Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, January 25

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"Our Love is the Size of These Tumors Inside Us"

Jennifer Farrell of Starshaped Press created a series of letterpress prints featuring song lyrics inspired by her husband's fight with cancer.

The Post-Fire Loop

Here's a walking tour to consider this weekend: Chicago Pattern's guide to the last remaining post-Fire buildings in the Loop.

Obama Belongs to the World

The architecture finalists for the Obama Presidential Center have been announced, and only one is local.

Who Steals Art at a Rock Show?

A painting and a sculpture were stolen from the Empty Bottle during a show last weekend.

In Through the Out Door

Curious City finds out why there are so many revolving doors in Chicago.

Architectural Side-Scroller

Chicago Line Cruises has a fun guide to the city's skyline. [via]

Art for Whose Sake?

The MCA invited local Mexican-American artists to collaborate with artists from Mexico for an upcoming exhibit. In the eyes of artist Ricardo Gamboa, the museum's approach misses the mark.

Inside the Corncobs

Take a video tour of Marina City with the BBC and one of its residents, MAS Studio's Iker Gil.

When Cribs Were Kingdoms

Curbed has a nice online tour of the city's most gorgeous (and sadly, long-gone) mansions.

Finding Frank

The NYTimes travel section visits Oak Park for a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright homes.

A Look at Hidden Union Station

Incredibly, 70 percent of Union Station is off limits to visitors. The redevelopment plan announced earlier this year would return to use many of those formerly public spaces -- and Crain's has a look at what would be revealed.

Prefab Passion

Curbed profiles architect Jeffrey Sommers of Square Root Architecture + Design, who is trying to make prefabricated modular homes a modern success.

See Grant Park from Above

The new owner of the Aon Center is planning to add an observation deck. Chicago Architecture Blog shows you what the view might be like.

Finding Beauty at the Davis

Renovations have begun on Lincoln Square's Davis Theater, and they're already revealing unknown hidden splendor.

Cool House!

Explore interesting buildings throughout the city on Chicago Architecture Data.

Hiding Miró

The public sculpture Miró's Chicago, already sort of hard to spot in its Washington Street plaza, is being further hidden behind a new CTA bus rapid transit station.

Matthew Hoffman is Beautiful

The RedEye profiles Matthew Hoffman, the artist behind the stickers and public art.

A "Coloring Boo"

Local designer and crafter Leigh Kelsey created a free Halloween coloring book with the help of some friends, inspired by the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Slashed Symbology

If you work in a design studio or are opening a hip new restaurant in Logan Square, you probably need this "Amp/ers/and" print from T.26, designed by Daniel Richardson.

Citizens of the Humanities

The Chicago Humantities Festival kicks off Saturday and runs through Nov. 8. Programming is organized under the theme "Citizens" -- peruse the schedule and get tickets quickly.

Scary Monsters Weekly

Mythical Beast Wars invites you to draw a different monster each week for fame and fortune. This week, it's the Jersey Devil.

Permit to Change

At Bisnow, Chuck Sudo profiles the City's new buildings commissioner, who's trying to modernize and streamline to get rid of some of the bureaucratic red tape tying up building permits.

Living Clean in Lakeview

Despite some protests from neighbors, a new sober living home for young adults was approved for the corner of Ashland and Waveland.

Beyond Cubicles

Crain's highlights some of Chicago's coolest offices.

Walk Right In

Explore some of the coolest buildings in the city during Open House Chicago this Saturday and Sunday.

The Color of Life

IIT professor and artist Amanda Williams talks with Chicago magazine about her Color(ed) Theory series, which explores the cultural significance of color and language in the black urban experience.

The Land Bent to Our Needs

"Chicago owes its very existence to engineered solutions and manipulation of the landscape," says Jonathan D. Solomon, director of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects at SAIC, in dezeen. The magazine also runs a feature on "10 projects that sum up Chicago's architectural history."

RIP Jose Guerrero

Jose Guerrero, a muralist and leader of tours of Pilsen's many murals, passed away Oct. 7 after a long battle with colon cancer. He was 77.

Leaving the State

Gov. Rauner has proposed that the state government sell and move out of the Thompson Center, Crain's Greg Hinz reports. The building, never a beauty, is in terrible shape, and could fetch attention as a potential tear-down.

Save the Neighbors

With the Heat Light Water Project and ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, Chicago-based artists are hoping to start the renaissance of the city of Gary.

Paper Box for Sale

The Tribune is exploring selling its namesake tower. Interested? Take a look at the amenities.

"Rain is bad for a book!"

Slate shares five children's library Modernist posters by graphic artist Arlington Gregg, who created them for the Illinois WPA Federal Art Project in the 1930s.

Modern Masterpieces

Project Onward is a Bridgeport art studio and gallery that showcases artists with mental and physical disabilities. There's an exhibition in the space Oct. 15-18.

Art & Architecture

Author Thomas Dyja writes about IIT's iconic Crown Hall and the iconic building before it on the same plot: the Mecca Flats, once the heart of African-American culture and an exhibition at the Cultural Center last year.

Places to Go, Buildings to See

NewCity has your guide to the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Your Late '80s Dream Home

If you've got $2.3 million, you could buy one of the Harry Weese River Cottages, for sale for the first time in 25 years. Completed in 1990, Lynn Becker calls them "an anti-Miesian romp."

Building Up to It

The Chicago Architecture Biennial begins this weekend -- and Open House Chicago is in just a couple weeks. Curbed offers a guide to some of the more unique buildings around the city.

No Cars at Home

City Council passed an ordinance broadening "transit oriented development" parameters, which will theoretically result in less car-centric housing options along train lines.

Rising Through Art

The Economist looks to EXPO Chicago, among other things, as evidence the city is experiencing an artistic renaissance. Our own critic, S. Nicole Lane, was less impressed.

South Loop Booms Again

Two huge new residential skyscraper projects were just announced for the South Loop. One adds 500 units to the South Michigan Avenue corridor. The other would be the tallest in the neighborhood -- and might expand to two towers.

Changes at the Guild

Executive Director John Rich has left the Guild Literary Complex to join the MCA as manager of performance programs. The Guild is currently searching for a replacement.

The Grid: Circus School at Aloft Loft (360°)

"Circus School at Aloft Loft," the newest 360° installment in our documentary film series, The Grid, goes up in the air with adult circus performers and enthusiasts.

A Healthy Art Scene

The latest issue of Sixty Inches from Center is out, and the focus is on art and health.

Preserving the Stacks

The Stony Island Arts Bank, a new exhibition and archive space developed by Theaster Gates' Rebuild Foundation, will house the record collection of the late Frankie Knuckles.

The People Behind the Art

NewCity's annual Art 50 ranks the city's "visual vanguard," from Douglas Druick to Tricia Van Eck.

"We've got all these different faces that want to come out"

Terrence Howard opens about the parallels between his role as a driven, violent hip hop mogul on Empire and claims of domestic abuse in his own life.

Video Game Violence

While the game We Are Chicago tries to replicate the struggles faced by teens in disadvantaged communities, that's easier said than done.

In Your Face

A new mural in the Loop calls on people to "Stop Telling Women to Smile" as part of an ongoing campaign against street harassment.

Second City Returns

Performances at Second City will resume earlier than expected after a fire destroyed their offices in Old Town.

Beyond the Loop

Cape Horn Illustration created a beautiful map of Chicago neighborhood landmarks for Artist Frame Service. [via]

Lively Literature

In an age when we're immersed in digital media, live lit connects audiences with the human behind the story.

One for the Books

Chinatown's new public library branch shows how city buildings can elegantly break the mold, writes Blair Kamin.

Watery Wow Factor

The Buckingham Fountain still spouts water 15 stories into the air using the original pumps installed in 1927. Curious City looks into how the fountain works and its origins.

Ash to Ash

Pilgrim Baptist Church, known as the birthplace of gospel music, will not be rebuilt. Workers accidentally set the roof on fire while renovating it back in 2006, and the spreading flames destroyed most of the building.

Becoming Colbert

Stephen Colbert's roots run deep in Chicago. The Reader looks back at his time here and its impact on his career as a comedian.

Where We Live

A handy illustrated guide makes it easy to identify the types of housing found in Chicago; you can also pick up a print for your own wall, no matter where you live.

Not Rough Enough Around the Edges

Ongoing renovations of the lakefront create space and prevent erosion, but they also wipe out the lake's natural beauty.

Bright Lights, Big City

The Daily Dot takes a deep dive into the kickstarter-backed Wabash Lights project, which aims to bring public art to the underside of the El downtown.

Local Art Lost

The only local museum dedicated to contemporary artists from Illinois may be the latest victim of state budget cuts, as funding for the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery is on the chopping block.

When a Door Isn't a Door

Hand-painted Japanese sliding-doors dating back to the 1893 Columbian Exposition were found in storage owned by the Park District.

A Cottage in the City

Houses known as fire cottages sprouted up from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire, built with little more than four walls and a roof. Few survive today, and most are probably hidden behind fire-proof brick exteriors.

The New Old Pier

The latest renovations at Navy Pier look a lot like changes proposed decades ago.

A New Plan

The architects behind the Lucas Museum are working on new designs that are less conceptual and more informed by community input, according to Mayor Emanuel.

They're Not Gonna Take It

The Field Guide to Chicago NIMBYs identifies people you're likely to see opposing new developments for their effects on views, traffic, parking and more.

Everyday Heroes

A new mural in Hyde Park features huge photorealistic images of the neighborhood's residents.

Secret Cow Passage

Behind the service door of a downtown hotel lies a pathway once used for taking cows to pasture.

From Chicago to the World

The photography of GB's own David Schalliol documenting cities' growth and decay will be among the participants of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Downton Downtown

Costumes from Downton Abbey will be on display in the Driehaus Museum's Gilded Age mansion next year.

Defiant Duo Returns

The Defiant Thomas Brothers sketch comedy duo are reuniting for eight weeks of shows at the Second City. [via]

Cloud Gate 2?

The Chinese oil refining city of Karamay has built a a sculpture that looks remarkably like the Bean, calling it "Big Oil Bubble" and surrounding it with smaller chrome blobs and LED lights. "Big Oil Bubble" does have three lobes instead of two, but it's hard not to see the resemblance.

3D Slideshow at Comfort Station Gallery

As part of the Vernacular Photo Festival, Comfort Station Gallery in Logan Square presents a 3D slideshow featuring vintage works from the collection of Nicholas Osborn. A wonderful immersive experience. Totally free. Wednesday 8:30pm.

The Art of Comics

Cartoonist Chris Ware talks in-depth about comics and his work in the Paris Review.

Places to Pause

Chicago's few parklets convert street parking into community space.

Swirling Arm Ink

Lollapalooza's fashionable folk turned their arms into accessories by dipping them in tie-dye paint.

Starting at the Bottom

If you geek out about new buildings, the latest developments at 150 North Riverside are even more impressive than the finished product will be, writes Lynn Becker.

Goodbye Again, Frankie

A popular mural honoring Frankie Knuckles in Logan Square is disappearing, done in by necessary repairs to the building. Street artists are raising funds to recreate the mural.

Chicago's Second Season

In case you haven't seen all the cranes, the city is in the middle of a construction boom.

Ensuring Access

Architectural design changed forever with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

All Falls Down

Two buildings you should know about are in the process of being demolished today: the 100+ year-old St. Dominic's Church in River North, which served the Cabrini Green area; and Humboldt Park's Salerno Cookie Factory, whose Art Deco entrance was designed by Harold Zook.

A Tall Order

The Aon Center, Chicago's third tallest building, sold to an Atlanta-based company for $712 million.

Conversation Starter Gun

A 380 pound revolver sculpture stamped with the names of gun violence victims aims to encourage conversations about violence as it moves through the city in the back of a pickup.

Projection Protips

Host your own Movies in the Yard with expert tips on screening a movie outdoors from Chicago Magazine.

Watercolor Tanks

As water towers disappear from the skyline, artist Kevin Swallow captures them on canvas.

Historic Towers

The iconic Marina City Towers downtown are on their way towards receiving official landmark status.

Colbert on Chicago's Comedy

Stephen Colbert talked about Chicago's role as a comedy incubator with writers Jen Spyra and Cullen Crawford, who he recruited to join the staff of The Late Show.

Fire on Solid Ground

The Great Chicago Festival will be held on Northerly Island this fall.

Helping Font

Artist Ian Todd tried to help homeless people by redesigning their cardboard signs.

The Growing City

Watch 10 years of construction and demolition in Chicago with a heat map video of development in the city.

Bigger Rims

Navy Pier is getting a new, 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel with climate-controlled gondolas as part of a $300 million renovation of the tourist destination.

Breathing New Life Into the Past

Art collective ACRE will be remodeling a former funeral home in Pilsen. S. Nicole Lane interviewed Emily Green, of of ACRE's directors, about the project and the Kickstarter campaign to support it.

Face the Art

Hundreds of Chicago artists struck a pose for a group photo documenting today's scene.

Jokes in the Machine

Clickhole's ironic viral content makes fun of today's social-driven media culture while taking advantage of it at the same time.

Keep Calm and Tag On

Street Artist Don't Fret didn't show his face for Chicago Magazine - but he did share some of his story.

Getting Physical

The Physical Festival will introduce audiences to the best physical theater from Chicago and beyond.

The Projects on Stage

While Chicago's housing projects have been demolished, their history stays alive in the documentary play "The Projects."

The Moving Dead

Cemeteries may seem permanent, but bodies are relocated all the time as roads and buildings expand, Curious City reports.

Flooding the Riverwalk

Remember how the Riverwalk was designed to flood? Mas Context has photographs of that first eventuality.

Chi Boy soars over us!

Hebru Brantley's 4-story tall mural Chi Boy was unveiled this week in downtown Chicago at 1132 South Wabash and it's a stunner! Best of all, other murals from famous street artists will be released throughout the summer. Visit the Wabash Arts Corridor website for more information.


Pixel City

A Minecraft user made a detailed scale model of Chicago's skyline using the game's tools.

Behind the Bike Curtain

The Puppet Bike is one of Chicago's strangest and most popular street sights.

Here's Hoping It Works Out!

The tight-lipped private group transforming Jackson Park has confirmed its plan to build Yoko Ono's "Sky Landing" in the park -- without disclosing the design.

LEGOing the City

The city skyline is taking LEGO form as a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology assembles it one building at a time.


A mural in Logan Square honors the Bulls' recently-departed coach Tom Thibodeau.

Rat Joke Reprised

A poster seen warning of nearby "artist bait" in the style of the City's rat bait warnings bears a strong resemblance to "bum bait" posters found in Wicker Park last month.

Leafing the City

Artist Andrew Martis reimagined maps of Chicago and other cities as leaves.

Artapalooza Lineup

The art exhibitors featured at the massive Expo Chicago this year will include new local additions Western Exhibitions, Volume Gallery, and Regards Gallery.

Talking 360° Video

If you watched The Grid's recent 360° videos and wanted to know how the immersive videos were made with six synchronized cameras, head over to A/C to read an interview about the process, and see the rig in action.

Unpaved Paradises

Take a look at the state of Chicago's "most endangered" historic buildings.

Three 360° Videos from The Grid

Today GB's documentary video series, The Grid, features three 360° videos shot with a special six-camera rig. The videos, which let you point the "camera" in any direction, are about the April 28th demonstration at the CPD headquarters, droning in the Chicago Park District and the Art Institute's recent MFA show.

"Treats in the Streets"

Artist Jim Bachor's pothole-filling mosaics are ice cream themed this year.

Moving the Suburban

The Suburban, a tiny gallery in an Oak Park backyard, is closing this summer as its owners prepare to move to Milwaukee.

Finding Vivian Maier's Heirs

Artist Jeffery Goldstein shared his side of the epic battle over Vivian Maier's photography; he's suing her estate, arguing his work popularized the outsider artist's works. Read Gapers Block for more in-depth coverage of this ongoing struggle.

Still Wupping Ass

Wonder Woman's new half-brother Milan bears a strong resemblance to deceased outsider artist Wesley Willis. [via]

And the Replacement for Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital is...

... yet another glass and steel skyscraper. For comparison, take a look at the re-use proposals offered in the Chicago Architectural Club's competition, and, of course, the original.

Living in 3D

Are you a maker of industrial 3D objects or would you like to be? If so, and if you live on the north side, then you're likely to be thrilled by the opening of the Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center. Their grand opening is Monday, and they'll be expanding to fully serve people who work with wood, metal, casting, and digital fabrication. I got a sneak peek a few weeks ago and it seems very promising.

Turn of Last Century

Cam Booth has restored a map of downtown Chicago circa 1898. Prints are available. [via]

Chase the Skyline

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is hosting an architectural scavenger hunt downtown this weekend.

Art of In-Between Spaces

Artist William Dolan captures Chicago's unique alleys in pen-and-ink drawings.

Building a Neighborhood of Art

Theaster Gates is touring Europe with his art this summer, from London to Venice to Basel. The Guardian profiles Gates and his Dorchester Projects.

CPS' Missing Mural

CPS can't find sections of a massive, 480-foot mural painted by artist Keith Haring and CPS students in the '80s, according to the Reader, reporting parts of the work could be worth up to $3 million. Parts of the mural hang in Midway's transit corridor.

From the Bay to the Lake

The Chronicle reports on how Chicago ended up with George Lucas' Museum of Narrative Art instead of San Francisco. (Thanks, Phil!)

Business is Scarry

In Welcome to Businesstown, Tony Ruth (aka Lunchbreath) illustrates the people you meet in the modern business world in a style reminiscent of Richard Scarry's Busytown books

Still Good

Works so damaged they're not legally considered "art" are now on display in a gallery at the University of Chicago.

Stories About Buildings

"To the Best of Our Knowledge" discussed buildings this weekend, including stories from Cabrini Green and an interview with Chris Ware.

Heavy Lifter

If you ever see a strange helicopter flying over downtown, dangling some massive piece of equipment, it's probably these guys.

Popular Move

The Art Institute is getting a gift of art worth over $500 million from a private collector, one of the largest in its history, made up largely of Pop pieces from artists like Warhol and Johns.

Clean Lines & Glass Block

Forgotten Chicago posted the final installment of its overview of the work of architect James F. Eppenstein. Load up parts one and two and save it for lunchtime reading.

Where We Live

A map showing the number of housing units allowed around the city shows how difficult it is to build more affordable housing in most places, writes Daniel Kay Hertz.

Building the Future

Dubbed "The State of the Art of Architecture," the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial will highlight the latest innovations in architectural design with events around the city in October.

Honoring the Absent

Statues commemorating gun violence victims reflect their personality and style, but the faces are missing.

Less Free Days?

A bill under consideration in Springfield would cut in half the number of free days at the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and other museums.

Hyenas in the Hall

The Field Museum is crowd-funding its plans to build the first new animal diorama in over 20 years, giving its stuffed striped hyenas a home in the Hall of Mammals.

Four Stars, Two Bars

Phil Thompson of Cape Horn Illustration drew a history lesson in each of Chicago flag's stars and blue bars. [via]

Reading the City, Together

The Paper Machete brings a unique combination of news, comedy, and cabaret to the Green Mill every week.

Cracking Us Up

Ads posted in CTA buses put fake plumber's cracks on seated passengers to promote colon cancer awareness.

Beer Making By The Numbers

There's no doubt that indie-brewers are growing in number and size. Fans of Half Acre have been eagerly awaiting news of when they'll get to drink beer at their new location. The fine folks at Good Beer Hunting have put a quantitative set of visuals together. They make planning look pretty.

Fresh Peanuts

Peanut Gallery, co-owned by former GB arts editor Kelly Reaves and Charlie Megna, is reopening in Megna's Logan Square apartment. A grand opening for the gallery, which was in Humboldt Park until its lease wasn't renewed, will happen in April.

Designing Women & Men

NewCity's annual design issue ranks the 50 biggest influencers in Chicago.

Elastic Art Snaps Back

Elastic Arts Foundation has some new digs. Check it out yourself tonight.

A Greener Field

The Field Museum is now LEED Gold certified. [via]

It's the Hancock. Period.

The owners of the commercial portion of the Hancock Tower are considering selling the naming rights as part of a new recording studio proposed for the lobby. Did they learn nothing from the ire raised by Willis? Will they rename the Signature Room, too?

How We're Living

In other real estate news, Chicago magazine's real estate issue is online, including a tool for checking on roughly how much your home is worth.

Four and a Half Kilometers of Roses

The MCA produced a short documentary about the life and work of Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, whose work is currently on exhibition.

Talk with the Media

PBS and a bunch of other independent and public media groups will be in Chicago on March 23 to host a public forum to "set priorities and share ideas around strengthening viewership, distribution, and community engagement of independent film." Check out the report from San Francisco to get a sense of what to expect, if you go.

The Art of Hair

Dallas-based artist Rosemary Meza-DesPlas embroiders canvases with her own hair. Her work is exhibited this month at ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation in Bucktown.

Remember it Now

The latest seasonal edition of Field Notes features printing by Hamilton Wood Type. Read about how it happened from Hamilton's perspective, then pick up a pack.

Selfies, but No Stick

The Art Institute has banned the use of selfie sticks within the museum, for fear of accidental damage to art or museum patrons. You're still welcome to take pictures -- just remember to turn off the flash.

Uptown's Lost Opportunity?

While renovating the Uptown Theater is seen as vital to plans to revitalize the area, $10 million set aside by the state a year ago is now under review by Gov. Rauner.

A Bridge Runs Through Chinatown

Built 100 years ago, the Pennsylvania Railroad bridge near 19th and Stewart Streets is the only vertical-lift bridge left standing on the Chicago River. (via)

Beautiful on Paper

Silkscreen artists Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi, aka Sonnenzimmer, are profiled by the Trib.

Scenic Signage

DNAinfo shares some of their favorite neon signs from around the city.

Wanted: Organ Player Looking to Make Waves

Plans to expand Lake Michigan's shoreline on the South Side could include a wave-powered pipe organ.

A House in Need

Land and Sea Dept.'s Peter Toalson, who bought a unique, historic mansion in East Garfield Park with the intention of rehabbing and living there, may have to demolish the decaying home in the coming weeks because he was denied home improvement loans due to the high foreclosure rate in the area.

The Squishy City

Curious City shares how skyscrapers are built in Chicago's swampy soil.

Art for Your Lap

There are 11 napkins among the Art Institute's vast collection. some dating back to the 1600's.

Historic but Not Yet History

Preservation Chicago's annual list of historic buildings in danger of being lost includes a masonic temple in Englewood, the Finkl Steel campus, and neon signs around the city.

(Your Name Here) Tower

The Sears Tower is for sale and may already have a buyer.

Spiffing Up Wabash

The Chicago Loop Alliance has plans to make Wabash Avenue a more inviting streetscape. The alliance's Transforming Wabash Report describes how the project will highlight historic facades, install dramatic new lighting, and create "districts" along Wabash focused on cultural and business uses.

Just Another Day at the Beach

Someone mounted a deer head on a bamboo stake and left it stuck in the ground at Loyola Park Beach.

Art on the Square

The Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival is moving and rebranding as the Logan Square Arts Festival, setting up on Logan Square June 26-28.

Doing More With Less

Curbed's Micro Week celebrates life in small spaces, including tips on how to fit a lot into a little room.

Brightly Colored Bungalows

Chicago Patterns visits McKinley Park, home to dozens of quaint Italianate cottages and one of the easiest places to see how Chicago raised the streets to accommodate the sewer system. [via]


Learn the art of making plaster copies of private parts from the master, Cynthia Plaster Caster, known for her molds of celebrities from Jimi Hendrix to Karen O.

Meet the Gatekeepers

The latest issue of Sixty Inches from Center magazine covers the gatekeepers, the people who determine who's in and who's out in the art world.

Pretty in Pink

Last week, furniture maker Nathan Chandler sold a mint condition 1956 kitchen from a home he purchased that had been sealed, time-capsule style, since it was built.


MCA's Future Face

The Museum of Contemporary Art is planning a major $64 million renovation to improve the art viewing experience.

People in Ice Houses

There's no fighting these arctic temperatures, so why not build a multicolored igloo instead?

Skyline Drying Up

Water towers sprouting from rooftops across the city may start disappearing after the Commission on Chicago Landmarks decided not to protect most of them.

Art in the Walls

Cuban artist Alejandro Figueredo Díaz-Perera is in the midst of a three-week stint living in a 2.5'x10' crawlspace at the Chicago Artists Coalition.

Swipe Right for Art

A quiz from the Art Institute matches you with your #ArtThrob.

A New City Abroad

After nearly 30 years of covering culture in Chicago, Newcity is setting its sights on Brazil.

Mixed Feelings

Building mixed-income housing at Lathrop Homes would create a test-case for new public housing ideas, but residents are concerned about losing their community.

Goodbye, Prentice

The National Trust for Historic Places released a time-lapse video of Prentice Women's Hospital being demolished. The film was captured by Scrappers Film Group and GB's David Schalliol, the team behind our own short documentary series, The Grid.

World Class Architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House and Unity Temple have been nominated to become UNESCO World Heritage Sites. [via]

Terminal Update

Union Station is getting a renovation thanks to a $12 million investment from Amtrak.

Livening Up Your Commute

Keep your eye out for ads sharing "the truth" about squirrels the next time you're on the El. They're the result of a CTA art project by comedian Ben Larrison, funded on Kickstarter.

Better Than a Hole in the Ground

Ideas of new uses for the Chicago Spire site include an underground amphitheater, swimming pool, or data center-heated hot tub.

A Twisted Path Through the City

This Sunday at Block Thirty Seven, maze maker Matthew Haussler will unveil a record-breaking 73.5-foot-long maze illustrating scenes from around Chicago. A book of his Chicago mazes is due out in March.

Jobs or Condos

Manufacturing businesses on the northwest side sit on some of the most valuable real estate in the city, leaving local communities to choose between protecting blue collar jobs and opening the area up for development.

Maybe No Lucas Museum?

George Lucas said Friday that if Chicago's lake shore falls through as a location for his Museum of Narrative Art, it could end up in LA.

