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

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.

Writers Theatre raises $22 million to build Studio Gang–designed complex in Chicago

Midwest
Thursday, November 14, 2013
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Studio Gang Architects' design for Writers Theatre, an intimate theater space on the North Shore of suburban Chicago. (Studio Gang Architects)

Studio Gang Architects’ design for Writers Theatre, an intimate theater space on the North Shore of suburban Chicago. (Studio Gang Architects)

Roughly one year after it announced a fundraising campaign to reinvent its home with a Studio Gang–designed “cultural destination,” Writers Theatre in suburban Glencoe said Wednesday it had raised $22 million of the $28 million needed to build the structure on Chicago’s north shore. Read More

Studio Gang to Design Interactive Set for Physics-Inspired Dance Performance

Midwest
Thursday, November 7, 2013
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Jeanne Gang will design an interactive structure to accompany Thodos' Dance Group's exploration of the intersections of physics, dance and architecture. (Courtesy Studio Gang Architects)

Jeanne Gang will design an interactive structure to accompany Thodos’ Dance Group’s exploration of the intersections of physics, dance and architecture. (Courtesy Studio Gang Architects)

Studio Gang Architects are familiar with theatrical spaces, and with the rhythms of the natural world; their design for Writers Theatre in north suburban Chicago reaches out to nature with timber trusses and a raised promenade through the trees.

But a new project may take those interests one step further. SGA announced Wednesday they will collaborate with Thodos Dance Chicago on a project “investigating the intersection of dance, architecture, and physics.”

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Lights, Camera, Demolition: New Play Honors Old Penn Station

East
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
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Penn Station, Interior, Manhattan 1935-1938 (Courtesy The Eternal Space)

Penn Station, Interior, Manhattan 1935-1938 (Courtesy The Eternal Space)

While the future of the current Penn Station will be up in the air for some time, a theater group plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Penn Station’s destruction, which takes place on October 28. Taking place this fall, playwright Justin Rivers and director Barika Edwards will present The Eternal Space, a play that chronicles the demolition of the architectural monument and acts out debates over historic preservation that are still relevant today.

According to the play’s website, the set will transport the audience back in time: “Using the latest in projection technology, the photographs will speak for themselves making the audience feel as though they are sitting in the station itself.” Present photographs are also used to create the station in its current form and to show the passing of time.

Architecture and urban planning have taken center stage before in performances such as In the Footprint: The Battle over Atlantic Yards, Murder, Love, and Insanity: Stanford White and the Gilded Age, an opera about Robert Moses, and a series of plays by Moshe Safdie’s son Oren.

The Portage Lives! Church Will Not Acquire 92-year-old Chicago Theater

Midwest
Monday, July 23, 2012
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The Portage Theater, a 1920s-era theater on Chicago's northwest side, escaped acquisition by an Albany Park church. (Image courtesy Eric Allix Rogers via Flickr.)

The Portage Theater, a 1920s-era theater on Chicago's northwest side, escaped acquisition by an Albany Park church. (Eric Allix Rogers/Flickr.)

Supporters of the Portage Theater breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when it was announced a local church would withdraw their bid to acquire the 92-year-old cinema on Chicago’s northwest side. A hearing with the Zoning Board of Appeals had been scheduled for Friday, from which Chicago Tabernacle sought a special use permit to convert the theater into a house of worship.

Continue reading after the jump.

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