble Arch

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Marble Arch

This is Marble Arch

Marble Arch is a white Carrara-marble monument at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane, and Edgware Road, almost directly opposite Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park in London, England. The arch is on a large traffic island, which also includes a very small park, in the midst of swirling traffic. The traffic island is directly across from the Marble Arch tube station.

The name “Marble Arch” also refers to the locality in west London where the arch is situated, particularly, the southern portion of Edgware Road. Historically, only members of the royal family and the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, have been allowed to pass through the arch in ceremonial procession.

Lightbox version

Written by Seth Anderson

December 8th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I Dreamt of Sanctimonious Mountains

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I Dreamt of Sanctimonious Mountains

A little while of Terra Paradise
I dreamed, of autumn rivers, silvas green,
Of sanctimonious mountains high in snow,
But in that dream a heavy difference
Kept waking and a mournful sense sought out,
In vain, life’s season or death’s element.
—Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955
Montrachet-Le-Jardin


Wallace Stevens

Photo of downtown buildings, Chicago Loop, cross-processed in Photoshop.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 7th, 2010 at 8:40 am

Landmark status for former Schlitz taverns

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Strangely enough, we just linked to the history of these Schlitz sponsored buildings a few days ago.

Schlitz 1995

City officials want to assign landmark status to eight former Schlitz taverns that opened more than 100 years ago, a group of buildings that includes the popular Lakeview nightspot Schuba’s Tavern. Adorned with distinctive Schlitz globes, the structures are reminders of an era when beer makers like Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. owned and operated their own saloons, a foreign concept to barhoppers today.

Built in the late 19th and early 20th century in Queen Anne or Baroque style, so-called brewery-tied houses “convey important aspects of the ethnic, social and commercial life of the city’s neighborhoods,” a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Zoning & Land Use Planning writes in an e-mail. The city Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider a preliminary recommendation to designate the properties as landmarks at a Thursday meeting. It’s the beginning of a process that could take a year, ending with a City Council vote on the proposal.

(click to continue reading Landmark status on tap for former Schlitz taverns | News | Crain’s Chicago Business.)

Good, I hope the city officials follow through with this initiative. I realize the past is not sacrosanct, but personally am of the opinion that some history of a city, especially a city as architecturally aware as Chicago, should be retained against the onslaught of developers seeking to raze all in their path.

Schlitz on Tap - Bucktown

Written by Seth Anderson

October 7th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Posted in Chicago-esque

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Three Holer

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Three Holer

Three Holer, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

for sale a few years ago, if I’m not mistaken

Embiggening is just a click away

Wicker Park / Bucktown area

Written by swanksalot

June 21st, 2010 at 9:22 am