Still Pissing People Off

Piss Christ, the controversial photo by Andres Serrano of a plastic cross in a jar of urine, is back in the news thanks to the Charilie Hebdo attack and subsequent opinionating about free speech and censorship. So far, nobody's brought up What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag?, but it's just a matter of time.

"I sort of saw it as just another bump in the road."

The Daily Beast profiles violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who survived being dragged by a Metra train in 1995 after her instrument case was trapped inside the doors.

Architectural Treasures Map

Chicago Architecture Data features descriptions of architectural styles found in Chicago and locations of where you can see them in person.

Go to Bed with a Virgin

The first-ever Virgin Hotel, Richard Branson's latest Virgin company, opens in the Loop on Jan. 15. Forbes has an early look.

Finding Leon Lewandowski

GB contributor Ron Slattery, one of the discoverers of Vivian Maier, made another discovery a couple years ago: the archives of street photographer Leon Lewandowski, who studied under Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. (Previously.)

Crochet Queens

The formerly homeless women of Facing Forward's knitting club keep their hands busy to quit smoking and donate their work to those in need.

No Spire, Yes Spaceship

Between the Chicago Spire's ultimate demise and the Lucas Museum's futuristic designs, it was a complicated year for architecture in Chicago.

A New Tower on the River?

Jeanne Gang's next building project might be Chicago's third-tallest building proposed by Chinese developer Wanda Group and Chicago's Megellan Development Group.

Let's Go Vertical

A new book on the vertical city concept includes images of super-massive buildings in Chicago and other cities.

The Grid: Arkansas Red and His Listeners

"Arkansas Red and His Listeners," the newest installment in our documentary film series, The Grid, listens in with Arkansas Red as he DJs his 30-year-old show, "The Blues Excursion" on WHPK.

Old Made New

Landmark buildings like the Old Colony Building are often less profitable, but developers help keep history alive by restoring them and turning them into high-end properties.

A Serious Lawn Ornament

In the market for a 50-foot-tall neon Z? The sign marking "Z" Frank Chevrolet on Western Avenue is slated for demolition and its owner is offering it up for free.

A Hallowed Mission

What remains of the defunct Museum of Holography may be sold off, but a fundraiser this Thursday aims to raise enough money to keep the collection in Chicago.

Organic Beauty

Filmmakers Jordan Olshansky and Jason Stanfield spent time with artist Bruce Riley in his studio, watching him paint with resin.

Everything is Awesome

Build the "Foxy Blox" LEGO strip club with a new unofficial kit by Citizen Brick, complete with scantily clad figures, stripper poles and dollar bills (via).

Take Art Outside

Avoid cabin fever by bundling up your out-of-town visitors and taking them for a walking tour of the city's outdoor art galleries.

Elephants in Distress

Thirty Times a Minute, a video installation by Colleen Plumb, intends to draw attention to the plight of elephants in captivity. Plumb is projecting it on buildings around the city; see the schedule for details.

The Art-Marketing Can Can

Anne Elizabeth Moore -- a cultural critic and SAIC instructor -- and students take down Red Bull's "Art of Can" in The Baffler.

May the Force Be with Him

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has found its first emperor Jedi master president: Don Bacigalupi, formerly of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Tasty Vernacular Architecture

NewCity looks at the lowly architecture of the food stand.

The Lakefront Strikes Back

Friends of the Parks is filing a lawsuit to keep the Lucas Museum from building on the lakefront.

Up Close City Creatures

Frequent Rearview contributor Bill Guerriero authored a piece for Center for Humans and Nature drawing from his striking "City Creatures" photographic series.

Moving On Up

The Harriet F. Rees House, built at 2110 S. Prairie in 1888, has been hoisted up to be moved a block north to 2017 S. Prairie to make room for the new DePaul basketball stadium and hotel complex at McCormick Place.

Storing an Icon

The Distance profiles The Icon Group, a company charged with the job of pack, move, store and install priceless works of art.

Some Art You Can Sit On

The SOFA Chicago expo of sculptural objects and functional art and design returns to Navy Pier this weekend.

See a Meme Up Close

You know those photos of John Malkovich re-creating historic images (previously)? Catherine Edelman Gallery opens an exhibition of a selection of those photos, taken by photographer Sandro Miller, this Friday night. The show will be at the gallery through Jan. 31.

Lucas Museum Design Revealed

Designs for the planned Lucas Museum of Narrative Art have been made public. I guess the big metal halo will go well with the spaceship in Soldier Field.

RIP Chicago Spire

The dream of the Chicago Spire is finally dead after its developers failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to bring the project out of bankruptcy.

Every Building Tells a Story

The Architecture Foundation launched Skyline Stories, a multimedia exploration of some of the city's most iconic buildings. [via]


The Sears Tower is printed on the back of the $10 bill in a re-imagining of U.S. currency by artist Travis Purrington. [via]

Ready to Walk the Line

Nik Wallenda is set to cross a wire stretching from the Marina City towers and Leo Burnett building, 50 stories above the Chicago River, for a live televised stunt.

The Milwaukee Canyon

Curbed maps all the development along Milwaukee Avenue -- much of it much taller than what's currently there.

Talk Typography with Tobias

The Society of Typographic Arts is hosting a talk by Tobias Frere-Jones Nov. 6 at SAIC. If you're a type nerd, you should be there. [via]

Home Bang Bang Home

A two-flat that was Al Capone's first home in Chicago is up for sale in Greater Grand Crossing.

Faith-Based Architecture

The Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist at Wacker and Wabash turns out to be every bit as cool and interesting as it looks, Curious City finds.

Undercover Taggers

Two men arrested with spray paint cans in a rail yard had CTA uniforms and keys.

White City Watercolors

Chicago Magazine shares paintings that captured the people and colors of the 1893 World's Fair.

The Growing City

Get a sense of what the skyline will look like in the future with a map of the 14 high rises under construction put together by Curbed.

Telling Stories

George Lucas criticized the film industry and shared some of his plans for the Museum of Narrative Art during a Chicago Ideas Week talk.

Spooky Spots

From a Hooters to apartment buildings that may be on your block, RedEye shares some lesser-known haunted places.

Illegal Gun Ring

Guns and bullets confiscated by the Sheriff's Office will be sent to an anti-violence organization and turned into jewelry.

Art Out of Anything

Artist Jessica Joslin's collection "The Immortal Zoo" turns animal bones and found objects into otherworldly creatures.

Arts Abroad

Local arts organizations working with international partners document oral histories in Cambodia, paint murals in Brazilian favelas, and find other creative ways to bring their work overseas.

What Really Matters is What You Like

The Ukrainian Village loft inhabited by Catherine Zeta-Jones' character in High Fidelity is on the market, and like Zeta-Jones, it hasn't changed much since 2000.

Don't Lend Your Key to the One-Armed Man

The Lincoln Park house that was the setting for The Fugitive is now available for rent. It'll cost you $17,000 a month, but it's over 6,000 square feet and has five bedrooms, so maybe you can find a few roommates to split it with you.

Get Ready for the Open House

Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago is coming up Oct. 17 and 18, giving you an opportunity to explore some of the coolest buildings in the city. And hey, they're looking for volunteers.

Cook County Hospital's Future

Chicago Architecture Foundation is partnering with Cook County to discuss future uses of the old Cook County Hospital, beginning with an online poll and a discussion tonight. [via]

Fading Majesty in Uptown

Curious City takes up the perennial question, what can be done with the Uptown Theater?

David Bowie Will Be

The exhibition David Bowie Is opens today at the MCA. Early reviews say it's tremendous. You should probably go.

Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich

John Malkovich imitates the subjects of 35 iconic photographs, including Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, and Muhammad Ali, for a new project by photographer Sandro Miller.

Goodbye, Finkl

The Finkl & Sons steel factory campus in Lincoln Park will be demolished within the next six to 12 months.

Rally Behind the Eagle

Help preserve the Logan Square monument by buying a limited edition poster.

Names on the Wall

NewCity's annual Art 50 list drops the names you should know in the local art scene.

Fountain Science

A popular video of rocket scientist Destin Sandlin adoring the fountain at Water Tower Place and its glassy waters gained the attention of its designer, who called him to geek out about "laminar flow," which makes water appear solid.

Travelers' Choice

TripAdvisor ranked the Art Institute as the best museum in the world, based on reviews posted to the site over the past year. [via]

Hopefully not the Last Chris Ware

Graphic novelist Chris Ware debuted a new comic in The Guardian this weekend. Called "The Last Saturday," it follows the story of six people from the fictional summer vacation town of Sandy Port, Michigan.

Lost Hope

Proposals to bring the Obama Presidential Library to the former sites of either the U.S. Steel South Works or Michael Reese Hospital are no longer being considered.

Are You "Havin a Good Day"?

DNAinfo tries to identify the mysterious tagger behind the message "Keep Havin a Good Day" that's been popping up all over town.

A Good Use of Pennies

A mosaic made of $65,000 in coins set a Guinness World Record after debuting at the International Manufacturing Technology Show.

What Wizardry is This?

NewCity's annual art issue features Harry Potter-inspired work by local artist Puppies Puppies.

Finding Vivian Maier's Heirs

A year after Gapers Block reported on the ownership issues surrounding Vivian Maier's photographs, a lawsuit has been filed by a photographer turned attorney on behalf of a French relative.

A Night with the Museum Guy

George Lucas will speak as part of Chicago Ideas Week; maybe he'll shed some more light on what will be inside his planned Museum of Narrative Art.

Counting the Absense

Steven Vance analyzed demolition data and found that tear-downs are on the rise again. See also David Schalliol's To Be Demolished project. (Thanks, AJ!)

Building the City

"Chicago Tonight" takes a look at how a renewed push for development downtown is lending new life to some buildings.

Burning Questions

With a scaled-down version of the Great Chicago Fire Festival less than six weeks away, some are skeptical of whether the fiery river spectacle will be as majestic as originally envisioned.

Looking for a Halloween Costume with Impeccable Provenance?

The Lyric Opera is hosting a sale of more than 3,000 of its costumes next week.

Just a Facade

A Chicago Soujourn identifies "wallpaper buildings," an architectural shortcut that predates the "facadectomy."

Bumper Art

Trunk Show, the "mobile exhibition space" consisting of artist-designed bumper stickers on the back of a '99 Ford Taurus, is accepting subscriptions for the 2014-2015 season, and hosts a reception for Bryce Wilner's solo exhibition this Saturday.

Meth: The Musical

Steven Strafford based the musical comedy "Methtacular" on his own struggles with sex, drugs, and addiction.

Home of the Rising Middle Class

As the co-owner of a two-flat, I found Curious City's investigation of the two flat's history in Chicago particularly interesting.

Glass & Chrome in Logan

Curbed shares the redevelopment plan for the Logan Square Mega Mall property, to be known as Logan's Crossing.

The Real Deal

Shaquille O'Neal is curating a booth at EXPO Chicago entitled "SHAQ LOVES PEOPLE," featuring portraits of people from diverse backgrounds.

Adding a Star

The City today announced recipients of its new Fifth Star Awards, "honoring exemplary Chicago artists and arts institutions who have made significant contributions in arts and culture." Hubbard Street Dance founder Lou Conte, sculptor Richard Hunt; jazz pianist and DJ Ramsey Lewis, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg and the Auditorium Theatre will be honored at an event in Millennium Park on Sept. 17.

Virtiginous Viral Video

If you have a fear of heights or suffer from vertigo, you might not want to watch this video of ironworkers preparing to remove a portion of the John Hancock Tower's west antenna. [via]

Spy Harder

Creative writing nonprofit 826CHI is raising money on Kickstarter to build a better spy supply store in Wicker Park that would also include more room for kids to learn how to write.

Beware of Dianoga

The site selected for the Lucas Museum sits atop a garbage dump that includes debris from the Great Chicago Fire, with soil that could potentially contain harmful chemicals.

Tips from Building Buffs

Professors, architecture enthusiasts and reporters share their favorite Chicago buildings with TimeOut.

Ripping It Up

Artist Chris Knight can't keep up with demand for his three-dimensional Chicago flags and sports team logos made out of distressed and reclaimed wood.

Blank Walls

A program which directed public funds towards murals in Pilsen, Chinatown, and Little Italy has stalled due to a lack of funds from the city.

Back in the Layers

Coudal Partners' Layer Tennis is returning season Aug. 8 for a fourth season, four years after the last one.

George Lucas Announces Architects For Lakefront Museum

George Lucas selected two world-renowned architects, Chicago's Jeanne Gang and China's Ma Yansong, to design the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on Northerly Island.

Go Inside the Pink Hotel

The Reader takes a tour of the Edgewater Beach Apartments at Sheridan and Bryn Mawr.

Arts Awards Chicago Style

The City's new "Fifth Star Awards" will acknowledge exemplary artists and arts institutions, although winners will be hand-picked by a city agency and members of an advisory council who were appointed by the Mayor.

Double the Funny

Second City will be doubling in size after acquiring a movie theater located in the Piper's Alley complex. Also, iO had its last performance in Wrigleyville ahead of a move to an expanded location in a former warehouse.

Probably Seeking Attention

A handwriting analyst shares what graffiti says about the taggers who left them.

Your Name Pier

The group in charge of Navy Pier sold naming rights to its entranceway for $20 million to the Polk Bros. Foundation.

Finally, Tags on Reader Boxes Make Sense

The Reader this week does package coverage of street art.

A Decade Downtown

Seen as an economic boon, an emblem of political corruption, and a uniter of a divided city, Millennium Park opened 10 years ago this week.

Games in the Gallery

The Video Game Art Gallery will bring the artwork of well-known and obscure video games into the physical world.

For the Wright Price

Wright Auctions' annual Mass Modern auction is this Saturday, featuring designer pieces ranging from the reasonable to the spendy to the merely trendy.

Getting Medieval

Damara Kaminecki makes beautiful woodcut prints, including one of a hot dog on its death bed.

Coming Soon to the Skyline

Chinese developer Wanda Group announced plans for a new 1,150-foot-tall skyscraper on Wacker Drive that would be the third tallest skyscraper in the city.

Boldly Going Where No One Goes

Urban explorers find their way into abandoned churches, theaters, and other buildings to capture images of their decay, often before they're demolished for good.

They're Watching Us

MAS Context's latest issue is about surveillance. While much of the issue deals with nefarious uses of surveillance, former Chicago CTO John Tolva wanted to present the positive side of civic data collection.

Another Museum for the Lakeshore

Developer Dan McCaffery's bid for the Obama Library and Museum would make it the anchor of a redevelopment of the 589-acre U.S. Steel South Works site on the South Side.

Back into the Woods

Mitch O'Connell revisits the final night of the Woods, the last grindhouse movie theater in the Loop.

Mid-Century Racing Stripes

A Chicago Sojourn examines the Mid-Century architectural design trend of adding stripes to buildings.

Tattoos & Baby Doll Birdhouses

Boing Boing's Gweek podcast this week talks with local artist Mitch O'Connell, including a bit about long-closed movie theaters in Chicago.

Judging the Arts

Studies of the arts in Chicago found a greater concentration of writers and architects than anywhere else in the U.S., although the levels of public funding and diversity among professional artists are relatively low.

Not in Their Backyard

An art installment critical of gentrification in Logan Square was pulled from the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival after the landlord of the building where it was to be displayed objected to its content.

Sketching the City

Artist Jane Labowitch made a picture of Chicago's skyline using an Etch A Sketch. [via]

Maps to the Stars

Not the ones in Hollywood -- Phil Thompson's new Homes of the Chicago Famous map guides you to places like Tina Fey's former apartment, the Obamas' condo and the Marx Brothers' house.

As the Spire Turns

Curbed revisits the saga of the Chicago Spire, now free from bankruptcies and lawsuits but still facing an uncertain future.

Skyscraper Showcase

Mayor Emanuel announced plans yesterday for a Chicago Architecture Biennial late next year, with the intent of it becoming the largest showcase of global contemporary architecture in North America.

Quantifying Life as Art

The Reader reviews an exhibition of personal data-based art at Elmhurst's art museum and the "life loggers" behind the works.

Living the High Life

Get a peek inside billionaire Shahid Khan's Park Tower penthouse in Forbes.

Mana Contemporary's Third Open House

Mana Contemporary is having their third open house where they will be featuring the Renegade Craft Fair Mini Market, art exhibitions, performances by Mana residents and much more! This third open house is celebrating the opening of a new floor of artists studios. The event is occurring today, June 22, from 1 to 7pm at 2233 S. Throop St.

Makes Trump Look Tiny

While many are upset over the TRUMP stamped on Trump Tower, back in the 1930's a lighted sign 23 stories high sign burned the Chevrolet logo into the skies.

Barn Razing

An historic barn in Logan Square may have been demolished illegally, preservationists allege.

New Life for Dead Trees

Artists are turning dead and dying trees infested with the emerald ash borer into works of art.

The Contrary View

Loop North News offers a rare supporting sentiment about the new Trump sign.

Where are Chicago's Murals?

Mural Locator tells you.

"Magnificent and Popular"

Mayor Emanuel waited for the final P to be placed in huge TRUMP sign on the side of said tower to call it tasteless.

Cult of Media Personalities

The Guardian takes a look at how Second City training impacted the careers and lives of its most successful alumni.

X Marks the What?

Buildings marked with a red "X" across the city aren't condemned as some believe, but rather are marked as potentially dangerous for firefighters and first responders.

School of Architecture

Chicago Historic Schools is a blog dedicated to documenting the "rich architectural and social history of Chicago's public schools."

City of Big Dreamers

Big, out-there ideas for the city are a Chicago tradition, with more recent schemes including gondolas in the river, the Spire, and an airport in Lake Michigan.

Before the Targets

TimeOut uses Google Street View to show how different areas of the city developed over the past few years.

Guerrilla Truck Show

The Guerrilla Truck Show is celebrating their 10th anniversary tonight from 5:30 to 9:30pm at the corner of Aberdeen and Fulton Market. The event is free and open to the public. The Guerrilla Truck show is an event which gives all creatives the freedom to exhibit and show their work in temporary gallery spaces -- the back of a truck!

Franks for Sale

Curbed rounds up local Frank Lloyd Wright homes currently on the market.

The Light City

The City is officially asking for proposals of how to light up bridges, the El, the riverwalk, and other spaces to attract tourists to Chicago. Any suggestions?

Uptown Upgrade

Proposed funding in the Illinois Senate includes $10 million for renovating the Uptown Theatre, as part of a larger effort to revitalize the area.

Cameron Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Cameron's home in Ferris Bueller's Day Off finally sold after years on the market.

Crack in the Ledge

A group of tourists stepping onto the Ledge at Sears Tower were startled by apparent cracks in the glass outcropping. Only a protective outer coating cracked, say officials, but they should consider keeping them to compete with the scare-inducing TILT at John Hancock.

Parks & Receation

The Chicago Neighborhoods has released a series of full-color prints celebrating the city's parks and public places.

Art That's Gone to Pot(holes)

Local artist Jim Bachor has been filling in potholes with Chicago flag mosaics.

Get to Know the Chicago Imagists

The group behind the new film Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists just published an online archive of material about Chicago Imagism. The interactive archive includes everything from rarely seen artwork to personal correspondence to new interviews conducted with artists, scholars and collectors.

She Draws

Columbia journalism students profile five local female comic artists and illustrators; for further reading, see also the Ladydrawers and Quite Strong.

In Good Company

Theaster Gates, Chicago artist and founder of Rebuild Foundation, is #11 on Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business 2014 list.

Leaning Over the Ledge

Visitors will be able to lean out from the 94th story of the John Hancock building at "TILT" starting Saturday.

Trump Stamp

The all-caps, LED-illuminated "TRUMP" logo is getting installed on the side of Trump Tower downtown.


This year's Lollapalooza will be accompanied by a large exhibition of art curated by street artist Shepard Fairey.

Save Muddy's House

A year later, there is yet another effort under way to save the historic home of Muddy Waters. This time, Muddy's son, Mud Morganfield, is leading the charge.

Stay with Frank

You'll soon be able to spend the night in a Frank Lloyd Wright home -- if you can afford it -- as the Emil Bach House in Sheridan opens for guests and meetings.

Noble Rot

St. Boniface Church, which preservationists have been fighting for years to save while neglect made it more and more of a hazard, has received a red X from the City, indicating demolition may be imminent.

RIP Brooks Golden

Street artist Brooks Golden, aka "Be Golden," passed away on Saturday after a brief illness. He was best known for his owl illustrations, such as this mural in Pilsen.

Go Inside the Beast

The Beast is a massive installation inside the Hyde Park Art Center.

Final Entry

The live-lit Encyclopedia Show will be closing the book for good next month, ending a five-year run that sparked multiple spin-offs across the country.

This is the Museum You've Been Looking For

Do you have a suggestion for where the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum should go? The City wants to know by April 23. (Previously.)

City of Big Puppets?

Giant marionettes will roam the streets if the City can bring French street theater company Royal de Luxe to Chicago for their first U.S. performance.

Large Section of Marktown to be Demolished

The landmark "industrial Shangri-La" of Marktown, Indiana may be coming to an end. Residents recently received notice that approximately 10% of the neighborhood may be demolished as soon as May 5, with more demolitions potentially on the way. A group of concerned residents and friends are trying to stop the demolitions. A few photographs of the development are below.

Marktown, Indiana Aerial Marktown Street at Dusk Marktown

Building History

The folks at Forgotten Chicago have been busy, unearthing details about a shipping canal in the Gold Coast, radio showrooms on Michigan Avenue, 1 million vacant lots in Chicagoland, art deco masterpieces and many more long-lost works of architecture.

Stitching to Remember

Fourteen women embroidered the names of every homicide victim in 2013 onto a quilt. It's on display at the Craft/Work exhibition at Beauty and Brawn Gallery through the end of the month.

Ride for a Penny

Chris Ware tells the story of a penny's journey through the world.

Kickin' It

Plush skyscrapers, a book of James Bond illustrations and a design museum are among the campaigns currently funding on GB's curated Kickstarter page.

May the Force be With Us?

George Lucas might build his Lucas Cultural Arts Museum in Chicago, with a collection including paintings by Norman Rockwell and a scale model of the Millennium Falcon.

What's Next for Cabrini?

The Atlantic looks at big changes already taking place at the former location of Cabrini-Green and speculates on the site's future.

Art on the Street

The Art Institute launched the Art Everywhere Project to bring some of its most famous artworks (well, reproductions) out into the city, on streetscape installations and ad billboards.

The City vs. Art

While graffiti is gaining acceptance as a mainstream art form, its practice on the street continues to be at odds with the law.

Faux Architecture

Back in December, Neil Steinberg wrote about the best built fake building in Chicago.

That's The Ticket

Thalia Hall, a landmark building turned public hall in Pilsen, is officially open for business, and so is their box office.

Save These Places

Landmarks Illinois' annual 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list is out, with three Chicago entries: the Central Manufacturing District, the Halsted and Willow gateway and the Uptown Theatre.

Designing a Home

The Chicago Design Museum is seeking a permanent home, and has launched a Kickstarter to help make its next exhibition a reality.

The Grid: Open Gov Hack Night

"Open Gov Hack Night," the newest installment in our documentary film series The Grid, spends some time with folks trying to put civic data to good use.

Mobile Homes

As new construction near McCormick Place and across the city moves forward, the Harriet F. Rees House and other historic buildings threatened by development may be completely uprooted and moved to new locations.

Packing'em In

Seems a little late to be worried about the loss of the Meatpacking District, what with Randolph Street and half of Fulton Market taken over by high-end restaurants, but two new hotel projects really have residents and businesses concerned about the area's namesake being pushed out.

Reversing Hate

God Hates Hate is "simple visual response to the root of all things negative in the world," created by Bud Rodecker and Nick Adam and featuring designers from Chicago and beyond.

Homes Alone

For years, GB's David Schalliol has snapped portraits of "isolated buildings" standing alone on once-crowded city blocks. Chicago magazine highlighted the series, and Gizmodo's commenters pointed out similar buildings in other cities.

Another Vision of the City

The Andersonville-based Wachowskis will film part of their upcoming Netflix series "Sense8" in Chicago.

Save the Water Tower!

Andersonville's iconic but structurally challenged water tower has been removed, but Groupon has launched a Grassroots campaign to restore it.

Prairie Style Cocktails

On Fridays in April, the Robie House in Hyde Park will hold after hours cocktail parties. Tickets are $35 apiece -- only $30 if you're a member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.

Design Stars

NewCity's annual Design 50 names the leading lights in architecture, fashion, graphics, product design and beyond.

Paste Up Comedian

Huffington Post takes a look at the funny reflections of everyday life posted around Chicago and New York by street artist Don't Fret.

Masters of Puppets

Planned for next year, the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival aims to bring performances by the world's top puppet artists to venues across the city.

Andersonville Loses an Icon

The iconic water tower atop Andersonville's Swedish American Museum is being removed due to dangerous damage sustained during the unusually bad winter. The museum is closed until it's removed; it's unknown if it will be replaced.

Photo by Erin Nekervis

You Are Creative

The next Creative Mornings talk features designer and You Are Beautiful creator Matthew Hoffman. Registration opens today at 11am for the March 21 event.

The Spire Rises Again

The troubled Chicago Spire (previously) may be back on again after the developers cut a deal to resolve debt issues.

Theaster Gates Gives Stephen Colbert a Contact High

Theaster Gates has been getting a lot of attention lately, but little of it compares to his recent appearance on the Colbert Report.

The Freedom Wall

It's a common question among Brown Line riders: what's that huge black banner with all the names, and why is there one missing?

Save These Buildings

Preservation Chicago announced its annual list of the most endangered buildings in the city. The list includes the Fisk and Crawford power plants in West Side, which were closed following years of pollution but were once engineering marvels.

Chicago: The City of Progress

Chicago's millennial generation will see some additions and changes to the city's architecture and landscape, according to Huffington Post's collection of projects that are either already underway or currently in the planning process.

$25 Million to UC Lab School

Chicago investment executive Mellody Hobson and her husband, Star Wars creator George Lucas, are donating $25 million to support the creation of an arts center at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. The couple's donations make them one of Chicago's biggest philanthropists. With this donation, the couple has given at least $50 million to Chicago institutions since they were married here in 2013.

