Beer, Shakespeare, and hip hop take over a vacant lot in Downtown Louisville

ReSurfaced, a pop-up festival occupying a vacant lot in downtown Louisville. (Urban Design Studio)

ReSurfaced, a pop-up festival occupying a vacant lot in downtown Louisville. (Urban Design Studio via Flickr)

What can you do with a vacant lot? Urban activists in Louisville have set out to show just how much with an ongoing pop-up festival of sorts at 615-621 West Main Street, an empty plot of land in the heart of downtown where REX‘s Museum Plaza skyscraper was once set to rise.

Continue reading after the jump.

Chicago’s big building owners embrace the smart grid

Chicago is one of 10 cities targeted by philanthropies for energy efficiency savings. (josh*m via flickr)

Large downtown buildings make up a disproportionate share of the built environment’s energy usage. (josh*m via flickr)

The members of Chicago‘s Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) control nearly 80 percent of downtown Chicago’s rentable building area. That makes them critical to local energy efficiency initiatives that aim to reduce the nearly 40 percent of U.S. energy that is consumed by buildings. Read More

Minnesota state fair redesign goes beyond the corn dog

Architecture, Midwest, Preservation
Monday, September 29, 2014
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The Blue Barn restaurant (Cunincgham Grou)

The Blue Barn restaurant (Wheelock Photography)

Almost 2 million Minnesotans poured through the gates of St. Paul‘s state fair grounds this year, and many are attributing that record-breaking attendance number to a redesigned West End Market. Local designers at Cuningham Group Architecture led the largest Fair expansion since the 1930s, replacing an array of nondescript vendor booths with 15 new buildings.  Read More

EPA picks 5 cities to join green infrastructure program

Austin, Texas (Ed Schipul via Flickr)

Austin, Texas—one of five cities added this week to EPA’s program to provide technical assistance in developing green infrastructure. (Ed Schipul via Flickr)

Five state capitals will get help from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop green infrastructure that could help mitigate the cost of natural disasters and climate changeResiliency, whether it be in the context of global warming or natural and manmade catastrophes, has become a white-hot topic in the design world, especially since Superstorm Sandy battered New York City in 2012. Read More

Milwaukee breaks ground on new 32-story tower complex

Northwestern Mutual's updated Milwaukee headquarters, which broke ground in late August, include a new 32-story tower designed by Pickard Chilton. (Courtesy Pickard Chilton)

Northwestern Mutual’s updated Milwaukee headquarters, which broke ground in late August, include a new 32-story tower designed by Pickard Chilton. (Courtesy Pickard Chilton)

Construction has begun on the latest addition to Milwaukee’s lakefront skyline, a sleek curving tower from Pickard Chilton. Gilbane Building Co. and C.G. Schmidt broke ground in August on the new 32-story headquarters of insurance giant Northwestern Mutual. Read More

Cadillac to leave Detroit for New York City

Midwest, News
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Detroit's Renaissance Center, home to General Motors, will say goodbye to Cadillac. (Loren Sztajer via Flickr)

Detroit’s Renaissance Center, home to General Motors, will say goodbye to Cadillac. (Loren Sztajer via Flickr)

While its product development teams and manufacturing facilities will remain in Michigan, Cadillac will move its headquarters to downtown New York City from Detroit, parent company General Motors announced Tuesday. Read More

Old-School Meets New in Stantec’s Pew Library

Architecture, Envelope, Midwest
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Pew Library's multi-hued stone facade nods to the campus's historic brick and limestone architecture. (Courtesy SHW Group, now Stantec)

Pew Library’s multi-hued stone facade nods to the campus’s historic brick and limestone architecture. (Courtesy SHW Group, now Stantec)

Contemporary stone envelope asserts the continued relevance of book learning at GVSU.

For the new Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons at Grand Valley State University, SHW Group, now Stantec, considered a brick skin to tie it to the surrounding edifices. “But at the end of the day, the library, we believe, is one of the most important buildings on campus,” said senior design architect Tod Stevens. “That’s where we started to have a conversation about the library as it moves into the 21st century. We wanted to signal the continued importance of the library to university life.” To do so, the architects designed a quartzite envelope whose random pattern of stones sits in tension with an interlaid stainless steel grid. On the building’s north facade, a 40-foot-tall glass curtain wall creates an indoor/outdoor living room on the campus’s main pedestrian axis, and reveals Pew Library’s state-of-the-art interior to passersby.
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Jeanne Gang to create master plan for Chicago’s lakefront Museum Campus

Chicago's Museum Campus. (Bing Maps)

Chicago’s Museum Campus. (Bing Maps)

The Chicago Parks District has picked hometown architectural hero Jeanne “MacArthur Genius” Gang for yet another lakefront project. The Chicago Tribune reported that the celebrated architect will draw-up a “long-range plan” for the city’s Museum Campus where George Lucas’ museum could soon rise.

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Northwestern University completes demolition on Old Prentice Women’s Hospital

An empty site at 333 E. Superior St., where until recently Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital stood. (Robert L Vogelzang via The Chicago Architecture Blog)

An empty site at 333 E. Superior St., where until recently Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital stood. (Robert L Vogelzang via The Chicago Architecture Blog)

Old Prentice Women’s Hospital—the cloverleaf-shaped Bertrand Goldberg building that Pritzker Prize winners petitioned to save—has been fully demolished. Read More

Obit> Mildred “Mickey” Friedman, 1929–2014

mickey friedman was a ceelbrated design director, design curator, and editor of Design Quarterly. She died September 3, 2014. (courtesy walker art center)

mickey friedman was a celebrated design director, design curator, and editor of Design Quarterly. She died September 3, 2014. (courtesy walker art center)

Mildred Friedman, the longtime design curator of Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center and a prolific architectural author, died Wednesday at her home in New York City. She was 85. Friedman, whose friends called her “Mickey,” ran the Walker for 21 years with her husband, Martin, who was its director. Together they made it “America’s leading design museum,” according to a tribute from Architectural Record on the occasion of the couple’s “retirement” in 1990. Read More

Unveiled> Hartshorne Plunkard’s Goose Island office block along the Chicago River

A new office building on Goose Island would connect the manufacturing district with West Town. (Courtesy Hartshorne Plunkard Ltd.)

A new office building on Goose Island would connect the manufacturing district with West Town. (Courtesy Hartshorne Plunkard Ltd.)

A six-story office building could sail into the boat yard site of Chicago’s Goose Island in the near future, if plans from Hartshorne Plunkard and developer South Street Capital can navigate logistical and regulatory difficulties surrounding the industrial district on the city’s near north side. Read More

Report warns of runaway sprawl in Columbus, Ohio

A land-use map projecting suburban sprawl around Columbus, Ohio. (Courtesy Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus 2020 and ULI Columbus)

A land-use map projecting suburban sprawl around Columbus, Ohio. (Courtesy Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus 2020 and ULI Columbus)

By 2050 the city of Columbus, Ohio and its expanding suburbs could more than triple the city’s footprint, according to a new study examining sprawl around Ohio’s capital.

Continue reading after the jump.

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