Read all about it: Obama Presidential Library reportedly headed for Chicago

A rendering of Garfield Boulevard, part of the University of Chicago's proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

A rendering of Garfield Boulevard, part of the University of Chicago’s proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

The Associated Press has reported that Barack Obama‘s presidential library will be in his adopted hometown of Chicago. After months of speculation that the 44th President of the United States might site his legacy project in New York City—where he attended Columbia University—or his birth city of Honolulu, Hawaii, multiple unnamed sources cited by the AP and other publications say Obama and his nonprofit foundation have settled on Chicago, where he forged his political career.

Continue reading after the jump.

Iowa City picks Cecil Balmond for downtown art project

Art, City Terrain, Midwest, News, Urbanism
Thursday, February 12, 2015
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(Iowa City)

(Genus Landscape Architects / Iowa City)

Iowa City this week picked engineer-turned-artist Cecil Balmond to anchor an overhaul of the city’s downtown pedestrian plaza. His sculpture will be the focal point of Iowa City’s Black Hawk Mini Park Art Project, the first phase of an $11 million streetscape redevelopment project that officials hope to start next year. Read More

Obama to declare Chicago’s Pullman a national monument

Architecture, Midwest, News, Preservation
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
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THE 12000 BLOCK OF SOUTH CHAMPLAIN AVENUE AND THE 11200 BLOCK OF SOUTH FORESTVILLE AVENUE FEATURE SOME OF PULLMAN'S HISTORIC HOMES AND HOTELS. (HPF / ROBERT SHYMANSKI)

(HPF / ROBERT SHYMANSKI)

Chicago’s historic Pullman neighborhood will become a national monument, perhaps putting it into the National Park Service’s portfolio—the first Chicago property to receive such a designation.

President Barack Obama is expected to name the Far South Side area a national monument during a visit to his adopted hometown next week, invoking his presidential authority under the Antiquities Act for the 14th time.

Read More

Video> Is open over? Talking office space design with Gensler, 1871, more

Architecture, Interiors, Midwest, News
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
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Open offices, like the Toronto office of Bruce Mau Design, have come under fire in several recent studies. (Courtesy SparkCBC via Flickr)

Open offices, like the Toronto office of Bruce Mau Design, have come under fire in recent years. (Courtesy SparkCBC via Flickr)

Open offices have gone from unavoidable interior design trend to the target of some serious backlash. I moderated a panel last week for DisruptCRE‘s annual conference that tried to suss out what’s driving office space design and culture today.

Watch the video after the jump.

Damien Hirst paints with butterflies at Soho House Chicago

Art, Midwest, On View
Thursday, January 29, 2015
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Damien Hirst's piece for Soho House Chicago.

Damien Hirst’s piece for Soho House Chicago.

In August the London creative club Soho House set up shop in Chicago, carving out a chic space for itself amid the city’s hotel, dining and cocktail scenes by retrofitting an industrial building in the Fulton Market District. Read More

Explore Chicago’s regional transportation network on this interactive website

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan.

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan.

How many people get on the train at your “El” or Metra stop each day? Which county’s roads make for the roughest ride? How long do Chicago-area drivers while away waiting for train crossings?

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) just unveiled a new tool to stir discussion about transportation in the greater Chicago area that can answer all of those questions, as well as many more about the regional transportation system as a whole.

Continue reading after the jump.

University of Chicago releases details on Obama Library proposal

A rendering of South Stony Island Avenue, part of the University of Chicago's proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

A rendering of South Stony Island Avenue, part of the University of Chicago’s proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, The University of Chicago)

While speculation around the Barack Obama Presidential Library continues to swirl, plans for one of the project’s four potential sites just became a bit clearer. The University of Chicago, where the President taught law, made public this week new renderings and details of their bid for the nation’s 14th such library, trotting out sunny images that show the economic development potential of investment in the South Side areas surrounding Washington Park.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Debbie Posthumously Does the Chicago Design Museum

(Laure Joliet Photography / Courtesy Chicago Design Museum)

(Laure Joliet Photography / Courtesy Chicago Design Museum)

 

The Chicago Design Museum held its most recent opening for Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles! on November 12, 2014. The show, which runs through February 28, further cements this museum startup by Tanner Woodford into the Chicago cultural fold.

Read More

New Buildings Institute catalogues the nation’s net-zero buildings

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation's headquarters in Los Altos, California is a relatively rare example of certified net-zero built work in the U.S. Completed in 2012, the building features a sophisticated cooling system, natural ventilation, and is certified LEED Platinum. (Jeremy Bittermann via Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis)

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s headquarters in Los Altos, California is a relatively rare example of certified net-zero built work in the U.S. Completed in 2012, the building features a sophisticated cooling system, natural ventilation, and is certified LEED Platinum. (Jeremy Bittermann via Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis)

The Vancouver-based New Buildings Institute (NBI) tracks energy efficient built work, and their 2014 update, “Getting to Zero”, provides a snapshot of the emerging U.S. market for net-zero buildings—those are structures that use no more energy than they can gather on site.

Read More

Eavesdrop> Rahminator Remiss

Eavesdroplet, Midwest
Thursday, November 13, 2014
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Rahm Emanuel. (Courtesy Lloyd Lee/Flickr)

Rahm Emanuel. (Courtesy Lloyd Lee/Flickr)

You don’t often hear Mayor Rahm Emanuel utter these words, so when Rahmbo admitted he “made a mistake” in proposing naming a Near North Side school after Obama, his former boss, we thought it worthwhile to get him on the record here. Earlier this year Emanuel threw $60 million in TIF funding to the planned selective enrollment school, offering up the name apparently without consulting local leaders, including the head of Chicago Public Schools. They didn’t like the idea, as it turns out, probably only a little more than Emanuel didn’t like every local reporter committing his rare self-effacement to print.

Watch Chicago move a 762-ton mansion to make way for Pelli Clarke Pelli’s arena

Chicago's historic Harriet Rees house sits on steel beams, awaiting a move one block north. (Steven Vance via Flickr)

Chicago’s historic Harriet Rees house sits on steel beams, awaiting a move one block north. (Steven Vance via Flickr)

Preservation and new development are often at odds, but sometimes Chicago has its cake and eats it, too. Case-in-point: the Harriet F. Rees House, a landmark on both local and national lists that happens to share an address with an arena and hotel complex planned for the South Loop. The Rees House is currently the only building on the 2100 block of S. Prairie Ave., but on Tuesday it begins its two day journey 600 feet north to 2017 S. Prairie Ave.

Continue reading after the jump.

Saturday> Fire Festival to light up the Chicago River

Architecture, Art, Midwest
Friday, October 3, 2014
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The inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival takes place October 4. (Redmoon Theater)

The inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival takes place October 4. (Redmoon Theater)

A new downtown festival launching tomorrow celebrates the “grit, greatness and renewal” of Chicago by paying tribute its greatest tragedy. In a move reminiscent of Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain, The Chicago Fire Festival will float some theatrical pyrotechnics down the Chicago River on Saturday evening. Read More

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