Spot the Celebs

Artist Ed Sorel painted murals depicting famous Chicago personalities, as well as some infamous ones, for upcoming Gold Coast restaurant La Storia. [via]

Talking Through the EMC Problem

GB's politics editor, Monica Reida, was on WBEZ's "Morning Shift" this morning, discussing her story on the long-closed Edgewater Medical Center and ongoing efforts to do something with it.

Demolished Legacy

Gizmodo takes a look back at the Garrick Theater and Chicago Federal Building as two of the most beautiful buildings ever torn down in the U.S.

"Designed in Chicago, Made in China"

China's urbanization process will be facilitated by Chicago architects, as the "boom country of the 21st century" will be home to nearly 1 billion people by 2030. In a series created by the Tribune's architecture critic Blair Kamin and photographer John H. Kim, the two reveal how remodeling China's cityscape impacts the most crucial pillars to urban life.

Last Wish City

In his will, Philip Seymour Hoffman listed Chicago as one of the three cities where he would like his young son to live because of the art, culture, and architecture available here.

Lost Majesty

Forgotten Chicago recalls the towering bridge that might have crossed the river at 12th Street (aka Roosevelt Road) were it not for World War I.

Making Book

North Branch Projects is a "community bookbinding facility" in Albany Park, offering classes as well as giving paper artists room to work.

Home Sweetly Drawn Home

Cape Horn Illustration does "building portraits," and put together a fictional Chicago street to show different local architectural styles.

An Artistic Drive

Last fall, artist and former cab driver Dmitry Samarov played tour guide for the MCA's artist-in-residence.

Dibs on Your Dibs

Hyde Park artist (and GB flickr pool contributor) Curtis Locke is collecting "dibs" items from across the city to build an artistic collection of the things we leave behind.

Mayor Michael Bilandic Memorial Dibs Garden

Under the Pink Line

Today's Rearview photograph is of the same building pictured by Noah Vaughn on May 29 of last year.

"No You Cannot Use My Photo For Free"

Local photographer Seth Anderson has been cataloging the dozens of requests he gets for the unpaid use of his photographs.

The Spire (May) Rise Again

The Chicago Spire might eventually grow into more than just a hole in the ground, after its developer said a new investor will allow the company to pay off its debtors and move forward with the project.

One Woman's Trash is Another Man's Art

The trove of "found art" photographs curator Paul-David Young discovered in a Humboldt Park dumpster and planned to exhibit were actually taken by digital artist Molly Soda, who hastily threw them away before leaving Chicago.

Light it Up

Mayor Emanuel wants to turn Chicago into a City of Light, lighting up public spaces like historic buildings, roads, and the river walk to attract tourists.

Serious Makeout Session

Artist Jedediah Johnson laid lipstick-smeared kisses on 100 men, women, and babies for "The Makeout Project," but he's not done yet -- and would probably lay one on you, too.

Chicago Photographic Memoir

Political activist and Heartland Cafe co-founder Michael James is working on a draft of his memoir. It's filled with local political figures and historical Chicago scenery -- in the form of stunning black and white photos.

Oar-iginal Design

The new WMS Boathouse designed by Studio Gang was inspired by the sport of rowing it houses. [via]

"Black Partridge Saving Mrs. Helm"

American Thinker resurrects a "forgotten masterpiece," sculptor Carl Rohl-Smith's depiction of the Fort Dearborn Massacre. Black Partridge, one of the Native Americans depicted, nearly had a new park named after him in 2009.

Cold Weather, Cool Art

Now through Feb. 12, the Art Institute is free on weekdays for all Illinois residents.

Scraping Off Wrigley's Legacy

Lynn Becker laments the loss of historic industrial buildings across the City That Works, including a Wrigley factory complex in the Central Manufacturing District.

City of Letters

Design Taxi highlights the work of Audra Hubbell, who projects letters onto buildings across Chicago, adding interesting dimensions to the typography and highlighting the city's architecture.

Arts & Architecture

Theaster Gates was profiled in the NYTimes Magazine for his innovative combination of art and building restoration.

Incubating with the Board of Trade

The CBOT Building is undergoing a renovation and adding a startup incubator.

Art vs. PR

Organizers removed an artist's work from an exhibit at the West Chicago City Museum after he sent out fake, official-looking news releases for a minstrel show at West Chicago Community High School as part of the piece, intending to spark a conversation about racism.

Seeing Chicago, Inside and Out

The City Self exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art brings together insider and outsider views of Chicago.

How Old is That Building?

The Chicago Building Age Map shows you the oldest parts of the city, as well as what's new.

Chicago Building Age Map

Never too Late to Look

A stark black-and-white mural in Pilsen bears a message from Chicago poet Malcolm London: "Never too late to love." You can hear the rest of the poem in a short video by Heart of the City TV. [via]

Funny People of Color

Amid recent criticism of Saturday Night Live's lack of diversity (including on the show itself), programs at Second City and other comedy hubs are working to provide more support to minority comedians.

He Made Downtown Brighter

Electrician Chris Gillott pioneered lighting up rooms in the Blue Cross-Blue Shield building to write things like "34" for Walter Payton or "Go Hawks," so when he passed away unexpectedly, coworkers honored him with his own message: "Thanks Chris."

Lakefront Subsidy

Is it really necessary to give TIF money to a developer building on lakefront property on the North Side? Apparently it is if it's the abandoned Cuneo Hospital (previously) in Buena Park, Ben Joravsky reports. On the other hand, it's just a little more than the City gave the owners of the Wrigley Building to modernize it.

Forget the Ledge, Here's the Tilt

The owners of the Hancock Observatory are considering adding a feature that doesn't just put a glass floor beneath your feet 94 stories up, but actually tilts you downward while you're strapped in.

Another Missed Opportunity

The least boring building proposed for the site of the Goldberg Prentice hospital has been selected by Northwestern. Unfortunately, its interesting façade is going to be the one no one sees; instead, we all get to enjoy this gargantuan glass wall.

No, Mr. Decembond, I Expect You to Draw

Illustrator Sean Dove is watching all of the James Bond movies in December, in order, and drawing an image for each one.

GB Gift Guide: Kid Posters

New parents need cool stuff to put on their walls. The newly launched Pwints has great ones by local artists Jay Ryan, Delicious Design League and Anne Benjamin, among many others.

That Dangerous B&B Clientele

Speaking of Frank Lloyd Wright homes, Ald. Will Burns shut down Jennifer Pritzker's proposal to buy and rehab two Wright houses in South Kenmore and make them B&Bs after neighbors objected that they'd bring "transients" to the residential block. At least one resident took notice of the tone.

Live in a Frank Lloyd Wright

The William Winslow house, Frank Lloyd Wright's first project after going out on his own, is for sale for the first time since 1955. Asking price? $2.4 million.

Just Below the High Score

The Willis Sears Tower looks like it's being built in a massive game of Tetris in a unique poster by Chicago designer Justin Van Genderen.

The Vanishing Neighborhoods of Chicago's (Real and Imagined) Past

If you like urban history and film, you may want to check out tonight's event at Comfort Station. Preservation Chicago, the Chicago Film Archives and Kartemquin Films are teaming up to present three Chicago films about community change in the 1960s in 1970s in their original 16mm glory.

Chicagoans at the Whitney Biennial

Of the 103 artists in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, 17 are Chicagoans, and several more have connections to the city.

High-Rise's Peaks & Valleys

Crain's reports that high-rise rents may have peaked. In related news, the developer behind the failed Chicago Spire is trying to get the project started again.

Art on Storied Ground

Artist and Northwestern professor Pamela Bannos researched the history of the ground under the MCA, resulting in the website Shifting Grounds and a series of lectures starting this weekend.

The Cultural Plan Turns 1

The Chicago Cultural Plan, launched last year after questionably inclusive town hall meetings, won the Metropolitan Planning Council's 2013 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning, but what has it actually accomplished? Deanna Isaacs takes a look.

Billy Goat at Risk

The famed Billy Goat Tavern may be pushed out of its home at Hubbard and Michigan if the Realtor Building undergoes redevelopment.

Replacing the Irreplaceable

Now that Northwestern's demolition of Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital is underway, the school wants to know which of the three potential replacement buildings is least banal. Which angled glass box will you choose?

Tale of the Tower Tape

The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat decides whether the new One World Trade Center unseats the Sears Tower as North America's tallest building... and it just delayed the decision by a week.

Life & Death of Motel Row

Curious City digs into the past, present and future of Lincoln Avenue's motel row.

Further reading here on GB:
Ask the Librarian: What's the deal with all those motels on North Lincoln Avenue?
The Stars Go Out on Lincoln
Get a Room

Nailed It

Chicago's nail artists are riding high on the escalating popularity of phalangeal flair on social media sites like Tumblr and Instagram.

Prentice Remembered

A short documentary revisits Old Prentice Hospital and the failed effort to preserve it for its architectural significance. [via]

A Burning Question

Why are so many fire escapes in Chicago made out of wood? Curious City find out.

What They See

Small children with angel wings, basketball players lying in pools of blood, and gray figures wielding handguns adorn haunting images painted by grade-schoolers at Richard J. Daley Academy showing the violence in their communities.

Tubes, Barns & Bridges

Crain's visits five of the city's coolest offices.

That Bridge is Swingin'

Forgotten Chicago examines the history of swing bridges, a now mostly extinct bridge type, in the city.

The Camera Adds Ten Wows

Chicago Magazine shares views of familiar structures from unfamiliar angles.

Cliff-Dwellers Keep Their Perch

The Cliff-Dwellers Club, which not long ago was facing expulsion from its top floor clubhouse on Michigan Avenue, now has a 15-year lease and a brand-new renovation.

I've Got the Moves Like Darger

Channel your inner outsider. Draw Like Darger. Participate in creating a large-scale, collaborative landscape using reproductions of the coloring books from Henry Darger's collection at the Chicago Cultural Center this Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10am to 1pm.

Watch "The Watch"

Save the El trip downtown and experience "The Watch" by Chicago Ideas Week Artist In Residence and Bronzeville native Hebru Brantley in less than a minute.

Hebru Brantley "The Watch" Art Installation from Nick Brazinsky on Vimeo.

Just to Cover the Walls

A Chicago man visiting New York unwittingly bought four signed Banksy paintings for $60 apiece when the artist secretly set up a table in Central Park.

Make No Little Plans ...Again

A century after original Burnham Plan, the Tribune is looking a new Plan of Chicago. And the RFP is open to anyone.

Art is a Lie, but Those aren't Real

Former River North gallery owner Alan Kass will serve six months in prison for selling hundreds of fake works of art.

24'x24' Black-and-Whites of America

The world's largest film camera is currently sitting at Two North Riverside Plaza, about halfway through its stay here before touring the country, taking monumental photographs of members of more than 50 distinct cultures across the country. Help it happen through the IndieGoGo campaign.

Origin Story

Max Grinnell revists the "World's Busiest Corner" at State & Madison, where the street addresses of the grid begin.

A Glimpse of EXPO

From a child's legs dangling out of a sink to a bridge of golden arms, Chicagoist shares a few highlights of this weekend's EXPO Chicago art exhibition at Navy Pier.

Art for Everyman

Expo Chicago is this weekend at Navy Pier; it's the largest exhibition of fine art all year, so there's plenty to see even if you're not an art aficionado.

A Colossal Interview

The NEA's Art Works blog interviews Christopher Jobson of Colossal about his interests, work process and more.

Scene Builders

Newcity profiles the gallery operators, marketers, and other behind-the-scenes operators that support art in Chicago.

Little House on the Prairie

Chicago Patterns documents an abandoned worker's cottage, the lone holdout between expressway and Palmisano Park in its corner of Bridgeport. (Check out more abandoned buildings in GB's To Be Demolished project.)

Brightening Blighted Buildings

With some paint and an artistic touch, Chicago's boarded-up, vacant buildings turn into works of art.

Paper Art

Pick up a copy of NewCity this week for a special art section designed and curated by artists Sarah Belknap, Joseph Belknap and Marissa Lee Benedict.

A New Season for Art

Paul Klein previews the works of galleries across the city as they prepare for the fall season.

Tour Historic Boulevards

Steve Shanabruch, the designer behind the Chicago Neighborhoods logo project, has begun a series of WPA-inspired posters of local landmarks.

Purple to Purple, Dust to Dust

Barring any last minute delays, demolition of the Purple Hotel begins today (previously).

A Decade in Ravenswood

Lillstreet Art Center is celebrating 10 years at its Ravenswood location beginning this weekend.

Whittier Field House, aka La Casita, Being Demolished

Police and other city agents are currently at Whittier Field House, aka La Casita, preparing it for demolition. Read here for background about the building and the related struggle. UPDATE: The building is still intact, and demolition crews are leaving the area; CPS will meet with area parents tomorrow morning, but it doesn't look good. CPS says the building is unsafe for use and resulted in complaints from community members. UPDATE #2: It's being demolished. UPDATE #3: View additional information, including demolition photographs, in Mechanics.

Home Sweet 1900s Home

Peek inside a 1911 home in the Lakewood Balmoral Historical District that was "a palimpsest of architectural ideas" before a complete renovation.

Midcentury Corporate Art

Page through Art in Chicago Business, a book published in 1966 featuring art hung in the city's major corporations' collections -- along with executives who presumably had a hand in selecting them.

Buy Cameron's House

Cameron Frye's Highland Park home in Ferris Bueller's Day Off is on the market for $1.5 million. (The plate glass windows have been fixed.) It was first up for sale in 2009 after its owner died, causing Landmarks Illinois to fear for its future.

Bowie's Golden Years

David Bowie Is, a retrospective exhibition about the Thin White Duke, will make its only US appearance at the MCA next fall.

Stay at Michigan & Wacker

The London Guarantee Building, 360 N. Michigan Ave., will soon become a hotel, say its new owners.

What Does Future Chicago Look Like?

Check out ideas from several architects at the exhibit City Works: Provocations for Chicago's Urban Future, on display at Expo 72. [via]

Save the Cuneo

The Cuneo Hospital at Montrose and Clarendon may be the next building of note on the City's demolition list. The Friends of Cuneo are leading the charge to protect it.

The Art Map

ODLCO has come out with a cut-away map of the MCA to help you get around the museum.

Save the Home of the Blues

There's a crowdsourcing fundraiser going on right now to restore Muddy Waters' home on the South Side, which in bad enough shape to have been included on Landmarks Illinois' Most Endangered Historic Places list this year (previously).

Really, Really Big Flowers

Chicago photographer Bill Guerriero recently got interested in macro photography, so he purchased a macro lens and wrote about learning how to use it for Encyclopaedia Britannica. The article has plenty of photographs, but you can see even more on flickr.

Pier of Knowledge

Whet Moser says you can learn a lot about on Navy Pier, and not just about tourist behavior.

Being the Better Man

Pearl Jam is donating a portion of ticket sales from its July 19 show at Wrigley Field to the South Chicago Art Center and Marwen. The Cubs and Theo Epstein's A Foundation To Be Named Later are pitching in to double the donation.

Chicago's First Resident

Dan Grzeca has produced a poster (in two colorways) memorializing Jean Baptiste DuSable, the first permanent resident of what is now Chicago. It's available in his online shop.

No Boobs on Facebook

Facebook's sexual content restrictions affect artists and mothers alike.

The Ghosts of Moo & Oink

Vintage advertising murals for defunct Moo & Oink were recently revealed on a building at 72nd and Stony Island. (You can still buy Moo & Oink brand products online.)

The Loop in Miniature

The Chicago Architecture Foundation's model of downtown just got an update, adding new buildings and removing those that are gone -- all with 3D printed models.

GB at 10: Knocking Down Buildings

More than 300 vacant buildings have been demolished so far this year, under the City's effort to curb violence and crime; some say it will hurt the city more in the long run by hampering economic recovery efforts. Last year, David Schalliol documented 100 buildings on the City demolition list, and followed it up this year with a look at an entire neighborhood being bulldozed for a new rail yard.

Saint James Catholic Church to be Demolished

The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago will demolish the historic Saint James Catholic Church starting on Wednesday, despite pleas from the congregation to preserve the building.

Clowes' Chicago

Ghost World author Dan Clowes grew up in Chicago; Chicago magazine asked him to illustrate the city as he remembers it, "circa 1978."

A Lego Dorm

The University of Chicago is demolishing the Harry Weese-designed Pierce Tower this summer, but it will live on in Lego.

Google Moving to Fulton Market

Google will be moving into the former Fulton Market Cold Storage building, which was last in the news for the awesome video of it thawing out. Google-owned Motorola Mobility will stay in the Merchandise Mart.

Modern R.Mutt

Chicago artist Tom Burtonwood is using a 3D printer to create replicas of Duchamp's Fountain, including a limited edition PEZ dispenser.

The Art of Nails

Britt Julious talks with artist Helen Maurene Cooper about nail art and the culture surrounding it.

This Year's Version

Version 13 kicks off tonight in Bridgeport with a show at Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Indie by Design

The annual Guerrilla Truck Show takes over Fulton Market tonight. Check out the latest from both established and up-and-coming furniture and industrial designers, showcasing in the backs of cargo trucks.

Designs on Block 37

Block 37 is courting a couple of businesses that could finally breathe some life into the mall; meanwhile, the Chicago Design Museum's current exhibition gives you a reason to wander through.

Arts in Edgewater & Uptown

The Pivot Arts Festival kicks off today and runs through June 22. Check out the schedule here.

Good Job, Tony

Artist Tony Fitzpatrick has a piece in the Art Institute. His mom is really proud.

Get Archived!

Sixty Inches From Center, the Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Media are joining forces to document local artists for the library's Chicago Artists' Archive -- maybe even you!

A Freshly Dead Mall

Evergreen Plaza, one of the oldest malls in Chicagoland, closed last week. Katherine Hodges visited for one last collection of photos -- including one of a unique work of art.

Nails as Art

Artist Breanne Trammell brings her Nails Across America trailer to the DePaul Art Museum at around 2pm today. Stop by and get involved in some nail performance art.

Nails Across America (for grant applications) from breanne trammell on Vimeo.

Prentice Demolition Approaches

Scaffolding is currently being installed at the base of Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital to prepare for the demolition process.

"Five Great Buildings"

Motion graphics designer Al Boardman created an homage to five of Chicago's architectural gems. [via]

Movie Houses in the News

Good and bad news on the theater front today. The Ramova Theater in Bridgeport may soon be renovated, and the New Regal Theater is for sale for just $100,000. Meanwhile, the beautiful Patio Theater will be forced to close for the summer due to a broken air conditioning system; the owners believed TIF-based grant was coming through for repairs, but it didn't come through.

Meet Arterms

Last week Dmitry Samarov edited his tumblr account and collected his favorites in a new location.

Havin' Imaginary Fun on Navy Pier

WBEZ assembled a group of hilarious details from the Navy Pier redevelopment renderings.

Goodbye, Purple Hotel

After offering a couple plans for renovation, developers have decided that the legendary Purple Hotel cannot be saved, and will instead raze it and build an all new construction. (Thanks, Dee!)

In the Wright Place

This Saturday's Frank Lloyd Wright Housewalk in Oak Park will feature several homes that have never been open to the public before.

Old Post Office, New Casino?

The massive old Main Post Office straddling Congress Parkway is being considered as a potential site of a casino should that state ever issue new licenses, WGN reports. (Since it floats over a stream of cars, is that close enough to a riverboat?)

Art from Waste

Pick up free art supplies from ZeroLandfill Chicago at the Chicago Center for Green Technology tonight and a couple more dates next week.

Follow the Bones

Trubble Club's Infinite Corpse now boasts more than 205 three-panel comic strips loosely narrating the surreal life of a skeleton named Corpsey.

The Historic Landmark Portage Theater

The Portage Theater was awarded landmark status by City Council today. Read Dan Kelly's fantastic history of the theater in A/C.

Bridging Art

Curbed and the Chicago Public Art Group (previously: 1, 2) have teamed up to create a map of notable overpass murals around the city.

Wander Through Art

Brave New Art World, a new open house night in the River North gallery district, debuts tonight from 5 to 8pm. Britt Julious explains its significance.

Dorkily Morbid

The new Quark Magazine interviews comic artist Alex Nall (with whom GB's Kelly Reaves spoke last year) about his web comic Morbid Dork.

Landmarks at Risk

Muddy Waters' home and Chicago's bascule bridges are among Landmarks Illinois' 2013 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list. There's hope that Muddy's home can still be saved.

Pencils & Markers at the Ready

This weekend, UofC's UChicomics club hosts a 48-Hour Graphic Novel Contest with special guests the Sun Brothers. There's still time to get involved. [via]

Cap the Kennedy

Architects smdp has a plan to cover I-90/94 with a park and offices.

Designing an Icon

Among the items in Wright's recent modern design auction (previously) was the original blueprint for Mies van der Rohe's iconic Barcelona chair. It sold for $10,000. [via]

A Brief History of the Barcelona Chair & Mies Furniture at Auction from Daniel Kuruna on Vimeo.

The Penthouse Life

CBS's "Sunday Morning" show this week took viewers on a tour of an East Lakeview penthouse and the unfinished residential unit on the 89th floor of the Trump Tower, which has been for sale since May of last year for $32 million.

Lost in Chicago

If you're looking for a good chuckle, turn to Rachel Shteir's out of touch review essay in the NY Times Sunday Book Review. In the essay she insists that Cook County is "known" as "Crook County," implies that "many of" the 6,000 buildings demolished from 1957 to 1960 were designed by Louis Sullivan, and claims the murder rate is the "second-highest" in the country. And that's just to start... Or maybe you'd like to read her 2010 essay, subtitled "Rahm Emanuel won't be Chicago's next mayor, because the city won't elect a Jew."

The Raw Voices of Cabrini

Media Burn has digitized and published more than 60 hours of raw video footage filmed in and around Cabrini Green from 1995 to 1999 as part of Ronit Bezalel and Antonio Ferrera's Voices of Cabrini.

The Reinvention of Vivian Maier

On Tuesday, April 16, the Chicago History Museum hosts The Reinvention of Vivian Maier, an exploration of the evolving story surrounding the prolific late photographer. Investigative Artist Pamela Bannos will examine the prominent role technology and social media has played in the emergence of Maier's work and shifting accounts of her biography, which has led to the public's mounting interest in "Viral Vivian."

This talk is based on Bannos' project, Vivian Maier's Fractured Archive, which began after she appeared in two WTTW programs and was then granted access to 20,000 Vivian Maier images. Those unedited images revealed that there are more ways of seeing the woman and her work than have been packaged and published so far.

Maier's work was discovered in 2007 when a storage locker with her prints, undeveloped film, and negatives was auctioned. After her prints were posted online, Maier began to garner critical praise for her snapshots of everyday faces on the street. In this cultural moment, amidst the growing romanticism with street photography and the immediacy of the internet, Maier catapulted into popularity, which has created a unique phenomenon - and plethora of fictional stories.

Bannos, an artist and Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University, has appeared on Chicago public programs Searching for Vivian Maier and The Meteoric Rise of Vivian Maier during the course of her research. Her project, Vivian Maier's Fractured Archive investigates the evolving story and work, and online rise to fame, of Maier.

The Reinvention of Vivian Maier will begin on April 16, 2013 at the Chicago History Museum with a reception at 6 PM and the program at 7 PM.

Updating Mies' IBM Building

IBM Plaza, now known as 330 North Wabash, has a new hotel that is getting a makeover by Mies van der Rohe's nephew, who helped design the building in the late 1960s.

How to be Creepy?

Intuit is holding a workshop this weekend on how to draw like Henry Darger, the outsider artist known for his obsessive images of little girls fighting epic battles.

Yet Another Proposal for the Old Main Post Office

The owner of the iconic Old Main Post Office has released another proposal for the area. This plan in a little more modest than the last.

God by the Highway

A Chicago Sojourn takes you inside St. John Cantius, Holy Trinity, St. Stanislaus Kostka and St. Mary of the Angels, the four massive churches visible from the Kennedy Expressway.

Ink & Squeegies

The Handshake has a long interview between screenprinters Steve Walters and Jason Frederick about their craft, favorite clients and the state of art in the poster industry.

Pictures of Rocks

There are 149 pieces of stone and brick from various places around the world stuck into the sides of the Tribune Tower. The Chicago Architecture Blog photographed each one.

Hyper-realism in the Loop

British artist Nathan Walsh paints photorealistic images of Chicago, New York and elsewhere.

Out of a Taxi, Into All Media

Dmitry Samarov has hung up his hack's license and is putting the finishing touches on his second book -- and just released some original music. Time Out finds out what else he's been up to.

A Map of Chicago's Lakefront Currents

Phil Thompson of Cape Horn Illustration spent about a year drawing a vintage-looking map of Chicago's lakefront, "I spent about a year drawing it in my spare time," he says, "and combined an interest in history, the city, and of course, vintage Old World-style maps." Absolutely beautiful -- and available as a print.

Here's just a sample of the detail:

lakefront map - cape horn illustration

Riverwalk Moves Forward

The City won a $100 million federal loan to renovate and extend the Riverwalk; construction will begin next year.

Library Cards Turned Into Art

Local chainmaille artist Vanessa Walilko saw a pile of abandoned cards from a library's card catalog and turned them into a fantastically ridiculous dress/art object called a drum farthingale with a matching corset. But not everything she makes is unwearable. She also helped make some costumes for American Repertory Theater's production of Pippen this past winter.

Blocks in the Sky

IIT architecture student Rocco Buttliere likes to build LEGO versions of architectural wonders in Chicago and elsewhere. [via]

Happy Birthday, Mies!

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born on this day way back in 1886, and he made Chicago his home 75 years ago. If you're yearning for some background, check out the Mies Society's website, or if you want something more tangible, maybe you'd like to drop some change at tomorrow's Wright auction.

The Confluence of Many Crafts

Britt Julious writes about The Perch, a Pilsen underground dining spot/indie press/arts collective that will be printing Todd Diederich's first book.

The End is Nigh for Prentice

Earlier this week the city issued the wrecking permit for Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital, and now Northwestern is simply waiting for an asbestos abatement permit so it can ready the building for demolition.

Fuzzy Duckies & Dramatic Chipmunks

ODLCO is now selling felted animal sculptures large and small, made on a farm south of the city.

