Vikings Commit to Minneapolis…If They Get A New Stadium

Midwest
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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It’s a story that’s been told in city after city. If you build it, they won’t leave. Professional sports teams hold cities hostage, playing on the loyalty of fans to get expensive, taxpayer-funded facilities, while displaying little civic loyalty of their own. Anyway! In Minneapolis, the Vikings have said they won’t decamp for Los Angeles if the city and state agree to help build a new $975 million stadium on the site of the Metrodome, according to the Star-Tribune.

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Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail Taking Shape

Midwest, Newsletter
Thursday, March 1, 2012
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(images: CDOT)

Next week a framework plan for the abandoned elevated rail embankment known as the Bloomingdale Trail will be released. Curbed Chicago has posted some preliminary images from the Chicago Department of Transportation that were shown in public meetings last fall. While advocates have stressed that the project is not a copy of New York’s High Line, these very preliminary study images look a lot like the High Line, minus the bells and whistles like the bleachers for traffic viewing. Read More

Eavesdrop> The Gang Gang.  Eavesdrop> The Gang Gang In news that will surprise no one, Studio Gang is getting the star treatment by the Art Institute with a monographic show planned for fall 2013. Eavesdrop is certainly not immune to Jeanne Gang’s charms, nor do we dispute her talent, but her work is exhaustively covered in these pages and every other design publication as well as prestige glossies like The New Yorker. Last year, Studio Gang released a monograph of their work, as well as a book-length design proposal for the Chicago River. The firm’s contribution to MoMA’s Foreclosed exhibition just opened. Zoe Ryan and her team at the AIC, then, have given themselves a difficult task: how to show or say something new about the MacArthur-anointed genius architect. And next time, AIC, shine the spotlight on someone a bit less exposed!

 

Rice + Lipka and Field Operations to Remake MOCA Detroit

Midwest, Newsletter
Thursday, February 23, 2012
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(courtesy Zago Architecture)

When it opened in 2006, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit became known as a cutting edge venue for showing contemporary art. Designed by Zago Architecture, the museum’s raw interior and graffitied exterior seemed to fit its mission and speak to the Motor City’s gritty present. How quickly museums grow up! Today, the museum announced it had selected Rice + Lipka Architects and James Corner Field Operations to renovate the building and redesign its adjacent public space.  Read More

Cabrini-Green Now Gone, But Not Forgotten.  Cabrini-Green Now Gone, But Not Forgotten AN has covered the Chicago Housing Authority’s “Plan for Transformation” from a variety of angles, including, most recently, one of the few public housing developments that is likely to be spared. Over at Places, MIT urban planner and historian Lawrence Vale takes a long look at the now demolished Cabrini-Green and the ongoing impact of the Plan, including how it has faired in the current real estate crisis. “Looking across a century of the housing that occupied this same benighted acreage, we can see striking parallels between Cabrini-Green’s slum-clearance origins in the 1930s and ’40s and the more recent fate of this site under the Chicago Housing Authority’s ongoing Plan for Transformation,” he writes.

 

On View> Stanley Tigerman: Ceci n’est pas une rêverie, in Chicago

Midwest
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
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Stanley Tigerman: Ceci n’est pas une rêverie
Madlener House, Graham Foundation
4 West Burton Place
Chicago
Through May 19

Curated by Yale School of Architecture Professor Emmanuel Petit, Ceci n’est pas une rêverie (“This is not a dream”), is a retrospective that examines the architectural and conceptual work of Stanley Tigerman (top, 1966). Occupying three floors of the Graham Foundation’s Madlener House, the exhibition is arranged in relation to nine dominant themes recurring throughout Tigerman’s 50 career: Utopia, Allegory, Humor, Death, Division, (Dis)Order, Identity, Yaleiana, and Draft.

A variety of media, including models, photographs, and archival documents, offer a sampling of the architect’s output, and the exhibition includes one of Tigerman’s best-known pieces, The Titanic, 1978 (above), a collage that explicitly critiques the state of architecture in the late 1970s with S. R. Crown Hall sinking into Lake Michigan.

