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Monthly Archives: February 2019

Bertrand Goldberg Hidden Gem in Uptown Buena Park

4251 N Clarendon is the home of  Joseph Brennemann Elementary School.

It’s a long, rectangular structure, with a wall of glass on the first floor, and on the second: a massive, steel enclosure not unlike a self-storage unit.

Under the steel facade though, are intricately curved concrete shells, coverings for still intact windows long hidden from the outside – and the 24 classrooms below –for three decades.

The school’s architect was Bertrand Goldberg.

You may recognize Goldberg’s famous Marina City, the twin corncob towers on the Chicago River. Some of his other Chicago buildings include River City in the South Loop and Hilliard Homes near Chinatown.

Goldberg, a modernist Chicago architect with a flair for curving concrete forms, designed some of the city’s most distinctive buildings in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Some, such as Marina City, are beloved city treasures. Others, such as Prentice Women’s Hospital, have met the fate of a wrecking ball.   WBEZ  did a great story recently on the building and the architect!

I firmly believe that there is need for schools which are scaled both in concept and in size to young people who will be using them and who, I hope, will grow as individualists.-from letter written by Bertrand Goldberg, July 1962

At a cost of $851,000, Brenneman School was the most expensive school per square foot than any yet approved by the Board of Education. However, for years following its construction it retained the reputation of having one of the lowest costs per pupil of any contemporary facility. Unfortunately, because of Chicago’s dramatic fluctuations in temperature, the building was subject to leaking due to expansion and contraction of the roof structure.

The entire roof structure has since been covered over.   🙁

 

Lincoln Yards and 78TH – Biggest Developments in the History of Chicago

Expected to cost between $5 and $6 billion. This proposed mega-development is ONE  the largest development in the city’s history!

The plan is to  revitalize an old industrial district, 55 acres,  but raises question about who benefits from such big projects?

From   CURBED – Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune architecture critic who shot down earlier versions of the plan, still says the latest version is rife with negative consequences—“snarled streets, bland street facades, and concealed park space”—while three of the city’s largest papers, the Chicago Sun-Timesthe Chicago Tribune, and Crain’s Chicago Business, have all proposed braking or halting the city approval process. “Anyone have a crowbar we can shove into the conveyor belt’s gears?” the Tribune editorial board said of what they called a rushed process.

WTTW  PBS  reports,  There is growing opposition among members of the Chicago City Council to the $6 billion Lincoln Yards development proposal that would bring several high-rises, retail outlets and new parks to the Near North Side.

Why? Two words: affordable housing.

This is not going to happen  overnight!  One  to watch!

THE OTHER  MASSIVE  PROJECT   is  The 78. 

This $7 billion, neighborhood-sized development could include 13 million square feet of office, hotel and residential space on a 62-acre parcel in the South Loop. Related Midwest won key city approval for the project last week, with work on infrastructure improvements starting within the next couple of months. The site was toured by Amazon officials and was in the running to house the company’s second North American headquarters before the e-commerce giant passed on Chicago.

The 78 will be  modern placemaking in action and will transform the largest parcel of undeveloped land in downtown Chicago into the city’s 78th neighborhood. It will be a vibrant, unique, mixed-use community that will include residences, boutique retail options, curated restaurant offerings, cultural institutions and office space that will be home to major companies and organizations.

Cool  stuff!