Chicago's Design Heavyweights

NewCity debuted its new Design 50 list this week, and launched a new design section in print and online.

Maybe Performance Art?

Chicago artist Derek Erdman moved to Seattle and got a job doing customer service at Sub Pop. Things went downhill from there.

My Name is not Michael Keaton is a new "biography" of Michael Keaton by John Campbell, the creator of Pictures for Sad Children. [via]

Polishing a Gem

The Wrigley Building is undergoing a renovation that will see many architectural details restored -- including the return of two lobby chandeliers that were lost for years.

Bigger and Better

The Museum of Contemporary Photography may be getting a proper entrance and an improved space.

Seven More Threatened Buildings

Preservation Chicago just published its annual Chicago's 7 list of threatened architecturally significant buildings. Among those included is St. James Church [pdf], one of the buildings featured in To be Demolished. View our Google map of the properties in Mechanics.

Out of the Art Loop

Time Out Chicago reports that financial problems will keep the Chicago Loop Alliance from launching Art Loop 2013.

Own a Classic Piece of Chicago History

Chicago's greystones are disappearing, so why not try to rebrand them? Lean more through the Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative.

Just a Walk Through the Park Away

The Washington Park Arts Incubator, the U of C's first significant arts initiative outside of Hyde Park, opens today.

Bronzeville's Thriving Arts Scene

Medill takes a multimedia look at Bronzeville's arts-filled past and present, including three galleries: Gallery Guichard, Blanc Gallery and Faié Afrikan Gallery. Another important area gallery is Milton Mizenberg's gallery and studio.

A New Life for Edgewater Hospital

The abandoned Edgewater Hospital on the edge of Andersonville could become a retirement home for gay senior citizens, if a proposal by graduate student Vea Cleary and the Friends of West Edgewater moves forward.

Atypical Science Illustrations

Local animator and illustrator team Matt Lamothe and Jenny Volvovski collaborated with their Also partner to produce The Where, the Why, and the How, a book that pairs artists and scientists.

Greetings from Chicago, Illinois!

Check out the Boston Public Library's online collection of Tichnor Brothers postcards, including this set of 194 Illinois gems. Tip: the Chicago images, which include everything from historical skylines to more impressionistic industrial scenes, are towards the end of the set.

Are You Active on the South Side?

The U of C's Cultural Policy Center and the Southside Arts & Humanities Network want to know what you do on the South Side. The survey touches on civic engagement through art, music, work, worship, and research, and should take about 10 minutes.

Grant for Art Makers

The Chicago Artists Coalition and OtherPeoplesPixels have launched the Maker Grant, a $3,000 grant available to innovative Chicago artists. Apply by March 31.

Going Up to Go In

Studio Gang is tweeting project updates for the new Clark Street Boathouse. Here's the latest.

As the World Turns

Social history photographer Camilo José Vergara is developing a personal website to share more of his repeat photography work. Included are four Chicago sites: 4434 W. Madison, 4337 W. Madison, 1117 N. Cleveland and 5134 W. Madison. Each series starts in the 1980s and continues to present day.

Shapes of the Windy City

Chicago finds a place in designer Yoni Alter's poster series Shapes of Cities. Buy a print on Etsy.

yoni alter 'shapes of cities' chicago poster

Go Back in Time for Art

The Art Institute launched a new online exhibition of its staging of the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art, a.k.a. The Armory Show. The site includes everything from interactive gallery images to the programs.

Bertrand's Shells in a Box

Brennemann School in Buena Park once had a secret hiding behind its simple street-side facade: shell-like Bertrand Goldberg-designed classrooms. Sadly, they've since been enclosed in a box to protect them from the elements. [via]

View Larger Map

A Last Look at "Loop Tattoo"

GB flickr pool contributor Ann Fisher photographed "Loop Tattoo," a 2006 mural that will be hidden by a new high rise.

Connecting with Art

The Art Institute now has free wifi in the galleries -- all the better to use the free tour app just released for iOS. All the better to tour the new Picasso and Chicago exhibit that opened yesterday.

More on The Area

Lee Bey interviews GB's David Schalliol about his short documentary for The Grid about a neighborhood in Englewood that's being torn down to make way for a Norfolk Southern railyard.

Motels by the Lake

Forgotten Chicago continues its series on the city's shoreline motels, this time focusing on downtown lodging.

The Wrong Thing

The St. Louis-based Preservation Research Office blog uses Chicago's battles over Prentice and Michael Reese to evaluate each city's hospital preservation experiences. The verdict: "Alas, Chicago has done the wrong thing while St. Louis years ago made a wise choice."

The Grid: The Area

"The Area," the newest installment of our documentary film series, features Englewood residents who are struggling to maintain friendships and traditions while a freight yard is expanding into their neighborhood.

Last Thursday, Mayor Emanuel proposed that City Council approve the sale of 105 city owned properties to the company, Norfolk Southern, [pdf] for an average of just under $10,500 a parcel. While the press release trumpeted the creation of 300 jobs, it did not mention the remaining or displaced residents.

Prentice Preservationists Give Up

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Landmarks Illinois have announced they will drop their lawsuit against Northwestern University over the planned demolition of Prentice Women's Hospital.

Save Prentice Statement FINAL by Gapers Block

What Would You Do with a Firehouse?

49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore is requesting proposals for the adaptive reuse of the former Greenleaf Avenue Firehouse. Here's the listing [PDF].

1723 West Greenleaf by Gapers Block

Brand New CAR

Chicago Artists Resource recently relaunched with a new design and more robust platform.

Prentice Loses Landmark Status (Again)

The landmarks commission revoked the landmark status of Prentice Women's Hospital for the second time, likely paving the way for Northwestern University Medical Center to tear it down. Another court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 15.

Prentice Before Landmarks Commission ... Again

Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital is currently before the city's Commission on Chicago Landmarks. If you're interested in real time updates, you can follow the Save Prentice coalition on twitter and facebook. UPDATE: Prentice no longer has preliminary landmark status, allowing another step towards demolition. Next: another court date.

Ezra Stoller and the John Hancock Center

In other architecture news, a New York exhibition of Chicago-born photographer Ezra Stoller is a good reason to revisit some his iconic photographs of Chicago buildings, including these stunners of the John Hancock Center under construction. If you like those shots, you may be interested in his book documenting the building's construction. The NYTimes offers some context.

Chicago in Buffalo

ArchitectureChicago PLUS highlights some of the deep architectural connections between Chicago and Buffalo, NY. A few additional photographs of Buffalo buildings by Chicago-related architects are after the jump. [via]

Kleinhans Music Hall, 1938-1940

Ellicott Square Building, 1895-6

The Guaranty Building (Detail), 1895-6

Towards the New York Central Terminal (Buffalo)

Pinups and Puppy Dogs

Boing Boing has a preview of Mitch O'Connell's new book, Mitch O'Connell the World's Best Artist. You can see some of the original artwork from the book at Rotofugi.

Reagan Home Ridiculousness

While most people would tell you that the impending demolition of a Hyde Park apartment building where Ronald Reagan briefly lived is part of the University of Chicago Medical Center's long-planned expansion, at least one Fox News columnist is doubling down on the theory that it's to make way for an Obama presidential library.

Wee Nip of Art

Lillstreet opens its latest exhibition, Neat: the Art of the Whiskey Vessel, with a whiskey tasting tonight. And like all good parties, there's an afterparty down the street at Fountainhead.

Closing up the Mess Hall

Mess Hall, Rogers Park's "experimental cultural center," is closing at the end of March. Between now and then, though, will be many events and discussions about how to keep the space's legacy alive elsewhere.

"Industrial Shangri-La" in Trouble

Marktown, the landmark northwest Indiana community surrounded by industry, may be threatened by BP's expansion of its Whiting refinery. See an aerial view of the neighborhood after the jump.

Marktown, Indiana Aerial Looking East

Design for the Community

Architecture for Humanity Chicago is looking for entries for Activate 2013, a public space design competition. You've got till March 15 to come up with something awesome that can be built for $1,000.

Prentice to Get Some New Kind of Hearing

Commission on Chicago Landmarks has taken the unusual step of adding the old Prentice Women's Hospital to its February 7 agenda [pdf]. As scheduled, it will receive a revised report regarding economic issues and then consider the decision to reject its preliminary landmark recommendation. The Trib has some background.

Building Green

BusinessWeek profiles architect Jeanne Gang and her work on "greening" the city.

The Player's the Thing

NewCity's annual list of the 50 most important people in Chicago's performing arts scene is out, with DCASE's Michelle Boone, Broadway in Chicago's Lou Raizin and the Goodman's Robert Falls topping the list..

Tour the Grand Old Palaces

Roger Ebert and photographer Eric Hubalow take you to some of the city's beautiful but mostly abandoned old movie theaters in Chicago magazine.

Cook County Land Bank Approved

The Cook County Board voted unanimously to create a land bank (previously), which would take possession of vacant, foreclosed and tax-delinquent properties, clearing the way for redevelopment.

Panelist Bridget Gainer, Commissioner - 10th District explains land banks at "Housing on the Rebound" Policy Forum from ULI Chicago on Vimeo.

Pictures of Mr. President

Artist Jeremy Tubbs created Presidial, a time-lapse video of more than 2,500 photos of President Obama over the past five years. Tubbs is also selling lenticular images on Etsy.

"Presidial is not political art," says Tubbs. "It is an artwork about the incessant media coverage of politics."

Special Delivery Dog

Ryan Duggan makes posters, including a great one about Chicago-style hot dogs. [via]

A Tour of Uptown's Darker Days

Take a video tour of 1970s abandoned buildings in Uptown and Edgewater and then stick around for the political discussion of redlining from Media Burn's archive.

Creativity Fueled by Capital

Congratulations to Chicagoans Laurie Jo Reynolds and Srikanth Reddy for receiving grants in the 2013 Creative Capital funding awards.

Resistance on My Way to School

While we won't celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day until Monday, today is his birthday. The Neighborhood Writing Alliance posted in his honor the remembrances of K.C. Hagans from the fifth anniversary of King's death.

The Grid: Shine On

The newest installment of our documentary film series The Grid features Rev. Henry Isaac, journeyman window washer and preacher to two Chicago congregations.

What the "Community" Wants from Lathrop Homes

Lathrop Community Partners, the organization coordinating community input for the redevelopment of Lathrop Homes, just released its summary of public input [PDF]. Among expressed opinions were a concern about the mixed-income character of the development, as well as preferences for reusing a "critical mass" of the existing buildings, maintaining a low-rise site and establishing high public transportation connectivity.

Another Blow to Prentice Preservation

A judge dismissed a complaint by Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, clearing another hurdle in the path to demolition of Prentice Women's Hospital by Northwestern University. Judge Neil Cohen did, however, put a 30-day halt on demolition to give preservationists time to appeal.

Northwestern's senor vice president for business and finance, Eugene S. Sunshine, issued a statement following the ruling.

Northwestern University is pleased that a Cook County Circuit Court judge today dismissed a complaint that the action by the Chicago Commission on Landmarks in November not to give final landmark status to the former Prentice Women's Hospital was not legal. We appreciate the thoughtful consideration given by Judge Cohen to this issue.

The new building on the Prentice site will be connected on a floor-by-floor basis with the existing University research building just to the west of the site. Doing so will bring researchers together and thereby enhance the chances of finding breakthroughs in cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders, among others. The site is the linchpin for what will be a major new medical research hub.

Northwestern plans to conduct a design competition for the new biomedical research facility. The University will invite many of the world's best architectural firms, including Chicago firms, with substantial accomplishments in designing biomedical research or similar buildings to submit expressions of interest and statements of qualifications.

The University also will maintain its partnerships with the city and the Streeterville community on ways that Northwestern can continue to benefit both the neighborhood and the University's students, faculty and staff on our Chicago campus.


The Save Prentice Coalition issued the following statement in response to the ruling.

We welcome the outcome of today's hearing, which keeps in place a stay preventing harm to historic Prentice Women's Hospital and provides an opportunity to amend our pleadings within 30 days. We appreciate the care with which Judge Cohen is considering this case.

The City does not dispute that Prentice is architecturally worthy of landmark status. Indeed, the Landmarks Commission made a unanimous finding to that effect before rescinding the designation in a pre-orchestrated hearing. In court today, Judge Cohen called that process into question and noted that the public notice and swiftness of the proceedings were 'arbitrary' and 'nontransparent.' We agree.

Despite Northwestern's refusal to consider other options, a series of recent proposals shows that reusing Prentice would advance Chicago's economy and its leadership in biomedical research. On January 3, a group of former City officials, experts and architects unveiled a series of reuse alternatives for Prentice. Reusing Prentice as a support facility for adjacent medical research would deliver significantly greater economic benefits than Northwestern's current proposal -- including an additional 600 temporary jobs, 980 permanent jobs and $1.1 million in annual tax revenues. These reuse alternatives and economic figures can be viewed and considered at


It's All in the Game

Tattoo artist Kevin Leary or Family Tattoo has created a "The Wire" flash sheet.

Trace Your Favorite Architect's Lineage

A collaboration between a dozen local institutions is creating the Chicago Architects Project, an "online genealogy of Chicago architects from the 19th through the 21st centuries." View the current document as a PDF.

Thawing a Building

Before Perkins+Will could begin converting Fulton Market Cold Storage into luxury lofts, they had to defrost the building -- resulting in some gorgeous photographs and video. (Thanks, Mitchell!)

Waterlogged Suburban Mansion Finally Sold

Remember the Villa Taj, the gargantuan Burr Ridge mansion on the market for $25 million? Well, it finally sold for $3.1 million.

Fix these Spots

Lynn Becker has proposals for a couple architectural eyesores in the Loop.

Mapping Chicago into the United States

The GIS Lounge's review of 2012's best maps includes some interesting views of Chicago in national context, but also points to Slate's review of the Essential Geography of the United State of America highlights Chicago as a fine example of cartographic representation (half way down).

More Prentice Options

Reuse Alternatives for Prentice offers exactly what it sounds like -- proposals for ways to preserve Prentice Women's Hospital amidst Northwestern's plans for a new research center.

South Side Church's Saga Continues

Saint James Catholic Church, one of the buildings in To be Demolished, has been granted a 90 day reprieve thanks to Alderman Robert Fioretti (previously).

To be Demolished in the New Year

To be Demolished concludes its documentation of 100 threatened buildings with the planned demolition of former President Ronald Reagan's Hyde Park home and the historic Saint Boniface Church.

Fire Damage and Dereliction in the South and West

City-sponsored emergency demolitions make up the bulk of our second-to-last update to To be Demolished, including two fine North Lawndale buildings. A notable exception is a modified Old Town frame residence.

Arts Scene Making a Comeback

Art Slant cites Chicago's eclectic and dynamic arts scene when championing our fair city: "Simply put, Chicago won big in 2012."

Demolition May Come Soon for Historic South Side Church

The Trib updates the status of St. James Catholic Church, an 1880s structure documented in GB's To be Demolished project whose protection in the city's demolition delay program is lapsing.

Coming to America

Local photographer Jon Lowenstein's photographs of South Side immigrant families were the launching point for a new series about Latin American immigration featured today on the NY Times' photography blog.

Famous Names, Forgotten Residences

Ronald Reagan's one-time apartment may have a date with a wrecking ball, Clarence Darrow's house is just fine.

GB Gift Guide: Lost Chicago(s)

Lovers of Chicago history and architecture would love David Garrard Lowe's classic book Lost Chicago -- and also John Paulett and Judy FloodstrandLost Chicago, which came out this fall.

Show-Stoppers on the Wall

Mitch O'Connell finds the most amazing art at thrift stores and garage sales. (Slightly NSFW.) [via]

You Never Forget 5

Forgotten Chicago recently turned five, and marked the occasion with a look back at its many tours and extensive research into the city's architecture.

GB Gift Guide: Bold Buildings

Design Slinger Studio offers bold, beautiful linoleum prints of iconic Chicago architecture.

GB Gift Guide: Illinois Artisans

Today through Friday at the Thompson Center, the Illinois Artisans holds a holiday art spree. Stop by between 10am and 3:30pm each day to check out the art, watch demos and maybe pick up a gift.

Ordinary Architecture Observer

Ultra Local Geography is a beautifully illustrated blog about mundane architecture of the city. It's of a piece with the also excellent A Chicago Sojourn.

GB Gift Guide: Chicago Detours

Chicago Detours, run by Amanda Scotese, is one of the best tour companies in town. Scotese offers tours to parts of Chicago you may never have seen -- even if you've lived here your whole life. Buy a gift card for your friends and family and see "Inside the Loop Interior Architectural Tour" or the "Good Times Historic Bar Tour."

Make Tracks

Take a public art tour on the Brown Line.

GB Gift Guide: Pet Portraits

For a one-of-a-kind gift for a pet lover, visit Hills and Hollows on Etsy to special order one of Kristen Romaniszak's hand-painted pet portraits. A word to the wise: order soon if you want it by the holidays!


Northwest Side Story

Thanks to a handful of local and national grants, two historic Humboldt Park murals depicting the neighborhood's Puerto Rican heritage will be restored by the original artists.


Love it or hate it, the new Burberry store on Michigan Avenue is turning some heads.

Working at the White House

David Lee Csicsko (responsible for the Belmont CTA mural) and several other Chicago artists worked together on this year's White House Christmas decorations.

Buildings in Danger

Curbed Chicago has launched its Preservation Heat Map, a guide to some of the city's most endangered buildings.

GB Gift Guide: Scrappers Documentary Film

Scrappers, the Chicago-based documentary about scrap metal collectors, was released today for digital download via iTunes and Amazon. The film was one of Roger Ebert's top documentaries of 2010 and was co-directed by the folks behind our short film series, The Grid.

To be Demolished by the River

The latest entry in GB's To be Demolished is a former railroad control tower located by Lake Street and the Chicago River.

Winter is Coming

And Ryan Kapp has designed a very nice poster of it -- as well as one of fall and a set of the four seasons. [via]

To be Demolished: Defunct Businesses

Among the buildings recently added to GB's To be Demolished project are a bar that burned, an early 20th Century sign company and a former currency exchange.

For You From Boo

FoGB Laura Park has hidden little gifts from "Boo Radley" in tree holes around Humboldt Park.

hiding little Boo Radley gifts all over Humboldt Park

more Boo Radley gifts to hide

Half a Head

If you've spotted the top half of a Buddha head emerging from the ground, you're not completely insane- it's part of a Chicago-wide art project called Ten Thousand Ripples. [via]

Lawsuit Filed in Prentice Preservation Battle

In about half an hour, a Circuit Court will hear a lawsuit by preservationists challenging the process by which Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital was denied landmark status. In short, they argue that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks violated and overstepped its legal authority. Read the complaint after the jump. UPDATE: The judge temporality halted any demolition plans until both sides of the conflict can be heard.

Prentice Complaint With Attachments

The Renaissance Society to Appoint New Executive Director

The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago announced today that Susanne Ghez will step down as Executive Director in June 2013 after leading the institution for 39 years. She will be replaced by Solveig Øvstebø, who currently runs the Bergen Kunsthall in Norway.

To be Demolished: Oddity Division

Among the buildings recently added to GB's To be Demolished project are a heliport, a meat packing building and a building whose owner seems to have been embroiled in a fast food feud.

Where the Wild Things Went

Chicago has its share of odd public works, but well known are John Kearney's metal animal sculptures. This weekend, his work in Lakeview was removed by their owner after he sold the property on which they sat. Residents will now have to get used to a world without their favorite large chrome giraffe to welcome them home.

John Kearney Giraffe
Photo by Michael Lehet.

We Made This

Created By Us is a new video series by Chicago's Yum Yum Studios that profiles people who make things here in the city. [via]

Building Bait & Switch?

The Architect's Newspaper reports on the controversy over the still unsettled future of Lathrop Homes.

Hip Hop Etsy Shopper

Vice profiles Meaghan Garvey, aka Moneyworth.

Go To Jim's 6 Blocks

Clearly more to the story behind the graffiti on the latest building in our To Be Demolished series.

Debbie Carlos: One of Etsy's Coolest Artists

Complex magazine named local photographer Debbie Carlos one of the 25 Coolest Artists on Etsy. They say she has "some of the most stunning photography" on the popular arts and crafts website.

Love Letters from Sydney

Designer Joe Mills currently lives in Australia, so he's staying close to his home town by depicting it in art. Check out his typographic version of the Chicago skyline, Chicago food map and ode to summer in Chicago.

Refining Wolf Point

In other architecture news, plans have been refined for the Wolf Point towers unveiled last May. Notable revisions include a restaurant and a broader river walk.

Prentice to be Demolished

This afternoon the Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted 8-1 to deny landmark status to Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital. Paradoxically, the unusually rapid vote followed the board's unanimous decision that the building met landmarking criteria. Northwestern will demolish the building at an unspecified date.

Save Prentice or No?

The Landmarks Commission meeting to discuss the fate of Prentice Women's Hospital is still going on -- watch Twitter for realtime play-by-play. Here's a good overview of the years-long battle over the building. UPDATE: The Commission voted 9-0 for preliminary landmark status. The meeting continues.

It's a Great Exhibit, Charlie Brown

The Museum of Science & Industry's new Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit is now open, featuring all sorts of Peanuts memorabilia, including Charles Schulz's original drawings.

Landmarks Commission to Determine Prentice's Fate

Now that Mayor Emanuel has come out against the preservation of Prentice Women's Hospital, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks is hearing the case for the hospital during today's noon meeting in room 201-A at City Hall.

Progress Without Preservation?

Rahm Emanuel penned an op-ed piece in today's Tribune showing his support for razing the former site of Prentice Women's Hospital for an NU research facility.

Build Prentice Before it's Demolished

Build Your Own Chicago has created a free Prentice Women's Hospital papercraft model in support of the Save Prentice movement.

Sic Transit Butter Obama

On Friday, a butter sculpture of President Obama toured the Loop in a glass-fronted refrigerator. It's now at the Chicago Cultural Center, part of an exhibition by art duo Industry of the Ordinary.

Walking the Art Block

Brave the weather tonight and you'll be rewarded with some beautiful art on the Bridgeport Art Walk. You can always warm up with a hot toddy at Maria's.

Wright for the People

Frank Lloyd Wright designed some of Chicago's earliest attempts at subsidized housing.

CHA on a Demolition Path

The CHA has approved plans that would lead to the demolition of 1,800 public housing units in Lathrop Homes, Altgeld Gardens and the Cabrini rowhouses. The plans now head to Washington for HUD approval.

Picturing the Open House

Plenty of photos from this year's Open House Chicago are popping up in the GB flickr pool. We'd love to see yours too!

Threatened, Saved, Lost

A building in our To be Demolished project, 2141 N. Fremont St., looked like it was going to be saved from the wrecking ball, but its demolition hold was re-released last week.

Perfect Imperfections

GLI.TC/H , the festival of glitch art, music and technology, will be back in Chicago for a third round Dec. 6-9. Here's a review of the 2010 edition.

GLI.T/CH 2112 BUMPER from Kevin Carey on Vimeo.

The Still Lifes of Laura Letinsky

Chicago fine-art photographer (and UChicago professor) Laura Letinsky talked to the New York Times about her art and her commercial work.

Church to be Demolished for Walgreens

The newest entry in our To be Demolished series is 834 W. Armitage Ave., the former Greater Little Rock The Lord's Church. Walgreens is currently planning to build a new store on the site.

More or Less Winners

Grand Rapids, MI's ArtPrize art festival selected "More or Less," an installation by Chicago artists Anthony Lewellen, Brian Steckel, Chris Silva and David Cuesta, as one of its 2012 top winners.

Black on the Inside

The African American Cultural Center Gallery of UIC's upcoming exhibition, "Black/Inside: A History of Captivity & Confinement in the U.S.," posits that "mass incarceration has replaced segregation as a form of social control for black people." The exhibit opens Oct. 23 and runs until Nov. 21.

Houses with History

Chris Ware designed posters for the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. [via]

Model Car of the Future

Among the items in Wright's upcoming Important Design auction is a gorgeous model of the the 1961 Ford Gyron concept car.

Ford Gyron from Wright on Vimeo.

Transmitting Transit

The Logan Square arts group Transit has published a handy map of the neighborhood's arts sites, including the possibility to win some fine prizes.

100 Years of Architectural Study

The Burnham Plan Centennial has come and gone, but the Art Institute's Burnham Library of Architecture is just now reaching that point. To celebrate, the museum is exhibiting selections from its last 25 years of acquisitions.

Designing for Change

The Firebelly Foundation and EPIC were cited in HOW magazine as organizations "making waves in the design world when it comes to inspiring designers to influence change."

The Grid: Envision Arts Studio

The newest installment of our documentary series, The Grid, gets to know Envision Arts Studio, a branch of the social service agency Envision Unlimited that provides Chicagoans with intellectual and developmental disabilities a disciplined studio practice in a community setting.

Even More MAS

MAS Studio's been busy in the last few months preparing for two events: It just launched the newest issue of MAS Context, Visibility, and is hosting its second public design symposium, MAS Context: Analog, on October 13.

CTA Looking for Artists

The CTA is looking for artists to create public art work for seven soon to be rehabbed North Side Red Line stations. Proposal submissions are due by 3:30pm Oct. 10. Architecture Chicago Plus has rounded up some examples of current public art on the CTA.

Artistic Power Rankings

NewCity's Art 50 is out.

Permanent Works of Art

Opening Friday at the Uptown Arts Center is "The Sharpie King," a collection of works by Immy Mellin, who works exclusively in the medium. The Sharpie Blog has an interview and pictures of his work. [via]

Turning a Daley Park into a Daley Park

The two and a half year reconstruction of North Grant Park is now underway, during which Daley Bicentennial Plaza will be transformed into Maggie Daley Park. Three renderings of the park are available on the construction website (Tip: Open each rendering in another window to see the full resolution version).

You're Welcome, SF

Local street artist Don't Fret took his talents west to San Francisco to class up their city's walls.

Public Art

The CTA is looking for artists to create work for seven rehabbed north side Red Line stations. Local, national and international artists are encouraged to apply by Oct. 10, though there will be community meetings to discuss the project both tomorrow and Thursday. [via]

Ride Along with a Hack

Filmmaker John McNaughton's "video portrait" of Dmitry Samarov during his last days of driving a cab is now online.