Cincinnati Streetcar Breaks Ground.  Cincinnati Streetcar Breaks Ground After much wrangling between supporters and opponents, and numerous financial fits and starts, work on the Cincinnati Streetcar is breaking ground today, with a special appearance by federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, according to Urban City. The 18-stop line will stretch from the river front through downtown and past Findley Market in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Supporters believe the line will add a crucial piece to the ongoing redevelopment of Cincinnati’s core, which has included new stadiums, cultural facilities, and mixed-use developments. Major redevelopment is also taking place in Over-the-Rhine. Lookout Columbus, things are looking a lot more urbane in the Queen City.

 

Video> Watch Moussavi’s MOCA Cleveland Take Shape

Midwest
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
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The new home of Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art is rapidly taking shape. Designed by Farshid Moussavi, the faceted design is both iconic and responsive to its wedge-shaped site, packing a lot of visual and programmatic punch within a small envelope and with a small budget. The Museum has been keeping a video record of the building going up. Read More

Unveiled>Grant Park North in Chicago by MVVA

Midwest
Thursday, February 9, 2012
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(All images courtesy MVVA)

Located just east of Millennium Park, and connected by Frank Gehry’s serpentine BP bridge, Grant Park North is getting a dramatic makeover by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA). While Millennium Park draws on Beaux Arts planning, the Van Valkenburg design follows the curving lines established by Gehry’s footbridge. “You can fold more program into curving geometries,” said Matthew Urbanski, a principal at MVVA. Read More

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Deborah Berke’s Yale Studio Exploring Urban Manufacturing (and Bourbon)

Dean's List, Midwest, National
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
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A stack of whiskey barrels. (Project 404 / Flickr)

A stack of whiskey barrels. (Project 404 / Flickr)

American manufacturing may be on the rocks, but Deborah Berke, principal at Deborah Berke & Partners, believes that by adding a little bourbon, one Kentucky city can make an industrial comeback. Berke is leading a graduate studio at Yale exploring the future of boutique manufacturing in the United States and using an urban distillery in Louisville as a case study.

Continue reading after the jump.

Five Approaches to Reviving Chicago’s Navy Pier

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
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AECOM/BIG (all images courtesy respective firms)

Five proposals to rethink the public spaces at Navy Pier have gone on view at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. The finalist teams–AECOM/BIG, Aedas/Davis Brody Bond/Martha Schwartz Partners, James Corner Field Operations, !melk/HOK/UrbanLab, and Xavier Vendrell Studio/Grimshaw Architects–use variety of approaches to revitalize the historic pier, which has long been a favored destination for tourists. Organizers hope revitalizing the pier’s public spaces will make it a world-class destination for residents as well as visitors, much like Millennium Park and the rest of the lakefront. AECOM/BIG’s proposal calls for a series of undulating ramp/bleachers that form a new landscape over much of the pier’s midsection, culminating in a new park at the tip.

View all the proposals after the jump.

Indianapolis is Ready for Some Football

Midwest
Friday, February 3, 2012
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With Super Bowl XLVI charging towards the end zone like a wide receiver under pursuit, it’s Indianapolis’ time in the national spotlight. The city has been reinventing itself around sports and specifically the biggest game in football, and it’s certainly showing, with a massive new hotel by HOK and an expanded convention center by Ratio. Emily Badger recently tackled the building boom over at Atlantic Cities and Aaron Renn argues at the Urbanophile that pursuing a sports strategy has been a touchdown for the city. Among the big plays the Circle City has revealed: in this year’s Super Bowl Village a 95-foot-tall, 800-foot-long zip line carries football fans careening through downtown.

If you’ve managed to snag one of those coveted tickets to the game, or if you’re just hanging around the city for the fun of it, be sure to check out local blog Urban Indy’s write-ups of how to get around the city without a car and the best in transit-accessible night life. And try out that zip line…if you dare.

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