The Chicago River was reversed 115 years ago—this infographic tells its story

Midwest
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
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The Chicago River downtown is now the subject of an expansive riverwalk project, opening over the spring and summer.

The Chicago River downtown is now the subject of an expansive riverwalk project, opening over the spring and summer.

Via Chicago Line Cruises, this infographic tells the tale of one of the greatest engineering projects ever completed: the reversal of the Chicago River. Chicago was booming in the late 1800s, but like many cities of the day it lacked proper sewer infrastructure. As a result the city was choking on its own waste.

Continue reading after the jump.

Chicago beckons pedestrians with Dr. Seussian green and blue dots

The view of Chicago's Lincoln/Wellington/Southport intersection as part of the “Lincoln Hub” traffic calming  and placemaking project, as seen from St. Alphonsus Church. (John Greenfield)

The view of Chicago’s Lincoln/Wellington/Southport intersection as part of the “Lincoln Hub” traffic calming and placemaking project, as seen from St. Alphonsus Church. (John Greenfield)

Who polka dotted West Lakeview? The area around the Lincoln/Wellington/Southport intersection on Chicago‘s North Side looks like a giant game of Twister, as Streetsblog’s John Greenfield points out, thanks to a whimsical, low-tech placemaking initiative that is part of a larger $175,000 streetscape project along Lincoln Avenue. Read More

Plans unveiled for the Red Line Greenway, Cleveland’s answer to The High Line

A rendering of the Red Line Greenway proposal. (Original photo courtesy of Share the River, Rendering by Evan Peterson, LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, via The Cleveland Plain Dealer)

A rendering of the Red Line Greenway proposal. (Original photo courtesy of Share the River, Rendering by Evan Peterson, LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, via The Cleveland Plain Dealer)

A video released last week gives Clevelanders the clearest picture yet of plans for a greenway beside the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s Red Line. The idea has drawn comparisons to New York’s High Line or Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail (aka The 606). Watch the video after the jump.

Why a florist in Detroit filled this abandoned house with flowers

"The Flower House" in Hamtramck, Detroit by florist Lisa Waud. (Heather Saunders Photography)

“The Flower House” in Hamtramck, Detroit by florist Lisa Waud. (Heather Saunders Photography)

Detroit florist Lisa Waud wants to give abandoned homes in her city a chance to bloom once more before they are demolished. Her project, The Flower House, had its trial run this month, when the Huffington Post reported she leaned out the second-story window of an abandoned house overlooking a Detroit freeway, and sprinkled white flower petals on spectators gathered below.

Continue reading after the jump.

Chicago’s Graham Foundation awards $490,000 for architectural research

Noritaka Minami, Facade I, 2011, Tokyo, Japan. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Noritaka Minami and Ken Yoshida for 1972–Nakagin Capsule Tower. (Noritaka Minami)

Noritaka Minami, Facade I, 2011, Tokyo, Japan. From the 2015 Individual Grant to Noritaka Minami
and Ken Yoshida for 1972–Nakagin Capsule Tower. (Noritaka Minami)

The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts today announced the latest recipients of their grants to individuals, a $490,000 pot of money split among 63 projects all over the world, including an extensive photographic survey of Le Corbusier’s completed architectural works by photographer Richard Pare; a series of community-based design and urban development courses in Costa Rica; and a compilation of criticism about Berlin‘s Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments).

View all the winners after the jump.

Chicago opens newest segment of revamped Riverwalk

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the opening of a new segment of the Chicago Riverwalk. (Office of the Mayor, Chicago)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the opening of a new segment of the Chicago Riverwalk. (Office of the Mayor, Chicago)

Despite a smattering of gray skies, Chicago inaugurated another stretch of its revamped riverwalk this Memorial Day weekend, and visitors were eager to explore the newly expanded public space.

Continue reading after the jump.

Detroit gets its feet wet with “blue infrastructure”

Downtown Detroit, as seen from the Detroit Riverwalk in 2012. (Kevin Chang via Flickr)

Downtown Detroit, as seen from the Detroit Riverwalk in 2012. (Kevin Chang via Flickr)

Detroit‘s Water & Sewerage Department hopes an experiment in so-called blue infrastructure will help the cash-strapped city stop flushing money down the drain.

Continue reading after the jump.

Feds tout new $100 million bus rapid transit plans for metro Indianapolis

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Indiana. (Courtesy WANE-TV Newschannel 15)

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Indiana. (Courtesy WANE-TV Newschannel 15)

United States Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently delivered some welcome news to proponents of bus rapid transit (BRT) in Indianapolis.

“The city is on throes of launching something unique,” Foxx said in April while touring the proposed system’s first leg, the 28-mile, $100 million electric bus route known as the Red Line. “Transit can be the difference between someone having a shot and not having one in the 21st-century economy.” Read More

On View> Chatter: Architecture Talks Back at the Art Institute of Chicago

Architecture, Art, Midwest, On View
Thursday, May 14, 2015
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(Courtesy John Szot Studio)

(Courtesy John Szot Studio)

Chatter: Architecture Talks Back
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
Through July 12

The age of texting and tweeting has given more and more people a platform from which to opine, snipe, and complain about, well, everything—including architecture and development projects. Such is the backdrop for Chatter: Architecture Talks Back, an exhibition on view at The Art Institute of Chicago through Sunday, July 12.

Read More

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill selected for high-tech overhaul in South Bend, Indiana

(Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill)

(Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill)

Union Station Technology Center (USTC) in South Bend, Indiana began its life as a train station. Now it’s a data center and the state’s second largest carrier hotel. As a piece of internet infrastructure, it’s high tech. With the help of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the building owners are aiming for a design to suit.

Continue reading after the jump.

Northwestern University breaks ground on biomedical research tower to succeed Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital

The Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center in Chicago. (Northwestern University, Perkins + Will)

The Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center in Chicago. (Northwestern University, Perkins + Will)

Northwestern University broke ground today on the latest addition to their downtown medical campus: a glassy, high-rise complex for biomedical research that architects Perkins + Will have previously described as “a high-tech loft.”

The Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center replaces Bertrand Goldberg’s old Prentice Women’s Hospital, which was demolished last year after a contentious preservation fight ended with the Commission on Chicago Landmarks voting unanimously to deny the building protection. Read More

This map sheds light on Chicago’s $1.7 billion in tax-increment financing projects

A screen shot of Chicago Cityscape's interactive TIF map. (Courtesy ChicagoCityscape.com)

A screen shot of Chicago Cityscape’s interactive TIF map. (Courtesy ChicagoCityscape.com)

The open-data site Chicago Cityscape has mapped hundreds of construction projects receiving public support through the city’s increasingly controversial tax-increment financing (TIF) system.

Continue reading after the jump.

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