Music, Movies, Both, Something Else?

Jim DeRogatis wants to know what the Congress Theater's owner is doing with the Portage Theater, particularly because a lot of rules stand in the way of changing the venue.

A Local Pompeian Carpet

ArchitecturePlus Chicago reviews the plans for the Expo Chicago 2012 space by Studio/Gang. If you like their work, don't forget to check out their Art Institute show at the end of the month.

Making a People Place

Voting is now open for Placemaking Chicago's "Space in Between" competition.

Staying Near the Lake

Forgotten Chicago is exploring the city's shoreline motels, the little-heralded accommodations along Lake Michigan, particularly on the North Side.

Prentice Fight Gets Ugly

Northwestern is resorting to dirty pool in its battle with preservationists over the old Prentice Women's Hospital, Deanna Isaacs says.

Open the Door to 150 Chicago Places

Open House Chicago's 2012 website is now live, including this map of the locations open on October 13 and 14.

So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright

Crain's reports that the Art Institute passed on the opportunity to house Frank Lloyd Wright's entire archive. Instead, the famed Chicago architect's work will go to New York. Art Garfunkel could not be reached for comment.

Why isn't Prentice Being Evaluated?

Cheryl Kent writes if Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital is demolished without review, it will be done outside of the city's legal process. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks has been either unable or unwilling to rule on the building's landmark status since its removal from the June 2011 agenda, and a closed-door negotiation has been substituted for the city's formal process. Put another way, if the landmarks commission doesn't do its job, who does?

The Spire as a CGI Fantasy

Lee Bey reminds us that the Chicago Spire was supposed to be fully inhabited by now. Now we have a hole in the ground and a bizarre promotional video.

Steff Bombing Craft Wars

Congratulations to local artist Steff Bomb, who was victorious in TLC's Craft Wars!

Peterson's Sixties Vibe

A Chicago Sojourn takes us on a two-part tour of Peterson Avenue's Mid-Century architecture.

The Grid: LAMPO

The newest installment of our documentary series The Grid explores the experimental music and intermedia events of LAMPO.

The... Violet Hotel?

The new owners of the Purple Hotel, that long-closed landmark on Touhy in Lincolnwood, want to give it a new name. This feels like a Sears Tower moment, but if you want to give them a hand, here's where to do it.

Chicago, Tom Schraeder Loves You

Singer-songwriter Tom Schraeder is organizing Chicago, I Love You, a 30-day arts and music festival at Lilly's in Lincoln Park. He spoke with Chicagoist's Jon Graef about why he put the festival together.

The Unexpected Icon

Forty-five years ago, Chicago marveled and mocked a brand new Picasso sculpture. Ask the Librarian covered its controversy back in 2004.

Politics & Preservation in Palmer Square

In Mechanics, Jason Prechtel gives an in-depth overview of the battle between parishioners, preservationists and Alderman Colón over the future of St. Sylvester's rectory on Palmer Square. Meanwhile, Ben Joravsky reports in the Reader on another political preservation fight.

Muralizing Rogers Park

Speaking of art, the murals to go in Rogers Park underpasses (previously) have been chosen; the styles range from graffiti-inspired to realist to an iteration of You Are Beautiful.

The murals will go up on the Chase, Estes, Greenview/Sherwin, North Shore and Rogers Avenue CTA underpasses and the Birchwood, Estes, Farwell, Morse, Rogers and Touhy Avenue Metra underpasses.

Chicago 1955 by Aaron Wooten

Take a Bite Out of Art

Street artist Roa created a cool -- if slightly disgusting -- angular illusion artwork in Pilsen. [via]

The Park Down the Street

Speaking of parking, two of four new parklets in parking spaces open this week, at 5228 N. Clark St. and 2559 N. Lincoln Ave. The one in Andersonville was partially funded on Kickstarter and co-designed by Studio Murmur and moss design, who has led PARK(ing) Day events in Chicago for several years. The next two parklets open on 47th Street next week.

Saving Sylvia

Nicole Hollander has been drawing Bad Girl Chats, an outgrowth of her Sylvia comic, for awhile now. She's running an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds to keep it going for another year.

WTF, Maron

Comedian and podcast host Marc Maron opens a six-show stand at Mayne Stage tomorrow night. Chicagoist's Chuck Sudo interviewed him on the occasion of his 300th podcast.

Learn from a Master Screenprinter

Jay Ryan is one of the most respected screenprinting artists today. He's teaching a master workshop at the Evanston Art Center on Aug. 11.

Spread Some Holiday Magic to Election Day

Two Chicago folks want to build some whimsy and expectation for the upcoming election by producing the Election Day Advent Calendar. You can support them on Kickstarter. (See other local projects on our curated page.)

Art by the Inch

A Chicago Sojourn takes us on a tour of 1"x1" tile mosaics around Chicagoland.

Fun with the DotBot

The Art Institute's DotBot uses your computer's webcam to make Roy Lichtenstein-esque comic portraits.

Stay at the Athletic Club

Hotelier John Pritzker has purchased the Chicago Athletic Club and plans to turn it into a hotel.

More than Curiously Strong

This month's Dwell features important women designers, and among those featured are the local collaborators of Quite Strong.

Kickstart Some Art

Art On Track's Kickstarter for its 2012 art train made to full funding last night -- but there are more Chicago-based projects worthy of your support on our curated page and Kickstarter in general.

As Valuable as Frank Lloyd Wright

The Chicago Architecture Blog argues that we should be working to preserve the 400 block of South Clark Street, because "it transports you back to late 1960′s shithole-era Chicago. ... It shows the city how far it's come in the last few decades, while reminding us that this is still the every-day reality for so many thousands of our neighbors being left behind."

Growing and Playing

A "vertical play farm" concept from Chicago's Architecture for Humanity is among the finalists for a playground design challenge on GOODmaker. Vote it up!

Contextualizing Communication

MAS Context continues to outdo itself in every issue with its newest, Communication.

Art Institute in the App Store

The Art Institute launched two new free iOS apps for its 91,000 members: a Digital Member Card for iPhone and a digital version of Member Magazine for iPad. Handy for sure, but they're no Magic Tate Ball.

Live Across from the Aviary

Fulton Market Cold Storage, kittycorner from The Aviary and Next at Morgan and Fulton Market, is being converted into condos and offices.

Monopoly, Bored

Seen some oversized Monopoly game pieces in Logan Square? They're the work of Bored, a new anonymous artist or artists interested in creating 3-D street art. More pictures at Christopher Jobson's site, though it looks like the art project dates back to April. (via)

Ebert's Journey from Fanboy to Critic

Roger Ebert writes about how science fiction fandom made him the man he is today in "Asimov's Science Fiction."

The Ballgame on Your Wall

City Prints Map Art makes posters of Wrigley Field, Sox Park and other baseball stadiums -- in addition to cities like ours. They're on sale on right now. [via]

Going Beyond the Photograph

Kyle Thompson creates ethereal, surreal portraits; he explains his process a bit in this Reddit thread. [via]

Walt Disney's House is for Sale

No, not Disneyland, his childhood home -- 2156 N. Tripp Ave. in Hermosa, built by Walt's father and in which Mickey Mouse's dad was born. The two-story house is listed for $179,000. [via]

The Art of the Underpass

The 49th Ward is seeking artists to paint murals on 20 underpasses under the CTA and Metra tracks in Rogers Park. [via]

Rfp Mural Project 2012 Final

Applications are due by July 16.

Chicago Has a Great Poster

John Massey and John Rieben designed a set of posters for the Container Corporation of America as part of its Chicago Cultural Communication Project in 1965, but they were never produced. Until now.

flatmade chicago poster
© John Massey

UPDATE: Chicago magazine's Whet Moser shares background on the Container Corporation's contributions to modern design.

Business Up Front

A Chicago Sojourn through storefront additions.

"Savers of the Lost Ark"

Chicago Jewish News tells one part of the story of trying to save the former Anshe Kanesses Israel synagogue.

451: Not Just for Burning Books

Among Ray Bradbury's tributes may be a 451 status code, recalling Fahrenheit 451 when a page is restricted due to legal reasons.

RIP, Leroy Neiman

Leroy Neiman, an SAIC alumnus and professor whose art regularly appeared in Playboy and other magazines, passed away yesterday at 91.

Where's Your Sign?

Get inspired by the Kickstarter campaign for Chicago long-time sign painter Ches Perry. He's painted signs by hand since the mid '60s, and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, he wants to fund an instructional DVD to pass on his knowledge to a new generation. This, and other worthy local Kickstarter projects, can be found in our Gapers Block curated page of campaigns.

Polish Artifacts to be Returned

Speaking of the Polish Museum of America, the FBI found about 150 of the museum's stolen artifacts. They're announcing the $5 million haul this afternoon. UPDATE: Here are some of the items.

Color Less than Jammy

In NewCity, Jason Foumberg finds Jessica Stockholder's Color Jam installation to be unfortunately underwhelming and under-transforming.

The Art of the Game

Sixty Inches from Center profiles Jeffrey Daniels, a Chicago artist whose work is often inspired by gameplay.

Design in the Back of a Truck

Tonight after work, get off at the new Morgan Green Line stop and hit the Guerrilla Truck Show, the annual indie furniture and design show along Fulton Market.

Hot Dog Architecture

FoGB Phineas X. Jones has created a poster that will soon hang in half the hot dog stands in town -- unless you buy them all first.

© Phineas X. Jones

Dig Under The Couch Cushions

If you can scrape together $32 million, the 14,260-square foot penthouse at Trump Tower -- the western hemisphere's highest residence, and the most expensive property in Chicago -- is all yours.

Wrigley Building Landmarked

The Wrigley Building is now an official Chicago landmark. For some reason, the building owners are going to celebrate by pointing blue lights at it for the next few months.

At Ohio & LaSalle

A Chicago Sojourn visits The Ohio House Motel, which has a spiffy new website.

How We Design

The Chicago Design Museum is now open, with exhibitions featuring Debbie Millman, Ed Fella, hand-painted signage and more. Its official opening reception is June 11.

Planes, Trains, Automobiles and a House

So you don't have the money for John Hughes' house, but maybe you can purchase Steve Martin's house from Planes, Trains and Automobiles ... for $1.8 million.

More Demolished than Standing

Our To be Demolished project is now more than half finished with a new set of published buildings, including derelict and not-so-derelict residences, alike.

Ink Stains Fake Fur

FoGB Phineas X. Jones shows a puppet how to screenprint on the latest episode of "The Jameson Talk Show" from the Noah Ginex Puppet Company.

The Case of the Missing Artwork Certificate

Rhona Hoffman Gallery is being sued by the owner of a Sol LeWitt piece because the gallery allegedly lost the piece's certificate of authenticity.

Redeveloping the Confluence

Details are now available for the three high-rise development proposed for Wolf Point on the Chicago River. Despite the recent announcement, the final tower wouldn't be complete until 2020.

The Loop Gets Colorized

The Chicago Loop Alliance begins mounting Color Jam, a huge art installation by Jessica Stockholder that will cover State Street in geometric colored shapes, tonight from 7 to 9pm, Friday, June 1 from 9 to 10pm and Monday, June 4 from 8 to 9pm.

The Caped Cartooner

A.V. Club interviews actor and comic book artist Chris Burnham, currently drawing Batman Incorporated.

This Sausage is Kinda Chewy

The Object Design League created a set of meat balloons. Sadly, they're sold out.

A Thousand Firefly Cycles

Chicago-based artist David Rueter is traveling up to the Twin Cities to produce The Kuramoto Model (1,000 Fireflies). HuffPo Chicago interviewed him about the project, which "transforms" bicyclists into LED fireflies. Help make it happen on Kickstarter.

"That didn't turn out so badly."

There is no shortage of love for Chris Ware on Gapers Block. So of course we have to share Fear No Art's interview with him.

Indian Boundary Park Fieldhouse Burned

A fire badly damaged the historic fieldhouse at Indian Boundary Park on Sunday. The park's neighbors vowed to help the Park District rebuild.

Photos © the_mel, all rights reserved.

Plenty of Vacancies

A Chicago Sojourn checks in to see what remains of Lincoln Avenue's Motel Row, which we've covered once or twice in the past.

Looking at Lichtenstein

Huffington Post has nothing but praise for the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective opening at the Art Institute -- a sprawling show featuring more than 160 pieces. The exhibition runs May 22-Sep 3.

An Experiment in Writing & Design

We hope you join us tonight at The Coop for the release of 8x8, a set of posters featuring collaborations by 16 local writers and designers. RSVP on Facebook!


Curbed Chicago offers a slideshow of downtown real estate "projects in the pipeline."

Once Cool Bean

Chicago's Cloud Gate may be the country's most popular contemporary art.

Tearing Down & Building Up

The Atlantic Cities blog talked with our own David Schalliol and Milwaukee-based urban historian Michael Carriere about their documentation of urban decay and revitalization.

Outsider Art Garage Sale

Intuit is throwing Collect-O-Rama, a "de-accession sale for collectors, hoarders and eccentrics," this Saturday from 10am to 4pm at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse.

The End of the Brand

After months of controversy, the orange-rated Brand Brewing Company complex is currently being demolished.

Brand Brewing Demolition

Brand Brewing Demolition

Street Art

Local artist Jane Sloss recently completed a series of 24 watercolor paintings -- one for each mile of Western Avenue. They're now collected at the Beverly Arts Center in her show At the Heart of the City. [via]

Mapping the Murals

The Mural Locator has only a fraction of Chicago's murals listed. Give them a hand, won't you?

Demolishing One Building for Another

Among recent additions to To be Demolished are a modern industrial building that will make way for a mixed-use development and a North Side house marketed as a teardown.

"It was a dark and stormy night." Now You Go.

The Collabowriters is a collaborative "crowdsourced novel" project by artist Willy Chyr -- yep, the same guy whose art is on a Beck's bottle.

Local Makes Beck's Art Bottle

Chicago artist Willy Chyr's work is featured on the latest edition of Beck's Beer art bottle series, which is being sold in the US for the first time starting May 7.

This Version of Bridgeport

In its 12th year, Version has morphed into a monthlong celebration of Bridgeport, "Community of the Future." The festival kicks off with a party tonight at Maria's Packaged Goods, and continues with events every day through the 31st.

Recognition for Historic Public Housing Development

Yesterday the 1930s Chicago public housing development Julia C. Lathrop Homes was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Lathrop Homes as viewed from Diversey Bridge

How Could You Miss Her?

"We wanted to give [people] an opportunity to see her, if they haven't already." So says Jenee Castellanos, associate curator of The Sculpture Foundation, which is removing its gigantic Marilyn Monroe statue from Pioneer Court so she can show her underwear to some other town. De-installation begins May 7. (Previously, and your thoughts.)

Meet the City's Newest Harbor

The Public Building Commission posted a pretty comprehensive photograph set of the brand new 31st Street Harbor.

Waiting to be Demolished

Several new buildings were posted in To be Demolished, including a Woodlawn rent subsidized apartment complex and a downtown parking garage.

Sailboats & the Sears Tower

Designer Bob Staake created this beautiful poster, which you can buy here.

Funny Hats & Fabulous Dresses

In A/C, Kelly Reaves highlights some of the amazing fashions on display at the annual SAIC spring fashion shows.

I Love this F***in' Place!

Johnny Sampson has created a new one-page comic, Chicago: A Love Story, that's available as a poster.

© Johnny Sampson, all rights reserved.

A House, Once of Worship

A Chicago Sojourn explores the phenomenon of churches converted into homes. (And does so at a new home itself, having converted from Blogspot to Wordpress.)

Celestial Sounds

Tomorrow night at 6:30pm at the MCA, Steve Krakow will conduct the Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra, in which as many guitarists (and players of other amped stringed instruments) will play a drone in the key of E. All you have to do to participate is bring your own gear.

The History of the Portage Theater

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks is considering landmark status for the Portage Theater, which a controversial church wants to convert into a house of worship. In A/C, Dan Kelly delves deep into the theater's history and its role as a cinema and community center.

In Case Palin Wasn't Scary Enough...

The Bridgeport Art Center now has a giant, terrifying sculpture of her head (that doubles as a functional stove) in its new sculpture garden.

Coming Soon: The Vintage Garage

As AON moves out of the Uptown neighborhood this summer, the neighborhood is gaining another type of commerce. The company's staff parking structure on Broadway (near Argyle) will be utilized as a part-time vintage market from June-October, with vendors selling straight from their methods of transportation on the third Sunday of each month.

Bone White Paper

Nancy McCabe has hand embossed on paper the skeletons of an elephant, a whale and an otter.

Hot Boxing the Nation

Hot Box, two years later still Chicago's only mobile gallery space, is planning to tour the country this year, and they're raising funds on Kickstarter. (Check out other cool local Kickstarter projects on GB's curated page.)

Neighborhood Pride on a Poster

StudioChris is making a series of silkscreened neighborhood posters reminiscent of old travel posters. The latest, Bucktown, is being released with a party at the Bucktown Pub on Sunday.

Art in Blue & Grey

The Terra has put together a website of Civil War art from the collections of several Chicago institutions. More about it in A/C.

Deflated Text

The inflated/deflated projects places handwritten messages on the unlikely medium of party balloons. They're available for sale on Etsy. [via]

Building Brick by Brick

LEGO has a site, Cuusoo, where you can propose a special set and if 10,000 people vote for it, it'll get made. Currently there are two projects to create Marina Towers and a much more detailed Sears Tower than the current version.

Push This Version Forward

Version Fest is moving to Bridgeport for its 12th edition this May, and it's been raising money via Kickstarter to help make it happen. The campaign ends Tuesday at 1pm, and is only a little over halfway there. Give a hand if you can.

Seven to Save

This year's "Chicago Seven" endangered buildings list, put out annually by Preservation Chicago, is a bit longer than seven. Three hospitals, several historic homes, and a cluster of old movie theaters are named to be saved and reused.

Creative Silence

In A/C, a profile of the Open Studio Project, an unconventional art therapy program based in Evanston with only one rule -- keep your mouth shut.

The Historic West Loop

The City has nominated the West Loop and LaSalle Street corridor to be added to the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district, which would allow the City to receive federal money toward preservation.

Google Goes Beyond the Doodle

Paintings and sculptures from the Art Institute are among more than 32,000 pieces viewable on Google's new Art Project, which launches today. Streetview cameras were used to photograph many of the artworks in the gallery setting, providing a virtual visit to more than 100 museums worldwide.

The Landmark Portage Theater?

The City is set to consider the Portage Theater for landmark status, which would prevent the Chicago Tabernacle from turning the movie house into a church if they were to buy it.

8-Bit Chicago

One of Google's April Fool's pranks this year was to release an 8-bit "Quest" version of Google Maps, which supposedly runs on the Nintendo Entertainment System. But while it may be a prank, it results in some pretty amazing low-res views of Chicago.

Chicago, Legend of Zelda style:
google maps 8bit Chicago

A view of the buildings across from Google's Chicago offices:
google maps 8bit streetview Chicago

Marina Towers:
google maps 8bit streetview: Marina Towers

The Hancock:
google maps 8bit streetview: the Hankcock

The Bean and skyline:
google maps 8bit streetview: The Bean

Buckingham Fountain:
google maps 8bit streetview: Buckingham Fountain

Wrigley Field:
google maps 8bit streetview: Wrigley Field

The Field Museum:
google maps 8bit streetview: Field Museum

A surprisingly colorful Sears Tower:
google maps 8bit streetview: Sears Tower

The Water Tower:
google maps 8bit streetview: The Water Tower

Happy 126th, Mies van der Rohe

Google's doodle today is a depiction of IIT's Crown Hall, in honor of architect Mies van der Rohe's 126th birthday. The Mies van der Rohe Society is throwing a party tonight, with a focus on the architect's influence over hair stylist Vidal Sassoon.


Victorian Redone

Designslinger takes a closer look at Theophil Studios, one of the artist-reworked homes on Burton Place in Old Town. View additional images of the building and others by the artist in our gallery of photographs from a book about his work.

"Before I die I want to _____"

The Chicago Urban Art Society and Good News Only have teamed up to install Chicago versions of New Orleans artist Candy Chang's "Before I Die..." wall in Edgewater, Pilsen, Wicker Park and Chinatown. They're looking for spots for two more.

"Before I Die..." encourages residents to fill in the blank in the sentence, "Before I die I want to ____" on a large expanse of chalkboard. Twenty-fifth Ward Alderman Danny Solis helped install the Pilsen wall, and was one of the first to write on it. He wrote, "to see Pilsen as the safest neighborhood in the city."

To be Demolished for Strikingly Different Reasons

The newest entries in To be Demolished are products of both sides of the housing market. The 1930 multi-unit building at 7819 S. Kingston Ave. is being demolished after foreclosure and neglect, while the relatively new single-family home at 1957 N. Orchard St. is being demolished for what will likely be a considerably grander residence.

The End of the Former Anshe Kanesses Israel Synagogue

Demolition has begun on the Shepherd's Temple Baptist Church building, 3411 W. Douglas Blvd. Before the building was a church, it was the Anshe Kanesses Israel Synagogue, the largest Jewish congregation outside of New York. A photograph of the demolition is after the break.

Former Anshe Kanesses Israel Synagogue

View additional threatened and demolished buildings in To be Demolished.

Design Coil

Designer and former GB staffer Craighton Berman's Coil lamp has been added to the permanent collection at the Art Institute. It can be seen in the museum's exhibit Rethinking Typologies.

Mysterious Found Sound

Bill Talsma's "Detritus: Radio Regurgitation" is an eerie piece made up of "discarded cassette tape collected over a three-year period from the streets of Chicago." [via]

Former Synagogue to be Demolished

Lee Bey reports that negotiations have failed to save 3411 W. Douglas Blvd. The former Anshe Kanesses Israel synagogue will be demolished as early as next week.

A New Streeterville High Rise

A 670-foot skyscraper has been proposed for 435 North Park Drive in Streeterville. SOAR is also collecting information about the development, including additional renderings [pdf].

To be Demolished on the South and West Sides

Among the recently posted To be Demolished buildings are a brick beauty in North Lawndale and a shell of a bungalow in West Englewood

How Can We Rethink Ownership?

MAS Context's new issue (and redesign) is live, and the theme is "ownership."

A New Look at a New Deal Project

Local photographer Jason Reblando's "New Deal Utopias" project is featured on the NYTime's Lens blog today.

You're a Grand Old Flag

The Urbanophile gives major props to Chicago's flag and its many manifestations in city culture.

Collectable Prints

Veronica Corzo-Duchardt documents her grandfather's collections on the Neche Collection, and has made prints based on some of them; this one is my favorite. [via]

Guerilla Girls Take Over A+D Gallery

A retrospective of the Guerilla Girls, the legendary group of anonymous feminists fighting sexism in the art world, opens tonight in Columbia's A+D Gallery. There's also a free Q&A with members of the group at 6pm; details in Slowdown.

See (Some of) the Cushman Collection in Print

Historians and photo-lovers have long-browsed the extensive Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection and its amazing Chicago entries, but now you can view some of them in book form. For some background, read Lee Bey's interview with the book's editor, Eric Sandweiss.

None More Green

The Yannell House in Ravenswood (warning: un-turnoffable music on page) is the greenest ever built, having attained the highest LEED-Platinum certification score ever. [via]

New Opera from Chicago

The Lyric Opera announced it will host the world premiere of "Bel Catno," as part of its Renée Fleming Initiative. It will be the seventh premiere the Lyric has commissioned since 1961.

Towering Online

The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats is launching a new Skyscraper database website. Here is Chicago's listing.

To be Demolished: South Side Foreclosures

Today's To be Demolished entries, 1448 W. 62nd St. and 8537 S. Escanaba Ave., are both victims of the mortgage crisis.

The Legacy of Cabrini Green

In Design Observer, author Lawrence Vale examines the Cabrini Green public housing complex and its place in the city's history and future. [via]

The City's Culture Needs Your Input

Want to help influence the Chicago Cultural Plan? There's one last meeting tonight from 6pm to 8pm at the National Museum of Mexican Art.

First Wal-Mart, now Casinos?

Next week, Feb. 28, The Chicago Architecture Foundation debates the design of a potential Chicago casino that Senate Bill 744 would allow at its event Beating the Odds. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the former mayor of Milwaukee, John Norquist, join a panel of city political and design figures.

To be Demolished in South Chicago

Today's To be Demolished entries are derelict residences located in South Chicago. Both 8522 S. Burley Ave. and 8554 S. Burley Ave. date back to the time when steel mills were rapidly expanding in the area -- and are victims of the region's economy collapsing.

The Loop Gets Colorful

This year's Art Loop installation will be Jessica Stockholder's "Color Jam." The installation will involve wrapping an intersection on State Street with colorful sculptures, paintings and possibly even fabric. [via]

Improving the Pedway

Speaking of the Pedway, MAS Studio has some ideas on how it could be improved.

The Grid: The Mediated Plant

The newest installment of our documentary series The Grid examines how The Plant -- Chicago's vertical farm and food business incubator -- has been represented in the media.

Eating and Painting

Constructive Chaos, a culinary and arts learning center for kids ages 5-18, is scheduled to open next month in River Forest.

The Bean, Luminous

How cool is Luminous Field in Millennium Park? Very, very cool. You've got till Monday to go.

Theatre group Collaboraction is adding an additional layer to Luminous Field by performing and leading interactive games. Catch them next on Friday at the beginning of each hour from 7pm to 9pm.



photos by Critter

Build Your Own Metropolitan Correctional Center

Matt Bergstrom has added a few new free buildings recently to his amazing Build Your Own Chicago paper scale model collection.

To be Demolished in Lincoln Park

Today's To be Demolished entry, 1951 N. Orchard St., is another orange-rated residence that is likely being demolished to make way for a mega-mansion.

Architectural Design Competition for Teens

The Chicago Architectural Foundation recently launched, a free online tool for aspiring young architectural designers. This month, CAF introduced a design competition for high school students, challenging them to redesign their cafeteria.

Hancock Getting Signed Away?

The John Hancock Center may be siezed from its owners by one of its financiers.

Searching Through Architecture

Phorio is a locally developed "research engine about built objects." Here's the Auditorium Building as an example.

To be Demolished Times Three

Today brings three starkly different entries to our series To be Demolished: a mixed-use building located at 8947 S. Commercial Ave., a derelict residential building at 6030 S. Wolcott Ave. and an orange-rated residential building located at 1950 N. Burling St.

Hanks & Hanksy in the News

Chet Haze's sister, Elizabeth Hanks, interviewed Chicago/New York street artist Hanksy for The Awl.

Chicago's Own Trevi

Meet Giovanni Bucci, a local sculptor who's recreated the Trevi Fountain.

No Longer Next

The Merchandise Mart has decided to shutter Next Art Chicago, the annual art fair that was scheduled for April 27-29

Illuminating the Bean

On Friday evening, Cloud Gate will interact with a new work of art. Luminous Field by artists Luftwork combines video graphics and music by local composer Owen Clayton Condon. It'll be on view this weekend and next.

Revive that Vacant Lot

The Chicago chapter of Architecture for Humanity is looking for creative ways to make vacant land more useful to the community with its Activate! Temporary Public Space Design Competition

Trading Housing for Parkland on the South Side

The latest building in To be Demolished, 5744 S. Lafayette Ave., is being demolished by Openlands. The organization is working with the city to level a cluster of residential buildings to create a new South Side park.

Interpretation and Reinterpretation at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Today's Rearview photo is part of GB flickr pool contributor John Crouch's series of exploratory photographs of the nature boardwalk pavilion at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Each final image in the series is generated from the same initial 60 photographs.

To be Demolished: 3040 N. Seminary Ave.

The newest building featured in To be Demolished is a brick residence located at 3040 N. Seminary Ave. An unusual building for the block, it has clearly been retrofitted to satisfy multiunit regulations.

Already a Landmark in Our Minds

You would have thought it already was one, but the Wrigley Building is another step closer to being designated a landmark.

Building Up

You might have noticed a 32-story blue glass tower being built in the South Loop- it's Roosevelt University's "vertical campus" and the school's $123 million gamble.

Between Two Worlds

What's it like being a bi-cultural resident of Chicago? Brazilian-American artist Bia Gayotto asks in her latest piece, Somewhere in Between: Chicago, 2011.

Somewhere in Between: Chicago, 2011 from Bia Gayotto on Vimeo.

Building Collapse by Neglect

A historic terra cotta building partially collapsed in Auburn Gresham yesterday, injuring four pedestrians. As Eric Rogers notes, one shame in the whole situation is the city bought the building more than ten years ago to try to protect it and the community. A photograph of the partially demolished building is after the break.

Demolition of 79th and Halsted Corner Building

Know Your Meng

Former GB staffer John Lendman does a Q&A with Meng Yang of Know Your Flag in Inspire Magazine. [via]

The Corner of Michigan & Pearson

Forgotten Chicago delves into the history of the Bertram Goldberg-designed building that now contains Topshop.

A Map of Arts in the Schools

Ingenuity Incorporated and the Chicago Public Schools Office of Arts Education have teamed up to create ArtLook, a map showing arts programming at every public school in Chicago.

The Future of Navy Pier?

The Trib has a sneak peek of the proposed Navy Pier redesigns, complete with images. The catch? The interesting ideas are probably more expensive than the RFP's [pdf] $85 million budget.

Lend Me $2 Million

Artist Michael Frommer and Susan Shure selling their home in Bucktown.

A Trained Eye on Design

Imprint compares the beauty of Chicago train posters with those of London.

To be Demolished: 1340 W. George St.

The newest building featured in To be Demolished is a frame residence located at 1340 W. George St. The owner's address is identical to the owner's address for the first demolished building in the project, 3549 N. Reta Ave.

Chicago as Meat

Alyson Thomas turns Chicago's wards into cuts of pork. Though soon to be outdated, 10 percent of the purchase price goes to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, so it's still a worthy purchase.

People Who Live in Glass Houses...

In other cartoon news, the Farnsworth House is being attacked by beavers.

The City is a Jigsaw

Andrew Bayley, a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Architecture has created a wooden jigsaw puzzle version of the new ward map. [via]

Join SMALL and Participate in "The People's Macy's"

Speaking of workforce development, the Public Media Institute is launching the Small Manufacturing Alliance (SMALL), and they want you to join. SMALL will promote and support local companies and individuals who make stuff: bikes, clothing, food, media, whatever. The first public event will be the SMALL Showroom, which will feature member products in the Co-Prosperity Sphere throughout May.

Captain Mortgage & Bilge Gates

Lunchbreath chronicles some of the unsuccessful pirates of lore.

Unsuccessful Pirate No.1: Neckbeard

Inappropriately Dressed for the Weather

The Marilyn Monroe statue in Pioneer Square looks even more ridiculous in the snow. [via]

Marilyn needs to cut down on her use of white face powder

Sim Chicago

As Redditor DrapedInVelvet said, "And I thought I had too much free time."

Click to see the full version:

New Section: To Be Demolished

Gapers Block is pleased to announce a new section supported by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation: To Be Demolished. Over the course of 2012 I will be producing a photographic portrait of 100 of the hundreds of buildings threatened with demolition in the city of Chicago. This week launches with five modest and monumental buildings from the "demolition hold" list. More information about the project is on the "background" page.

Learning the Trade

Want to teach yourself how to be an architect -- or at least how to design like one? Black Spectacles can help.

ORD Poster

Designer and architect Jerome Daksiewicz has produced a series of posters featuring the runway layouts of several major airports, including O'Hare. [via]

Home-Grown Talent in The New York Times

Rashid Johnson, an esteemed photographer and graduate of both Columbia College Chicago and the School of the Art Institute, was featured in The New York Times' Art & Design section. The piece titled Fusing Identity: Dollops of Humor and Shea Butter, also includes information about his Message to Our Folks exhibit, which will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art in April.

Buy the Mayor's House

No, not Emanuel's. Not Daley's. Our first mayor, William B. Ogden's. [via]

120 E. Pearson St.

In the first of three articles on architect Bertrand Goldberg's homes in Chicago, Forgotten Chicago reminds us that the Mag Mile wasn't always all giant stores and highrises.

Happy New Year?

Hey Oscar Wilde! shares a choice Chris Ware strip to end the year.

Help Woman Made

Woman Made Gallery turns 20 in 2012, and it's raising money through new charitable crowdsourcing platform Helpers Unite to help fund some major changes. [via]

2011's Architecture in Review

Blair Kamin reviews the best and worst architecture news of the year. [via]

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 28

Robie House, in LEGO. (Or the Farnsworth House or Sears Tower, for that matter.)

Windy City on Your Wall

Know Your Flag's latest poster explores the myths and theories surrounding the origins of the nickname "Windy City."

A Tag for Your Unique Holiday Gift

Need a gift tag for your Secret Santa exchange? Print a sheet of this cute "cozy turtle" tag from Laura Park on the color printer and affix as needed. It's her gift to you!

Cozy Turtle Gift tags!

Download it here.

Help Determine Union Station's Future

Union Station may soon receive an overhaul, and there's a meeting this Thursday to review the new master plan. You might also want to check out, a proposal to turn the station into a hub for regional bullet trains.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 23

For the dog lovers, Dolan Geiman has created silhouettes of several breeds out of reclaimed wood and other found materials.

Do It Yourself Beautiful

The folks behind You Are Beautiful are looking for original YAB artworks for a January show in San Francisco. If you'd like to contribute, you can drop your piece off at The Post Family studio this Thursday.

A Foreclosure That May Not be a Typical "Deal"

The 21,000-square-foot Schweppe mansion is back on the market for $12 million after a foreclosure.

Warhol's Empire Screening On Skyline

The skyline gets a taste of the Big Apple this Friday, as the Art Institute of Chicago will be screening Andy Warhol's 1964 film Empire on the side of the Aon Center. The black-and-white piece consists of an eight-hour shot of the Empire State Building.

There's Architecture in Everything

The Hancock Tower, Sears Tower, Marina City, the Farnsworth House and others are among the "covers" in this imaginative video by Luis Urculo. [via]

Covers/Luis Urculo from Luis Urculo on Vimeo.

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 15

The Area Code Project produces posters and "phone socks" for a variety of area codes, including 312, 773, 847 and 630.

Public Art Indoors

Curbed has created a map of indoor public art (or nearly indoor, in the case of some of the CTA works.)


CRO's latest political street art features a familiar pizza baron.

$9.99 (CRO)
Photo by Gabriel X. Michael.

An Ocean of Rice

There are 30,000 piles of rice in SAIC's Sullivan North Gallery, courtesy of artist Wolfgang Laib.

Art of the Grid

Matthew Picton paints Chicago's grid. (He also beaded the L at some point.) [via]

A Thorny Puzzle

The Art Institute has created a Escape from Thorne Mansion, a game in which you explore the Thorne Miniature Rooms in search of clues. [via]

Unique Holiday Gifts, Pt. 11

Gorgeous prints by local artist Tim Jarosz. [via]

His Amazing Fantasy

Chimera's Comics had some good news for a recent customer: A comic he found in the attic was the first appearance of Spiderman and worth around $12,000.

Life of Art

A profile on the career and passion of Douglas Druick, who worked at the Art Institute for 26 years before being appointed Director in August.

Many, Many Murals

The Trib looks back on 40 years of the Chicago Public Art Group.

New Development Near McCormick

Central Station and the Prairie District still have a glut of unsold condos, but plans are afoot for a new hotel and shopping complex in the near-south neighborhood.

The Pride & Joy of Chicago Avenue

Aaron Kraus drew the people of the #66 Bus

A Moving Gallery

The CTA unveiled an online gallery of public art in its stations. [via]

Art is Political

Never The Same is a collection of "conversations about art transforming politics and community in Chicago and beyond."

Documentarians Want to Listen to You

The folks at Kartemquin FIims are redesigning their website and would like your feedback.

A Beautiful Escape

Local site Escape Into Life collects beautiful works of art and literature in one place.

MoCP Print Auction Items Announced

The MoCP recently announced its annual print auction, which includes some pretty great images and one-of-a-kind portrait sessions.

Life in the Corn Cobs

Iker Gil and Andreas E.G. Larsson's Inside Marina City takes you inside some of the apartments in the iconic towers. It's part of an exhibition on Betrand Goldberg currently on view in the Art Institute's Modern Wing.

Historic Brewery Under Retail Demolition Threat

If you've ever driven north on Elston from Fullerton, you may have noticed the large brick factory building directly south of the Home Depot parking lot. Slow down the next time you cruise by this long-closed building. It may be the last time you see it.

Beer Art talks with Half Acre's Gabriel Magliaro and illustrator Phineas X. Jones about the brewery's fantastic labels.

Big Blue Art

A large blue sculpture by John Henry is being installed in a Lincoln Park yard -- much to the ire of some neighbors. [via]

Andrew Coffey visited the home and learned a bit more about the sculpture, as well as some of the other artwork and architectural details of the home.

Brewing Another Big Box

The former Brand Brewing Co. complex on Elston may be demolished to make room for yet another big box store along the strip. Our Urban Times offers reasons why it shouldn't.

December 21, 2012 is Only 416 Days Away

You still have a few hours left to get a copy of The Apocalypse Calendar, the only calendar you'll need after the end of the world.

Scary Salvage

Take a creepy walk through art made from salvaged items at the William H. Cooper Co. warehouse this weekend.

You Are Still Beautiful

It's OK if you ran out of You Are Beautiful stickers -- so did they. The annual reprint starts soon, so order some today.

Five of Six Corners

Buffalo-based Hero Design Studio depicts the "crotch" of Wicker Park in a beautiful screenprint. [via]

Meet You at the Gates

How timely! The Chicago Architectural Foundation offers their last guided tours of Calvary and Graceland Cemeteries this weekend.

The Last Wooden Alley

Wooden street pavers were once a common sight in Chicago, before the Great Fire. Now there's just one complete wood block-paved alley left -- but it recently got an overhaul that should make it last another hundred years. [via]

Architecture Touring with a Little Culinary Character

Most travel recommendations from national publications are pretty uninspired, but the WSJ's weekend architectural blitz does a decent job of balancing architectural and culinary stalwarts with a few of atypical restaurants.

Guiding Emblems

Dan Blackman has developed a special graphic design vocabulary to honor a variety of Chicago institutions. They're part of the guidebook Graphic USA: An Alternative Guide to 25 US Cities.

Historic Chicago in Photos

Hiding in the bowels of's forums is a treasure trove of photos of Chicago from throughout the 20th century.

Architects of Mod

A Chicago Sojourn takes a look at the state of Lincolnwood's iconic Purple Hotel; Whet Moser dives into the work of its architects, Hausner & Macsai.

Drawings About Food

Laura Park (who designed our 3rd anniversary poster!) is featured in Saveur's "Recipe Comix" this week -- and Sarah Becan was last week's artist!

Comb Your Hair the Chicago Way

Two Chicago friends recently launched Chicago Comb Co., which makes some fine looking combs out of single blocks of stainless steel.

Erasing the City

Bank of America plans to demolish or deconstruct foreclosed homes in Chicago and donate the property to the city. [via]

Hey, that Building Looks a lot like a White Castle!

That's because it used to be one.

The Other Sears Tower

Not the one they call Willis -- the original 1905 tower. It's one of more than a hundred architecturally significant sights you can see during the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago this weekend.

Hope for the Uptown Springs Eternal

Mayor Emanuel is a big fan of the Uptown Theatre, leading to new hopes for renovation and renewal.

Efficient Design

Beautiful and prefab: the C3 project.

Pullman is Great

Historic Pullman was named one of America's great neighborhoods by the American Planning Association. [via]

Help Bring About the Apocalypse Calendar

2012 approaches, and what better way to mark the year some believe heralds the end times than with beautifully illustrated fantastical creatures, macabre scenarios, and hellfire and destruction. The Apocalypse Calendar features a host of talented local artists (Jay Ryan, for one) -- but it needs your support (via Kickstarter) to make the blood and fire reign in striking colors and delicate lines.

Exploring the Urban in the Urban

If you're interested in urban issues and are looking for something to do this month, ArchitectureChicago Plus has you covered. [Thanks, Kara!]

Bring Me Your Huddled Masses, Yearning to Stay Dry

Turns out the Marilyn statue is useful for something after all.


Take Your Best Shot, of Nature

The Chicago Park District is holding "Nature in Chicago," a digital photography contest between Oct. 1 and Oct. 18. Show the city's natural beauty and win a prize!

I Love Chicago

That's the message of this shadowbox piece by H23 Design.

SHoP is Kickstarting the Year

There are two new developments in the Southside Hub of Production (SHoP): It's having its first open house from 4pm until late on October 1, and it just launched a Kickstarter campaign for physical improvements and programing.

You, Me, Them, Art and the L

Local film director Jack C. Newell is gathering information for a large public art project that would incorporate the Loop L tracks, and he wants your input.

Murder, Matrimony & Magic Markers

Over in A/C, we've launched our "graphic journalism" feature series. The first story follows a Chicago woman through her marriage at the Cook County courthouse to her fiancé, an inmate at the county jail who will eventually be tried for first-degree murder.

Marilyn Paints the Town Red

Wait, make that vandals paint Marilyn red.

Exploring Skinscrapers

Architecture firm Cartogram publishes Soiled, a print-and-digital zine. The latest issue, "Skinscrapers," explores "our bodies interact with the spaces around them and how the spaces we inhabit can become extensions of our bodies."

Finding Your Speed

In case you missed MAS Context's newest issue launch: Speed is ready for viewing. The Chicago-based quarterly goes everywhere from the Town of Speedway, Indiana to the megalopolis of Mumbai, India.

Goldberg: From Conceptualization to Inhabitation

The Art Institute's Bertrand Goldberg retrospective has been getting a lot of press, but don't forget to head to the other side of the cafe and visit the other Goldberg exhibit, Inside Marina City. The exhibit offers an important counterpart to the retrospective by focusing on how residents have made their homes inside the landmark structures.

Another Honor for Chicago Architecture

Chicago architect Jeanne Gang is among the 22 2011 MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipients. She's best known for Aqua, but she's been involved in a bunch of other interesting projects too.

News Junkie Artists of the World Unite

Tired of all those sordid headlines, news junkies? Local art performance group tackles the news of the day by wadding up all those newspapers into a gigantic ball, which they will be rolling up Milwaukee Avenue in the Wicker Park neighborhood from 5 to 7pm tomorrow. Part of their Out of Site series of "unexpected encounters of public performances."

Trib Hails East Garfield Park "Next Artist's Frontier"

Apparently Logan Square is over already, the real action's hiding out over in Garfield Park. Of course, we already knew that.

Chicago-Based Artist Draws Fire For Performance at NY's New Museum

Chicago-based artist Dzine is drawing fire from online art-news magazine's Judith H. Dobrzynski for furthering perceptions of New York's New Museum's too-cozy relationship with commercial interests. The artist's project, providing custom nail jobs while sitting in the museum's store window, is being presented as "in collaboration with Salon94 and The Standard Hotel." The museum drew fire in recent months for, as Dobrzynski describes it, allowing "trustee Dakis Joannou to sponsor an exhibition of his own works, curated by his artist-friend."

Debate on Live/Work Proposal by Pilsen Alderman Solis

A debate is underway, via WBEZ, over a new proposal by Alderman Danny Solis to formalize a live/work arrangement that would permit artists to inhabit their work spaces in the neighborhood's industrial district buildings.

Help Build a Moving Park

Art on Track the mobile garden/art gallery on a CTA train, runs again this Saturday, and Joe Baldwin, the organizer, is looking for volunteers of both help and houseplants.

Using His Skull

Chicago based artist Joshua Harker landed on Wired Magazine's website when he decided to use Kickstarter as a sort of virtual gallery. His project has gotten off to a very good start.

The Ever-Changing Sky

Ian K. Millard's stenciled art print of the Chicago skyline, Solidarity in Chicago II, is cool enough on its own; the fact that each one's sky is unique puts it over the top. [via]

Would the Sears Tower Survive?

The Sears (now Willis) Tower would have withstood a 9/11-style attack -- or it might have buckled quickly, according to structural engineers. It would all depend on where a plane hit.

Newcity Fall Art Preview Picks

Newcity has released its list of picks for a Fall Art Preview, providing a little discernment from the tidal wave of art worth seeing in coming months.

25 Years of Mexican-American Art

The National Museum of Mexican Art celebrates its 25th anniversary today. Gozamos previews the Dia de Muertos exhibit that debuts this evening.

Celebrating An Unfinished Body

Chicago photographer Matthew Avignone earned second runner up in the student category of the Photography Book Now competition for his An Unfinished Body project.

Art on Track Returns for Fourth Edition

Art on Track, Chicago's much-lauded CTA train art event, returns next week for its fourth edition. Artists from Chicago will repurpose the train cars as temporary gallery spaces, open for public view as the train circles the Loop, "making stops at Adams/Wabash, Washington/Wells, Quincy/Wells, and Randolph/Wabash." Enter at Adams and Wabash. $10, tickets available online. Sept. 17, 5-10pm.

Merchandise Mart Announces Merger of Art Chicago and Next Fairs

Staci Boris, the newly-appointed Director of the ailing Art Chicago, this morning announced that the fair will be combined with Next, previously a separate sister fair showcase of emerging art. The combined fairs, presented as Next Art Chicago, has its own new website.

This Old House -- or That One

The City is preparing to celebrate the 175th birthday of the "oldest house in Chicago," the Henry B. Clarke House -- but the true oldest house may be clear across town, in Norwood Park. It was built four years earlier, and unlike the Clarke House has stayed in one place the whole time. Fest Chicago Preparations Underway

Fans of systems art, take heed: annual tech-art festival is still taking submissions for its return to Chicago this year with " 20111" (yes, the extra "1" is intentional). Deadline for submissions is Sept. 27. There's also a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the event, as well as a Facebook page and website packed with lots of fun, glitchy interfaces for fans and hacker-types alike.

Newcity's Imaginary Chicago Monuments

Citing the "citywide debate ignited over the value of our public art" ignited by the controversial Marilyn Monroe statue on Michigan Avenue, for this week's issue of Newcity, Art Editor Jason Foumberg brilliantly asked 26 "Chicago-based artists to create an ideal public artwork." The resulting imaginary monuments are viewable at Newcity's website.

Visualist Guide to Fall Gallery Openings

Trying to sort out what galleries to check out for the big fall city-wide season opener of this Friday? The recently-launched Visualist art event site has compiled a guide. You can also join their Facebook page for additional updates.

Phyllis' Musical Inn After-Openings Art Dance Party

Looking for the cool after party this Friday night? Weary art-goers will find refuge from the drudgery of making the citywide gallery circuit at the Fourth Annual After-Openings Dance Party at Phyllis' Musical Inn. Hosted by artists and local art world mainstays John Phillips and Nevin Tomlinson, the action starts at 9:30pm and rolls on until 2am.

Hyde Park's Op Shop Expands into S.H.o.P.

Op Shop honcho Laura Shaeffer recently announced the expansion of her art-as-community-building project into S.H.o.P., the Southside Hub of Production. Made possible by a one-year lease at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago's Fenn House, a detailed call for involvement is up at CAR. The space is open Saturdays 10am-6pm until the grand opening on Oct. 1. More information is available at the S.H.o.P. website.

39 Kinds of Work

Check out a different, beautifully lettered definition of work on this labor-centric day in the form of Impractical Labor's "39 Kinds of Work" pamphlet. Sold through local online store Half Letter Press.

Brick By Transparent Brick

Trump International Hotel and Tower got the Lego treatment curtsey of Sean Kenney and about 65,000 Lego pieces. Since the tower itself is a glass and steel structure, the "reflected" skyline was built on the inside of the 10-foot sculpture to better simulate the glassiness. On display at the Chicago Lego store. Sean's Tribune Tower is awesome too.

Other People's Pixels Founders Profiled

Popular among visual artists in Chicago to the point of near-ubiquity, site design template Other People's Pixels has proven the ease-of-implementation go-to for artists and small to mid-size arts orgs. The Trib profiles Brian Kirkbride and Jenny Kendler, the husband and wife team founders behind OPP, and provides a glimpse into upcoming side projects including The Visualist, a new "online database of local artists and venues."

Jettison Magazine Celebrates New Issue with Longman & Eagle Block Party

Chicago's smart young slip of an art magazine, Jettison Quarterly, celebrates its Fall 2011 issue with a block party and "outdoor pig roast and dance party" this Sunday.

While it's great to see these fledglings get their wings in the air, even more exciting is the prospect that they'll go beyond articles on area scene establishment figures like Scott Reeder and Tricia Van Eck, both covered in this issue. While certainly worthy subjects, they're seen plenty of ink, and pose an odd fit for a young publication that should be discovering rather than rehashing. In the meantime, join the party outside of Logan's Square's much-loved Longman and Eagle from 4-10pm. Music provided by Windy City Soul Club DJ's.

Attention Customers

Monkey-Rope Press has a series of letterpress posters featuring familiar CTA public service announcements. [via]


Puts the "Mar" in Marilyn Monroe has rated that eyesore statue of Marilyn Monroe in Pioneer Square as the worst public art in the country.


Last year, noise and tech and new media and those who love them came together in the form of the GLI.TC/H festival. For five days, the strange and wonderful ways data can be corrupted were celebrated with videos, art, coding and more. Although a success, the people behind GLI.TC/H need more than pops and errant flashes to bring it back to life. Head to their Kickstarter page to make it happen again.

Little House on the Quad

Students at Northwestern are building a 128-square-foot house on campus. Here's some background from the Sun-Times and the Northwestern press office.

Flying Saucers Were the True Cause of The Great Chicago Fire

No, not really, but Matthew Buchholz's "Alternate Histories" Etsy shop has rather convincing prints of events that never really happened, such as the steam-powered, Colum-Bot from the 1892 Columbian Exposition.

Street-Level Phoenix

Street-Level Youth Media returns to Wicker Park after a fire destroyed their community center 3 years ago. The new 5,250-square-foot facility features state-of-the-art A/V labs, sound stage and gallery space. A grand opening benefit reception is slated for September 29th.

Hundreds of Cuts and 40 Colors Later

The Art Institute blog features a pretty amazing video of Alexis Petroff recreating a print from the museum's new TASS News Agency exhibition.

Look Where The Sun Don't Shine

Each year, the Sun-Times Charity Trust awards grants to Chicago organizations that support youth in education, art and civic engagement. This year, the Trust has set up the Sun Shine Project for the greater Chicago community to "shine a light" on worthy charities and select projects that deserve a grant. The nomination phase is happening right now!

Marilyn Monroe Tagged

The somewhat controversial "Forever Marilyn" statue was tagged overnight in Pioneer Square, her right calf now includes the words "Pi$tola" and "Ariel" with a heart between them. Young vandals in love.

Designing Bike Friendly Streets is among the projects created for Moving Design's Call to Action's Our Road, a multidisciplinary gallery exhibition and public engagement campaign on the advancement of bicycle safety showing in the Comfort Station on Logan Square this Sunday.

Coyote Festival to Return This September, Under New Management

As reported by Newcity, the annual Coyote Festival will return this September, returning to its former, uncurated form, under management of the Flat Iron Artists' Association (FIAA).

Front Street Archive of Art Talk with Meg Duguid and Abraham Ritchie Up Now

The archive of artist Meg Duguid and critic Abraham Ritchie's appearance on lo-fi art and culture program Front Street was recently posted to the program's site. This writer shamelessly monopolized their time with chat feed questions. It's a two-parter, since the feed dropped shortly into the conversation. Part one is here, and the second part can be found here.

Exit Art Co-Founder Ingberman Dies at 59

Jeanette Ingberman, co founder of the New York's influential Exit Art Gallery with artist Papo Colo, died yesterday at the age of 59 reports the New York Observer. Given Chicago's rich history of alternative practices, Exit Art has long been a valuable entry-level resource and oasis for up-and-comers from the city and around the world.

Welcome to Farmland World!

Chicago-based Design With Company's entry in the Animal Architecture Awards won runner up and the attention of BLDGBLOG.

Reading and Making

In other design and Art Institute news, Zoë Ryan, the museum's chair and curator of architecture and design, posted her essential reading list for product designers on Designers & Books.

This Is Grand

Check out the minimalist, typographical transit maps of TRNSPRTNATION.

Art Institute Names New President and Director

Yesterday, the Art Institute named Douglas Druick its new president and director [pdf] after 26 years at the institution. Druick has been interim president and director of the museum since James Cuno's June departure.

Maria's Community Bar Celebrates Makeover Anniversary

Bridgeport favorite Maria's Packaged Goods and Community Bar announces a celebration of the one-year anniversary of its makeover on September 3 at both the bar and art space Co-Prosperity Sphere down the street.

MDW Fair To Return in October, Opens Call for Proposals

Chicago's breakaway-spirited MDW Fair will return this October to Bridgeport's Geolofts, and has announced that proposals for the sophomore installment are now being accepted.

A River View

This beautiful print puts a clean, mod spin on a classic Chicago view.

Third City Syndrome

Art journalist Eric Wenzel, who is leaving Chicago, recently published an article about why artists keep leaving Chicago. Apparently, (and ironically?) it's because nobody stays in Chicago.

Battle Bugs

Colossal chronicles LA street artist Ludo's recent visit to Chicago.

Photo by Brock Brake.

High Tech, Low Brow

Local artists Taylor Hokanson and Chris Reilly have reached their Kickstarter goal for their low-cost CNC machine, but the fundraiser's still going until 11 tonight, so check it out if you're into art made by robots.

A Landmark Project

A blogger named Chris is visiting every landmark in Chicago by the end of this year.

At What Cost Perfection?

$2.75 million, as it turns out. (It is a landmark.)

05 dec perfection.jpg
Photo by Wayne Gunn, from waaay back in the Gapers Block flickr pool.

High Design at a Discount

Chicago furniture designer Greta de Parry is featured today on

Stamp of Affection

One of the world's largest collections of rubber stamps, maintained by the owners of Stamp Francisco, was once in Ukrainian Village; it's now located in Gurnee.

Delicious and Fab

Delicious Design League prints are for sale today on

Chicago's New Influence on L.A. Art

James Cuno, who recently left the directorship of the Art Institute, is already making waves with a new approach to acquisitions at the Getty Museum.

Letterpress to Impress

This Illinois letterpress print on Etsy is pretty cool, but 1canoe2's Chicago snowglobe is a little closer to home.

The Romance of the Leaning Tower of Niles

Minnesota-based photographer Beth Dow is interested in the creation of false ruins in the United States. Of course, the Leaning Tower of Niles makes an appearance. Here are some other photographs of the tower.

Daley Goes Golfing on eBay

One of Ray Noland's stencil cutouts from this year's Pitchfork Festival is up on eBay right now. Get it while it's cheap! [via]

Ad Hoc Public Art Walk

The Blob Monster and other interesting art pieces hide all over the West Loop West Town, waiting for you to discover it. [via] (Thanks for the neighborhood correction, Gabriel!)

40 Preservation Successes of the Last 40 Years

Landmarks Illinois has had a busy forty years working to protect the state's historic buildings. Here are forty highlights [pdf]. Among the local successes are the Clarke House, The Chicago Theatre and the Historic Bungalow Initiative.

Landmarks Illinois 40 Over 40 Flyer

Before Michael Jackson was King

The Renaissance Society's upcoming benefit auction includes this amazing portfolio of Michael Jackson photographs from Todd Gray's Before He Was King.

A Fine Neo-Manueline Tower

Design Slinger takes a closer look at the Neo-Manueline Century Building.


The Archeospiritist Study and Consortion Initiative, Illinois (ASCII, get it?) have an exhibition tonight; attend and you might go home with some free multimedia art.

That Type of Truck

There's a truck full of moveable type touring the country, and it'll be heading our way mid-September for the Renegade Craft Fair.

Chicago Architecture's Global Reach Grows (Again)

Chicago architects Perkins+Will Smith+Gill won a competition to design the world's first kilometer high building in Saudi Arabia, and it looks like it might actually get built.

The Skyscraper Church

Speaking of churches, ever wondered about that church on top of a skyscraper in the Loop? It's Chicago Temple, and there are free tours on the weekends -- or your could go on Chicago Detours' version and get an experience that ends with Champagne on the pastor's balcony.

Old St. Pat's Expands

Old Saint Patrick's Church is adding an elevator and a cloister -- the first-ever additions to the 155-year-old church.

One House a Day

GB flickr pool contributor reallyboring recently started a set composed of interesting Chicago houses and some additional information about them. Today's photo provides an atypical view of the Austin community.

Waterview Tower to be Completed, Kinda

Everyone's favorite unfinished 27-story concrete mass may soon get a new life as a 65-story luxury apartment tower.

Tiny Greenhouses

A new way to help raise money to repair Garfield Park Conservatory's hail-damaged greenhouses is to purchase one or both of these new original paintings by Chicago artist Diana Sudyka.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Jonathan Gitelson moved to Vermont awhile back to teach, but his latest artwork is about his commute to and from work here in Chicago. Oddly enough, it'll be showing at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art this fall.

Realizing Goldberg?

OK, enough about the Old Main Post Office; how about development plans for farther down the river?

"As mediocre as it is megalomaniacal"

The responses to the proposed Old Main Post Office redevelopment have been pretty skeptical, and yesterday's thorough thrashing of the plan by Blair Kamin is no exception.

Scanned Art

Art Barcs is a novel way to share your art with the world: through QR codes that provide additional information about a work on display. (Thanks, Elizabeth!)

Wrigley Without Wrigley

The Wrigley Building will soon lose its namesake company as a tenant.

Grandiose Plans for Old Post Office Property

The British developer who purchased the Old Post Office Building announced a high-flying proposal for the property, including a 2,000-foot skyscraper that would become the city's tallest. David Greising calls it a pipe dream, and Lee Bey wonders where the money is.

Be a Part of the League

The League of Courteous Cyclists, that is. Today's the last day to pre-order a discounted t-shirt designed by local artist (and cyclist) Sarah Becan promoting bike etiquette. (We interviewed Sarah in Bookclub last year.)

Google Art

Today's Google "doodle" logo in honor of Alexander Calder's birthday was in part inspired by a visit to the MCA.


"His concept is that it is not big enough"

The owner of the Old Chicago Main Post Office thinks it's "not big enough," so he's planning on redeveloping the full site and nearby property with 16 million square feet of residential, entertainment, retail and hotel space, including the construction of the hemisphere's tallest building. See the full plans on the Booth Hansen website.

Ms. Monroe's Unmentionables

The statue of Marilyn Monroe towering over Pioneer Square wasn't even finished when the critiques started pouring in. It's clichéd. It's creepy. It's sexist. What do you think?

Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary

Speaking of Soviet imagery, the University of Chicago's Special Collections Research Center is launching an exhibit of Soviet children's book illustrations. The show doesn't open until August, but there are already some interesting pieces online. Check out The Soviet Arts Experience for additional related events.

The Soviets' Paper War

The Art Institute has started a tumblr blog for its upcoming exhibition of propaganda posters by TASS, the Soviet Union's news agency. [via]

Frank Lego Wright

On August 27, LEGO will release the latest in its series of architectural models: Hyde Park's Robie House. Just like the real house, it probably leaks.

Half Monroe

The Tribune has a nice photo gallery of the lower half of Marilyn Monroe -- the statue of her that's currently rising in Pioneer Plaza, that is. (I kind of prefer our own Jasmine Davila's shot.)

Lakeside's History & Future

While covering the DMB Caravan, Jim Reedy had issues with the US Steel South Works as a concert venue. Our managing editor, David Schalliol, has done a good amount of research on the site in his day job, and shares some background on how it came to host a music festival and where it's heading from here.

How to Get Creative

FoGB Jim Coudal was the speaker at the inaugural CreativeMornings Chicago talk June 24; if you missed it, the video is now online.

2011/06 CreativeMornings with Jim Coudal from CreativeMornings Chicago on Vimeo.

Family Collections

The Post Family has a new exhibition opening tomorrow night at Chicago Urban Arts Society. From the looks of it, it should be quite the collection.

Drawing Class in a Book

Ivan Brunetti wants to teach you how to cartoon. If you can't take his class at Columbia, check out his new book.

Chicago is a Prop

"Chicago is known for two things: its improv comedy scene and unique architecture," says Improvecture, a tour company that brings them together.

Harry, Drawn -- Complete!

Lucy Knisley finished her epic Harry Potter "Summharry" poster. (Previously.) It's available in large format for personal use only -- as well as in a single poster version on flickr.

But Does the Carpet Match Them?

Local jewelery designer Ashley Scott's new line, "Drapes," is currently featured on fashion blog, Refiney 29.

Un Corps Exquis

Artist Jenny Lam is looking for people to play Exquisite Corpse with.

Schools as Canvas

In A/C, Alan Lake shares the story of Green Star Movement, an organization helping CPS students decorate their schools with murals.

Rock & Roll Ain't Noise Pollution -- Especially in Chicago

After the sale of radio stations The Loop and Q101, many insiders are saying at least one of the two will be converted to an all-talk format. This could mean substantially less rock on the airwaves in Chicago, since only four stations -- including The Loop and Q101 -- are currently classified as "rock stations."

How Do You Say "Hipster" in French?

Very soon, Chicago will have to share the Pitchfork Music Festival with another city, and another country. The venerable music fest just announced the launch of a 2-day Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris this October. Is this just the year for crossing the pond with awesome Chicago-born events? The Renegade Craft Fair has just opened up applications to a first ever London version of their massive craft show, also in October.

Chicago Architecture's Global Reach Grows

Local architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture won a competition to build the Wuhan Greenland Center in Wuhan, China. It will be the fourth tallest building in the world when finished and will still feature a variety of environmentally friendly details.

The Oprah as The Prophet

IIT architecture professor Marshall Brown imagines a future Chicago with more than a bit of Oprah magic.

Wright Lines

Check out this awesome personal stationery from architect Frank Lloyd Wright circa 1946.

Incendiary Artistry

Chicago artist Pei-San Ng's latest work involves matches -- perfect eye candy going into the Fourth of July holiday. [via]

An Early Look at Chicago Gang Development

South Side Projections and the South Side Community Art Center are putting on a rare screening of the classic Chicago Vice Lord films The Corner (1962) and Lord Thing (1970) on Thursday. Check out the Cinefile review for attendance encouragement.

Naked, Free Tuesday at the MCA

Take advantage of Free Tuesdays at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue. As a bonus, see Japanese artists Eiko & Koma as they perform their living installation, Naked from 1-8pm.

Browne's New Comic Venture Blasts Off

Ryan Browne (creator of weekly webcomic God Hates Astronauts, contributor to comics put out by IDW and Image, and much more) launched his latest project today: Blast Furnace, an illustrated exercise in improv and DIY.

Friday Night is for Screen Printers

Still looking for something to do tonight? Head to the Daily Planet Rock And Art Poster Party at 720 North Franklin: it's showcasing some of the city's best screen printing artists, their posters, and beer from Finch's Brewery. You've got four hours, go!

She Loves You, Chicago

Lucy Knisley is leaving Chicago, and created a comic celebrating the city.

Chicago, Well Typeset

Albin Holmqvist created typographic logotypes for 40 destinations around the world for EF International Language Centers; his design for Chicago is lovely. [via]


Chicago's Landscape as Collage

Artist Lincoln Schatz overlaps and stitches together aerial footage of Chicagoland to create a video portrait called 1000 foot Chicago.

Nasty is the New Beautiful

Art fans may want to check out Art Slant's new interview with local talent, Rachel Niffenegger. Chicago Magazine named her Chicago's best emerging artist in 2010 and New City named her one of "Chicago's Next Generation of Image Makers" in 2010, this after naming her the "Best Painter Under 25" in 2009. She currently has a two person show with Paul Nudd up at Western Exhibitions.

Expanding Eastward

Design With Company imagines an imminent future in which Chicago decides to build on George Streeter's vision and push the borders of the city eastward into the lake -- this time on "patties of land out of trash."

Brick Buildings

Speaking of LEGO, you could build one of the cool little Chicago skyscraper kits, or you could emulate Adam Reed Tucker's amazing feats of plastic architecture, which Reed helped inspire.

Gender Clash in Comics

Ladydrawers, a student group at SAIC that sprung from Anne Elizabeth Moore's class by the same name, has been sending out postcards highlighting gender issues in the comics industry to various people in said industry. More here.

National Support for the Preservation of Prentice

Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital has been included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered Places list, which was released this morning. The local arm of the Trust, Preservation Chicago, Landmarks Illinois and the Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects are holding a rally to protect the building from demolition at 11am [pdf].

Guerilla Style

Tonight is the annual Guerilla Truck Show in Fulton Market. More info in A/C.

Taschen Pops Up in the Art Institute

Taschen has set up a "pop-up store" Art Institute's main museum shop; presumably the selection leans more toward art books rather than the publisher's sexier stuff.

Buy the Chicago Board of Trade Building

Word has it that the CME Group put the iconic Chicago Board of Trade Building on the market.

Edgewater Park or Apartments?

Efforts are moving forward to tear down the shuttered Edgewater Medical Center and turn the land into a park. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill will lead a discussion of the plan June 27. Meanwhile, a developer is trying to push for an apartment complex on the site.

The Loss of Another South Side Icon?

Lee Bey reports that a South Side auditorium building known as The Forum may soon be demolished, but there is a vague hope for the building in a demolition delay.

The Art of Interconnectivity

Time to Sign Off interviewed artist and CAR co-founder Sara Schnadt about her work.

The Landscape Out There

The Cultural Landscape Foundation catalogs historic designed landscapes throughout the country in their What's Out There database. This weekend, you can check out what's out there throughout Chicagoland with their series of free guided tours around parks, ponds, gardens, boulevards, and all sorts of other sites.

A Lunchtime Conversation with David Simon and Wendell Pierce

The keynote speech at the U of C's symposium on the arts and the city is a conversation between David Simon and Wendell Pierce of "The Wire" and "Treme" fame. Watch the conversation live on facebook now.

The Context of Conflict

Local design journal MAS Context's new issue, Conflict, is now live, as is its redesigned website.

Buildings on Paper

Letterhead used to be much more elaborate -- as evidenced by a sampling of Chicago companies in the Biggert Collection of Architectural Vignettes on Commercial Stationery.

The Whorls of the City

Designer Gerard Huerta created a number of iconic band logos, but his rendition of Nick Fasciano's Chicago logo in a fingerprint is pretty inspired.

Details are Sketchy

GB alum Craighton Berman has been sketching for Core77 for awhile, but they just gave him his own channel devoted to "sketchnotes," visualizing information in a combination of drawings and text. His first big project was covering the IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference last month.


Here are a few, uh, choice courtroom sketches of our former governor and his, apparently, tiny, creepy hands.

Characters Cut Up

Designer Olly Moss (previously) has created a collection of cut paper silhouettes of pop culture icons (mostly movie characters) for a show in LA. The 300-some pieces include a couple near and dear to Chicagoans.

Olly Moss Art Show @ Gallery 1988 from on Vimeo.

Olly Moss - Ferris & Cameron paper cut

Olly Moss - Jake & Elwood paper cut

Olly Moss - Wayne & Garth paper cut

All images © Olly Moss; video by Craig Shimala (previously).

The Grid: Community Supported Art at Threewalls

The newest installment of the Grid takes a look at a novel approach Threewalls is using to connect artists and collectors.

The Neighborhood Writing Alliance Celebrates its 15th Anniversary

Sonny Fischer tells the story of the founding of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary a week from today with a conversation between David Ritz and Aaron Cohen, as well as readings by members.

Do-Gooder Art

Artist Kay Rosen invites you to Do Good, Chicago, as part of her Art Loop project.

LEED Gold Certified Destruction

If you've been wondering, as I have, which building gets torn in half toward the end of the Transfomers: Dark of the Moon trailer, it's 155 North Wacker, designed by Goettsch Partners.

Thanks to @mbimotmog, @brianboyer, @ArchiJake and @AndyMarfia for their help!

Art Pays Off

LeRoy Neiman, an Art Institute alumnus best known for his work for Playboy (and his trademark mustache), donated $5 million to his alma mater to help build a new student center at 37 S. Wabash.

Celebrating an Architectural Landmark

The Glessner House is celebrating its 125th anniversary in June and marking it with everything from a recreation of the groundbreaking ceremony to book reprintings.

Our Downtown Jail

99% Invisible, a radio show about design, tackles the Metropolitan Correctional Center, that weird triangular prison in the South Loop.

"Chicago bLOOPrint"

Another great Chicago-themed poster; maybe the Yellow Line was left out because it doesn't go downtown? [via]

The City in Ink

Vassi Slavova adds another worthy entrant into the Chicago neighborhood map poster collection.

Meet the Robot Librarians

Speaking of the U of C's new Mansueto Library, its Grand Reading Room is opening to U of C students faculty and staff on Monday. So if you know someone affiliated with the school, maybe you should give them a call.

Harry, Drawn

Lucy Knisley has been drawing posters of each of the Harry Potter books in abridged summary (ahoy, spoilers abound). She just completed The Half-Blood Prince, with only one left to go. Eventually you'll be able to buy them all.

Give That Banana Man a Job!

Street artist Left Handed Wave pasted up a piece on The Alley at Clark & Belmont. Rather than call Graffiti Blasters, The Alley is offering the artist a job, if they can find him.

Meet the Street

Sixty Inches from Center interviews Brooks Golden, one of the artists featured in the Chicago Street Artist Show exhibition and book debuting at the Chicago Urban Art Society this Friday.

Conceptual Self-Portraiture

This Saturday, University of Chicago's Rockefeller Chapel plays host to The Gift Project Chicago.

The Motor Club Building

Speaking of architecture, the Chicago Motor Club Building is up for landmark status tomorrow. Forgotten Chicago has a great look at the design and history of the building.

Neighborhood Architecture

Ultra Local Geography catalogs the lesser-known marvels of architecture in Chicago. For instance, did you know the Chicago Daily News built three model homes in the '20s? [via]

Riot for Health, Get Art

This fall, help the Chicago Women's Health Center move: you'll support health care, education, and counseling for people of all backgrounds and get bonus prints, minicomics, or uterus-sporting flags from illustrator Laura Szumowski.

Obey Commercial Street Art

Shepard Fairey installed a commissioned mural on the Lake Shore Drive underpass on Grand Avenue this weekend -- and then found a few other spots around town to do some pasting up.

Support a Letterpress Launchpad

Community printshop Spudnik Press wants to expand opportunities for local artists with three letterpresses and an offset press, and they need your help. Their Kickstarter campaign offers some awesome incentives: Lilli Carré prints, Old Town School of Folk Music harmonica classes, custom silkscreen posters and more.

How About Orange? or Dusk? or Dawn?

Evanston-based graphic and fabric designer Jessica Jones makes her new fabric line named Outside Oslo available for sale this month thanks The Needle Shop. They worked together to make this happen. I look forward to seeing what local makes create from these great prints.

Get Your Good Times Here

If you're itching to get outside and amble this weekend, check out the newest of the Chicago historical tour scene with a "Good Times Around Michigan Avenue" tour by Detour Chicago. Public tours start today and include the use of interactive iPads for each participant and plenty of info. about jazz clubs, grand balls, elite soirees, and all sorts of diversions, past and present, on the Mag Mile.

Prices for the tours range from free (kids under 12) to $26 for adults ($24 for students/seniors). The group, Detour Chicago, will also launch some other great-sounding tours this summer, including "Our Chicago Sound: Jazz, Blues & Beyond" (tickets free-$70) and "Inside the Loop: Explore the Unexpected" and they also offer up private tours and school group tours as well. They also have cool online multimedia resources great for teachers and those just wanting to learn more.

Art Around Town

On the Make did a great job with their annual weekend Art Guide this year. Check it out if you want to see some art this weekend. The sheer volume of events is flabbergasting.


Opening tonight: the Chicago Cultural Center will display Primitive's collection of outrageous 1980s and 90s Ghanaian hand-painted movie posters. Queasy stomachs may wish to avoid clicking those links.

Newcity's Art Picks

In preparation for this big art fair weekend, Newcity just published their ninth issue of "Breakout Artists", an annual selection of their favorite local emerging visual artists.

That's One Smart-Looking House

The Museum of Science and Industry's annual Smart Home exhibit is up on the museum's grounds in Hyde Park and is available for viewing until January 2012. Cool repurposed interior items curated by Andersonville's Scout shop owner and efficient tech hookups courtesy of Gizmodo make this one spiffy abode. (via)

Envisioning Chicago's Future

A book version of Daniel Tucker's "Visions for Chicago" project comes out next month. Badatsports' Abigail Satinsky interviewed Tucker for Art21.

Ask CAF Anything

Windy Citizen is taking another page from Reddit and inviting you to an "ask me anything" session with the Chicago Architecture Foundation this Thursday.

Art News

If you missed the kickoff of Version Fest and the wildly successful MDW Fair in Bridgeport last weekend, ArtSlant Chicago summed it up for you.

From the Italian Renaissance in Berwyn to "Picassos" in Indiana

Meet the FBI's art crime division.

Looking at Microscopic Art

Developer Scott VanDen Plas teamed up with designer Dustin "UPSO" Hostetler to create some of the smallest art ever. Using a focused ion beam they etched an image about the size of a bacterium onto a silicone chip, then scanned it with an scanning electron microscope.

UPSO - Eye (2um)

Recycling Prentice

Landmarks Illinois has unveiled a reuse study for Prentice Women's Hospital, one of the buildings on its most endangered list this year.

The New New Version

Version Fest's theme this year is Community, and it kicks off tonight with a group show at Co-Prosperity Sphere titled "The New New Chicagoans."

Hour Glass

Gorgeous new print by Delicious Design League.

Four Stories Plus One

Serhii Chrucky, co-founder of Forgotten Chicago, is fascinated by four-plus-ones. He's collecting stories from people who have lived in them; if you have one, share it.

"A Global City Waiting to Bloom"

Dick Simpson shares some suggestions for the Emanuel administration on how to help the arts in Chicago.

United States of X: Gastronomic Edition

Illinois bulges with popcorn in Lucy Stephens' "American Gastronomy" print.

Linus, Lucy & Jimmy Corrigan

Cartoonist Nathan Bulmer asks, What if Chris Ware was Charlie Brown? [via]

The Grid: Textile Discount Outlet

Today we release the second feature in GB's short film series, The Grid. "Textile Discount Outlet" roams the aisles in the Pilsen fabric destination. As fabric cutter Chris says, "Bring some trail mix and a bottle of water."

Doors Open on the Left, Your Majesty

The Art Institute has installed a throne (sort of) in certain CTA cars to promote its exhibit "Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France." Snap a photo of yourself sitting in one and post it on Facebook to enter the "Royal Treatment" contest.

Meter Stickers Remain as a Courtesy to Gapers Block

Chicago Meter Maid has collected a series of hilarious stickers attached to inoperative parking meters left as a courtesy to cyclists. "Tiny lumberjacks"! Har!

Well, They're Shiny

Yvonne Domenge's new, shiny and colorful sculptural installation at Millennium Park's Boeing Galleries get attention from someone who's not a tourist in this week's issue of ArtSlant.

If You Build It, They Will Come

The Arts Engagement Exchange published this interesting article last week about "overcoming cultural barriers" -- basically a history of public arts programming in Grant Park and how Millennium Park is carrying on the tradition of tricking people into listening to music they wouldn't normally seek out.

Large-Scale Recycling

According to this report by WBEZ -- old municipal buildings never die, they just turn into theaters. Next in line? Griffin Theatre Company -- they just bought an abandoned police station near Foster and Damen for one dollar. When your neighborhood police station gets replaced by a theater, well, I think that's a good sign.

Not Your Grandpa's T-Shirts

Rock & Roll apparel, etc. company Assault has come out with a line of old-timey gangland Chicago-themed, highly-detailed graphic t-shirts. Every order comes with a free mixed CD featuring local bands. Check them out here.

Frickin' Lasers

Joe Wan Wetering, who co-designed our anniversary party poster last year, is raising funds via Kickstarter to produce laser-cut prints and wood carvings.

Paper Airplanes

The 2-D kind, but nonetheless wonderful and detailed: a series of airplane prints put out by The Post Family's Rod Hunting.

Rumble's in Trouble

Humboldt Park art and community center Rumble Arts is (once again) in danger of closing its doors because the family-owned pawnshop that provides its primary source of funding is in danger of being replaced by a Cash America. Show your support for Rumble by attending the townhall hearing tonight at 6pm at the Humboldt Park Fieldhouse.

1970s Post-Vietnam Psychedelia

FoGB Ron Slattery recently came across some really interesting drawings.

President Dracula

Worried about being kicked inside by April showers and got a taste for Illinois-themed horror? Check out The Transient, a film from Kill Vampire Lincoln productions about a homeless detective on a mission to stop the deadly undead (wait for it) Abraham Lincoln, who's on a literally bloodthirsty quest. If you're waiting for the DVD, they also have a Youtube channel featuring their short films.

Infinite Chicagos

(Im)Possible Chicagos, a creative urbanist exercise by Pruned (previously).

Four Star Studio Double Feature Comic Show

Local comic book, design and illustration house Four Star Studios (Tim Seeley, Mike Norton, Josh Emmons and Sean Dove, respectively) recently created DoubleFeature, an iPad app featuring original comics for all ages and eventually, genres. Check out the reviews, which use phrases like "a solid 16 pages of awesomeness", "everything we want in digital comics", and "pretty great".

Trustworthy Buildings

Forgotten Chicago explores the history and architecture of outlying banks.

A Jumble of Art

The Dorchester Project tries to bring some hope to Grand Crossing through the arts.

Two of Chicago's Endangered Historic Places

This week Landmarks Illinois released its "Ten Most Endangered Historic Places" list. Two Chicago sites, the Prentice Women's Hospital and the New Regal Theater are included.

Dripping Chicago

Eva Galesoot envisions the city as a paintroller. [via]

Murals to Motivate

Chicago Sojourn takes a tour of Lane Tech, the city's largest high school. [via]

Soaring Ceilings for a CVS

OurUrbanTimes takes a look inside the new occupant of the former Home Bank & Trust Building at Ashland and Division.

Prentice Hospital Gets a Temporary Respite, Kinda

Alderman Reilly convinced Northwestern to delay entering their demolition permit request for the Bertrand Goldberg designed hospital for 60 days. Of course, the Stone Institute of Psychiatry won't move out until September, so that might not be much of a concession.

Another Banksy?

A reader submitted a photo on Windy Citizen and wonders if Banksy (or a local street art fan) created this topical image of Moammar Gadhafi in Chicago.

Dreaming in Spray Paint

IKnowBilly has been sharing his dreams lately, but you might be more interested in his Graffiti News Network. [via]

United States of X: Illinois Edition

DelovelyArts offers a slightly revised version of the US map. Illinois represents! [via] UPDATE: FoGB Phineas Jones says, "There, I fixed it."

Furniture Porn

West Loop-based green furniture company Strand Design recently launched an online store. Now you can buy new furniture while you sit on your old furniture. In your underwear.

"Meet Me Under the Clock at Carsons?"

Ward Miller recently uncovered a historic proposal for a clock at the Carson Pirie Scott & Co. building that might have been designed by Louis Sullivan.

Spray Cans vs. Brown Paint

Mayor Daley's crusade against graffiti only made our scene stronger.

"I Love Tiny Tim. He's My Favorite Singer."

Probably the cutest thing you'll see all day. The late Tiny Tim's latest album, as reviewed by Clara Ware and illustrated by her and her dad Chris for Roctober.

Typographers & World Travelers

Both will dig Nancy McCabe's typographic world map, for sale on Etsy.

So Much for the Villa Taj

The Villa Taj, a 45,000-square-foot suburban home that hasn't sold since 2009 was flooded by about 6 million gallons of water in the last few weeks, leaving the building deemed "unsafe" by local authorities.

Urban Reflections of Transportation Technology

BLDGBLOG's recent interview with Greg Lindsay identifies Chicago as an exemplar of a city that reflects its railroad heritage, in contrast to contemporary cities which may soon be direct responses to their airports.

A Proposal for Making Lakeview More Livable

Lee Bey has a short preview of the new Lakeview Area Master Plan the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce is releasing tonight.

Three Million Square Feet is Never Enough

Bill Davies, the developer who bought the Old Main Post Office at auction is in negotiations to purchase the nearby Sugar House, which could be demolished to make way for a new ramp network for Congress Parkway. The word is he's looking at other property too.

New MAS Context Issue Released: "Network"

The new issue of MAS Context, "Network," was released yesterday and already has a shout-out from archinect.

Fight the Empire at McCormick Place

Local plush maker Steff Bomb's created a soft-yet-deadly Han Solo blaster, so well-made any intrepid hero would be proud to have it at their side. Pick up one of these limited edition stuffed sidearms this weekend at C2E2: 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Booth #1026, 2pm-3pm. Did I mention it comes with a holster?

Restoring the Sights and Sounds of Illinois Courthouses

The Chicago-based Driehouse Foundation is working to restore downstate courthouses, including the Logan County Courthouse, which hasn't rung its bells in decades.

The Grid: Congress Conducts El at Cal's

Today we release the second feature in GB's short film series The Grid. "Congress Conducts El at Cal's" explores the construction congestion at Congress Parkway through the music and activity at Cal's, a nearby hangout and liquor store.

Memorial Show with No Art

Painter Calvin Jones stored some of his artwork at the South Side Community Art Center for years. Now the center wants to do a retrospective, but his family won't let them show his work.

Art on Wheels

If you biked through the winter, you deserve to celebrate -- and even if you didn't, the 14th Annual Bike Winter Art Show, opening this Friday, promises a good time. Chicago Freak Bike makers will be on hand to demonstrate some of their delightfully impractical creations, and more than 50 artists' work will be on display. Check out Slowdown for more details.

Just Pawns in the Game

Pawn Works Sticker Club hooks you up with artist-designed vinyl stickers to place wherever you like. They're working on a storefront space, but in the meantime you can buy stickers online.


Our mayor-elect in LEGO portrait form, by Dubi Kaufmann. More here.

Honey Badger Don't Care

The internets are leaking: Jay Ryan made a slikscreen print of a recent viral video. (Thanks, Su!)

Navy Pier Reimagined

Time Out focuses on the tourist attraction everyone loves to hate, Navy Pier.

This Year's Chicago's 7

Yesterday, Preservation Chicago released its list of the seven most threatened buildings in 2011. This year's range from the North Pullman Historic District to skyscrapers, and includes two buildings with university connections: the Prentice Women's Hospital and the Chicago Theological Seminary.

Verily, He Tweets

"'Twas born to the House of Lorraine in 1478 in the town of Bar-le-Duc of northern France. Mine occupation is court royal to Louis XII, a fine king indeed." And now Robert the Courtier tweets about the Art Institute's new exhibition of art in Renaissance France.

The Art of Winfield House

Long-time patrons of the Chicago art scene Ambassador Louis B. Susman and his wife, Marjorie, have merged their love of art and their roles as the U.S. representatives to Britain with an American art collection anyone would envy.

Office Supply Pointillism

Eric Daigh's portraits utilize an unusual medium: pushpins. A show of his work opens tonight at Hammer Gallery.

An Attention-Getting Print

A phrase familiar to CTA passengers gets the letterpress treatment.

Steampunk Tonight

In just two hours, the Abbey Pub will transform into an industrial, whimsical world of yesteryear through Clockwork Vaudeville: A Steampunk Circus Extravaganza.

Beyond the Labbits

Frank Kozik is at Rotofugi tonight, signing work and showing off his latest, Stoner Fort.

Know, or Else!

Chicago comedy troupe Funemployed has created a special PSA video for all those who don't know who (Grammy award winning band) Arcade Fire is. (h/t Sandor)

Mayor T-Shirt Forever

Have you spotted Nick Adams' Mayor Daley Forever signs around town? Now you can get the t-shirt.

John Hughes' Chicago in Art

1988 Gallery in LA is currently running a exhibition called "The Road To Shermer: A Tribute to John Hughes." [via]

Art Continues After 40

Chicago Art Magazine has begun a series featuring 40 artists over the age of 40 in an effort to "break the mold of ageism" in the arts. The first article looks at artist-run spaces.

Introducing The Grid and Market Fisheries

Today GB is kicking off its new short film series, The Grid. Look for the documentaries throughout the site as well as in their own multimedia feature section. The first feature is a look at Market Fisheries, a South Side store that has been owned and operated by the Brody Family since 1957.

"Princess-on-Catfish Coitus"?

Chris Ware outdoes himself with a unsettling poster for the serenely surreal film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Butterflies Behind Glass

Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House becomes a home for butterflies in a new exhibit at Rome's Museum of Contemporary Art. [via]

Does Chris Ware Put People to Sleep?

Find out by reading this Comics Journal interview with the famed Oak Park cartoonist.

Regenerating the City

Have ideas about how to make Chicago most sustainable? ChicagoREgen is a place to share them.

Picturing Rockford

Minnesotan Alec Soth and Chicagoan Michael Catano headed to Rockford for a NYTimes project entitled "Portraits of a Job Starved City."

Doodles For Your Beer

DIY lifestyle mag ReadyMade recently gave props to (already beautiful) Pilsen bar Simone's for their accidental artistic venture: blank beer coasters. Patrons are enjoying the chance to draw their own designs and decorate it with a glass of their favorite bevvy.

Praises for Richard Nickel and Adler & Sullivan

Dwell recently interviewed Ward Miller, co-author of The Complete Architecture of Adler & Sullivan about Richard Nickel's photographs and Adler & Sullivan's work.

Printing in Space

Looking for a place to print? Spudnik Press is creating Space Race, a new open studio for printmakers new and old. They've got a couple fundraising events in the next few weeks.

60 Inches of Urban Art

Sixty Inches from Center is a new arts publication and, sometime in the future, a collective art project.

Another Glimpse of a Past Chicago

If you like the shot from today's Rearview photographer, nofauxchicago, you may want to check out his set of Chicago photographs dating back to the 1970s.

Your Opportunity to Reset the Network

MAS Studio and the Chicago Architectural Club are organizing a new international architectural competition sponsored by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture to "reactivate the Boulevard System of Chicago and rethink its potential role in the city."

Remember the Arts

There's a petition going around to remind the next mayor that the arts industry is important, too.

Turn of the 20th Century Architecture

Architecture Theory delves deeply into Frank Lloyd Wright's Quadruple Block Plan.

Good Taste Gone Bad

Local artist Mitch O'Connell has two major showcases for his artwork in January: the new show at Las Manos Galley that opens Friday (details in Slowdown) and B-Fest 2011. In preparation for the latter, Mitch has posted artwork he's done for the festival since 1995 on his blog (part 1, part 2, part 3).

The Real Story of Vivian Maier

The discovery of street photographer Vivian Maier has gotten mounds of press, but is the story all it seems?

"Serving the Population it's Supposed to Serve"

After TimeOut Chicago reported that the Art Institute will change its free hours in the coming months, it heard back from the museum's director of public affairs, from which the following article was generated.

Out of Place Together

Lee Bey takes a look at the historic New Regal Theater and Haven of Rest Church on the South Side.

Cameron Frye Slept Here

It doesn't come with the cool car, but you can (still) own the Highland Park home made famous by Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Junior Designer

Meet Sky Cubacub, a freshman at SAIC with a penchant for unconventional materials and a good amount of fashion experience already behind her.

2 Blue Stripes, 4 Red Gears

Another variation on the Chicago flag from a print shop in Sarasota, Florida, of all places. [via]

The End of Free Art

The Art Institute maybe be free right now, but the museum's longstanding Target Free Thursday Evenings will end May 26. Though it will be free on the first and second Wednesday of the month.

Free Art Winter

Today through Feb. 4, general admission to the Art Institute is free on weekdays.

Ah Yes, I Believe It Happened on a Tuesday

Today, shares an awesome comic panel recalling when fear ruled Chicago (true story!).

Father of the 4+1 Dies

Jerome Soltan, the architect responsible for the four-plus-one (previously), passed away recently at age 81.

Cultural Curiosities on the Cheap

Merry Christmas from Chicago Detours and Groupon: tomorrow, their indoor walking tour of the city is just $9 (normally $20). Watch for it!

Much Ado About Not Much

Although most of us probably couldn't care less, art gossip junkies out there will be tickled pink by ArtSlant's saucy new list of Chicago's 2010 art controversies.

Lend it to Take Away

Golden Age is preparing to mount an exhibition of "take away" artworks, and is looking for examples from private collections. Maybe you have one by Félix González-Torres from the MCA?

Winter Love, Chicago-Style

Redmoon Theater's beloved annual Winter Pageant was featured on the most recent episode "Fear No Art Chicago."

Architects Say the Darndest Things

In Chicago Magazine's "40 Reasons to Love Chicago," reason 35 highlights some epic architectural rivalries. Stanley Tigerman's "shove it" to the UIC architecture department takes the cake.

Greasy Fingers and Good Conversation

Eric May -- artist, proprietor of Roots and Culture and food enthusiast -- has set out to start up a "Mobile Culinary Community Center."

Free Art Patches

At noon today, the Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center will be giving away free art patches at the intersection of State and Lake as part of its Free Speech Artists Movement.

City Submerged

Craig Shimala turns Chicago into a water wonderland with a digital camera strapped to his windshield (and a nice ambient soundtrack).

Got Gifts?

No? Slacker. It's OK though -- this Saturday at Schubas, shop the Indie Arts Holiday Market, a manageable plethora of potential presents from local artists and designers.

A Waste of Good Canvas

Wow, those really are some Bad Paintings of Barack Obama. [via]

Da Mare Bear

Mayor Daley's looking rather bear-like in this portrait, part of the Chicago Urban Art Society's The Daley Show. [via]

Look Out! It's an Art Spree!

The Illinois Artisans Program is holding an Holiday Art Spree this Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 15-17. Twenty artists and crafters from around the state will be selling their work in the Thompson Center atrium, 100 W. Randolph.

Skyline Stage: Now with More Skyline

The Skyline stage at Navy Pier is a little airier now that its roof was removed by high winds.

Satromizer Gives You Glitches on the Go

Video/installation artist Jon Satrom and designer/programmer/photographer Ben Syverson have created a way to make glitch photo art via iPhone.

Another Reporter Without a Job

Brenda Starr, the intrepid reporter who filled comics pages for more than 70 years, will cover her last story on January 2.

NewCity's Number Ones

Cultural weekly NewCity gives us their 2010 top picks in vintage TV shows filmed in Chicago, food trucks, indoor make-out spots, and many more.

Movie Houses Remembered

A gallery captures the grandeur and elegance of the Granada, Uptown, Adelphi, and other Chicago area "lost palaces" -- movie theaters that recall a bygone age. [via]

New MAS Context Issue Released

The eighth issue of the MAS Studio journal MAS Context is live today. Entitled "Public," it addresses everything from a reconceptualization of design principles to what makes a favorite public space.

Chicago, City on the Plains

Or city on a toothbrush. Whichever. [via]

Buy One, Get One, See Four

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Winter Series -- featuring four works, including a Chicago premiere -- is this weekend. And "weekend" is the key word: enter it in the promotion code box when you buy a ticket to Sunday's matinee, and you'll get another ticket for free.

Come Together, Go Forth and Create

Next Friday, head to the Evil Olive for Reply All, a gathering of artists, designers, writers and more -- anyone who likes to make, do, and drink.

Modern Day Geppettos

Chicago's indie toy-making scene falls into focus in A/C today.

Occupation: World Famous Architect

Frank Lloyd Wright appeared on "What's My Line?" back in 1956. [via]

The Art of the City

Public Art in Chicago covers exactly what it sounds like it covers.

Mwah Mwah Mwah

Activate your breath mints. The Art Institute just installed a gigantic (four feet in diameter) ball of mistletoe above the Grand Staircase. Visitors are encouraged to pose beneath it (presumably macking), take a picture, and upload it to the museum's Flickr group. Good lord, that thing is big.

Free and Beautiful

Flavorpill ranks and describes some beautiful libraries, with Harold Washington coming in third.

Twin Advocates for Eco-conscious Fashion

The Art Institute lions will soon sport their winter wreaths, but their new accessories will be solar-powered.

Carving Out the Words

Sighn, of ITS OK fame, has a new project: What Wood You Say? You choose the message, he'll spell it out in wooden letters for $5 a letter.

Another Michigan Ave. Street Wall Building Changes Hands

Columbia College announced it is purchasing 820 S. Michigan Ave., the headquarters of Johnson Publishing. The company, which is the publisher of EBONY and JET, will move out within 18 months as part of a cost-cutting strategy.

Experimental Vimeography

Artist Chuck Jones recently began posting his video work on Vimeo, making it perhaps a little easier to enter his strange world.

Green Comb-Overs

Blair Kamin takes a dim view of the city's green initiatives.

Old Buildings, New Green Tricks

Some ambitious, architecturally and environmentally minded people are delving into vertical farming and industrial reuse, right in the heart of the New City neighborhood.

Old Saint Pat's

Take a tour of St. Patrick's Church with Designslinger: part one, part two.

Poster Pop

Ork Posters has a pop-up shop at 2003 W. Montrose Ave., and they're not keeping it just for themselves -- they've got work by two dozen other printmakers available for sale, too.

A Home Within a Home

The Briefcase House is a mini-apartment inside of a 1400-square-foot Chicago warehouse loft designed by architect Jimenez Lai. [via]

See My Heart

A cute new print by Sean Dove.

Too Hard to Keep

Jason Lazarus, a photographer and instructor at the Art Institute, wants the personal photographs people can no longer bear to look at for his "Too Hard to Keep" archive. Details on how to submit photographs to Jason are posted on his blog for the project.

Forever and Ever

Just because Daley's not running for reelection doesn't mean he can't have a campaign sign.

The Even More Fascinating IMSS

If you haven't visited the International Museum of Surgical Science lately, you can visit to catch a bunch of upgrades and a new exhibit.

DIY Horizon

Add our city's skyline to your holiday cards, or whatever would benefit from Chicago's silhouette, with Merriment Design's free templates. All she asks is that you e-mail or comment when you do.

Honoring Tina Hilariously

When she's not singing the praises of Chicago's roasted chicken offerings, Tina Fey is poised to become the youngest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor tonight at the Kennedy Center. Catch the broadcast of the award show on Sunday 11/14 on PBS.

Watching the Eye

If you've been meaning to visit Tony Tasset's EYE but haven't gotten around to it yet, act fast. It's going to be disassembled starting tomorrow morning.

This Doesn't Mean You Can Get Away With Making Bad Art Now

A prominent component of recent Chicago art history, art critic Kathryn Hixson has passed on...

Decorate the Kitchen Sink

Edgewater coffee shop, Kitchen Sink, is looking for local artists to display their work at the business in 2011. The cafe is located near the Berwyn Red Line stop. Details.

Volumes of Beer

Speaking of Dan Grzeca, if you're a beer drinker you might like his latest print.

The Power of Christ Rehabs You

Not sure where it's located, but here's a nifty 19th Century Chicago Lutheran church re-purposed as a artist's loft. Unfortunately, sometimes God's old college buddies show up in the middle of the night, looking for a place to crash.

Questions for Jetsah

IPaintMyMind interviews screenprint artist Dan Grzeca, who made our meter monster poster.

Only One Building to (Maybe) Remain at Reese Site

Remember how Mayor Daley promised he would preserve the prairie-style main building of Michael Reese Hospital? Well, the administration didn't heed warnings about protecting the buildings and has reneged on the promise. Today it officially announced that the main building will be demolished along with two of the three other remaining structures.

Tagged Online is back in action.

Inside Frank Lloyd Wright's Coonley House

In 2000, Dean and Ella Mae Eastman purchased a portion of Frank Lloyd Wright's Avery Coonley House and spent more than $1 million on its renovation. It's now for sale, so we can see inside.

Elevated Art

Another variation on the CTA map poster, courtesy of Big Nickel Graphics.

The Art Loop Champions

The Art Loop Open announced its prizewinners Friday night.

Clay Critters

Ceramic artist Sarah Hicks creates pieces that look like they might crawl around on your shelf.

America in Blue

Marc Chagall's America Windows have been reinstalled at the Art Institute, and make their public debut Monday, Nov. 1. If you're a museum member, you can get an early look today and all weekend.

Spooky Flash

The Tattoo Factory is hosting "It's Your Funeral," a spooky group show of "art inspired by death," in its newish gallery space next to the shop, 4443 N. Broadway, Friday night.

Spine-chilling Stoop

Check out Oak Park blogger Nicole Balch's Halloween project for Better Homes & Gardens: an appealingly eerie front porch, complete with twisting branches, stone statues, and (fake yet scarily realistic) rats. You can vote for her vestibule here.

Sun in the Center Ring

SAIC professor Tiffany Holmes is the ringmaster for The Solar Circus.

Art Voting Irregularities

Voting for Art Loop Open didn't go as smoothly as the artists -- or the organizers -- hoped.

Homeownership on the Cheap

The City is looking to sell off some of its many properties, including one of the oldest houses in Bronzeville, which they hope you'll buy for a buck and then move it someplace else.

The Resurrection of St. Boniface

St. Boniface has been saved from destruction and will be turned into senior housing.

EDIT: This post originally said St. Boniface was the "the cool old church next to the El tracks near Cabrini Green." That's actually St. Joseph's; St. Boniface is in Noble Square. Thanks to Chris and Tony for the correction.

Pinhole Pictures

Local photographers and camera tinkerers Justin Lundquist and Ben Syverson have created Pinwide, a wide-angle pinhole cap for Micro 4/3 cameras. They want to produce it and bring it to the picture-taking masses, but they need your help.

Fade to Black

Artist, musician, writer, and general gadabout Damon Locks came up with summer homework for his silk-screening friends: Over an allotted period of time, each artist had to produce five silk screens using only the color black. The result, which Locks shares in a Facebook "gallery," is Desaturate: Silkscreen Summer 2010, featuring art by locals Ethan D'Ercole, Jay Ryan, Locks, Derrick Buisch, Dan S Wang, Dan Grzeca, and John Hitchcock.

More than the Corncobs

Learn more about Marina City, Prentice Women's Hospital and other innovative buildings in the Bertrand Goldberg Archive.

It's a Composite

Composite is a new quarterly arts magazine in PDF format.

The City Richard M. Built

Eleven architects reflect on Daley's architectural legacy. [via]

Secret Arts Society

In A/C, Kelly Reaves gives us a glimpse of the vibrant creative activity in Garfield Park, boiling away under the radar.

Who Needs Exposed Railroad Tracks, Anyway?

Melbourne, Australia's newest proposed park got a good chunk of its inspiration from you know where.

"A 6,500 Square-Foot Rectangular Tube For Selling"

Miss yesterday's opening of the new Apple Store at North & Clybourn? Check out the recap with photos at ArchitectureChicago Plus.

Wonder Women!

Speaking of Lucy Knisley, she made this great print, perfect for the wonderful women in your life.

Another Peek in 37signals' Offices

This time in Fast Company Design, with a bit more detail about how the space was built. And here're more behind-the-scenes photos of the furniture being made by Stay-Straight Manufacturing.

Art Loop Not So Open

Voting in the Art Loop Open ends tomorrow, and the exhibition is up through the end of the month. However, not everyone is pleased with event.

Chicago Architecture's Dance Critic

Claire Zulkey interviews Blair Kamin, the Tribune's architecture critic.

Your Art Vote Counts

Art Loop Open opens today and runs through the 29th. Pick up a map at Block 37, tour galleries around the Loop and vote on your favorite artist.

Concrete Corncobs

Marina City is Seattle Weekly's top pick for buildings that look like food, prompting Marina City Online to dig up a photo of the towers rendered in food (though not corn.)

The Wright Place to Live

Oak Park's Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District was listed by the American Planning Association as one of the best neighborhoods in the country.

Whose Boat is This?

Help solve an artistic mystery over in A/C.

Four Stars for Knowledge

Designer Meng Yang thinks you should Know Your Flag, so he's created an amazing set of four silkscreen prints focusing on each of the Chicago flag's stars. He's also sliced up the city in a novel way.

Art for Rent

Ever wonder where the art on the walls in businesses comes from? In some cases, it's not owned, it's leased. Fear No Art talks to Chicago Art Leasing about the business.

Starlights, Cameras, Action!

The Northwest Chicago Historical Society is hosting a tour of the beautiful, long-shuttered Patio Theater at 6008 W. Irving Park Road. Designed by Rudolph G. Wolff, the Patio, built in 1927, is, more or less, intact, never having been chopped up into multiple screens. See it before its grand re-opening!

Old Republic Now Officially Old and Important Republic

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks recently granted landmark status to the Old Republic Building.

See the Art of Chicago

If you missed our Chicago Artists Month exhibition down in East Pilsen last weekend, you have another chance tonight during the Chicago Art District's Second Fridays.

The Necessity of Scrapping

Yesterday Roger Ebert gave 3 1/2 out of 4 stars to Scrappers, the documentary film about scrap metal collectors that is the subject of this week's A/C interview.

No More Headphone Tours at the AIC

Now there's an app for that.

Storefront Studio

Apartment Therapy profiles Chicagoan and production artist James Wurm's industrial and practical, yet attractive and welcoming kitchen-studio-living space, created in a Pilsen storefront. It's worth checking out for the chandelier alone.

The Park and Art District

The Chicago Park District recently unveiled a website cataloging its collection of fountains, monuments, and sculptures. [via]

How Grandpa Used to "Blog"

Quimby's and Baltimore's Atomic Books are sponsoring 2011: The Revenge of Print!, a challenge to all former zinesters to produce the latest issue of their long-dead zine. Get out the long-reach stapler and ironic clip-art, kids.

Inside the City's Most Eccentric Address

Anyone walking past 1430 W. Berwyn Ave. has probably wondered what the inside of the strange old home looks like. BLUEPRINT: Chicago gives you a peek -- though the this Yelp review paints a different picture.

Ar hit c t ral Pl gi rism

Some absolute idiot (likely a scrap dealer) stole 50 century-old, bronze letters from Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple in Oak Park. Words fail me--no pun intended.

Spires that in the Sunset Rise

Guess what's first on this list of stalled skyscraper projects around the world? [via]

Behold, the Chi-Noceros

If you didn't make it to the Chicago Artists Month opening night show we curated this weekend, you missed Phineas X. Jones' stunning Chi-Noceros print. Fortunately, now you can buy it.

I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation Turned into Wee Little Puppet-Men

Local cartoonist/musician Archer Prewitt designed the cutest little Allen Ginsberg doll you ever did see. [via]

Like You Need Another Map of Chicago

Well, maybe just this typographic one. [via]

The First American Architect

Henri Louis Sullivan and the story behind the Carson Pirie Scott building. [via]

Friday's Art Crawl

Looking for another reason to come to our Chicago Artists Month kickoff party in Pilsen East? How about the Third Coast Festival's Listening Room, presenting winners from its Book Odds challenge. It's happening a couple blocks south of our event, at the Urban Art Society, making it a great pairing.

Cheers to These Guys

Chicago-based glassware company By the Glass has been getting some attention lately for their tasteful lines of drinking glasses inspired by several cities around the world. Maybe I'm biased, but I like the Chicago line.

Sainted Architecture

Designslinger looks closely at Saint Mary of the Lake.

Heavy Metal Marble

Fun fact just tweeted by the Art Institute: Their heaviest piece is The Solitude of the Soul by Lorado Taft, topping out at 8,000 pounds. Put that on your mantelpiece.

What's a Little Condensation do to a Painting?

The Art Institute has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Ove Arup & Partners, alleging the firm is responsible for a variety of problems in the building.

Rod Kafka

Governor Blagojevich's Metamorphosis, an interesting print by Wyoming artist Kim Harris.

DIY Calaveras de Azucar

The Mondragon family has been demonstrating how to make sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead at the National Museum of Mexican Art every year since 1995.

Suit Yourself

SoundSuitShop is a place to purchase products based on the artwork of Nick Cave, chairman of SAIC's fashion department.

Deer Chicago

I'm not sure what makes this an "urban legend," but it's a cool print anyway.

The Murray School of Art

Bill Murray just turned 60, and tonight an exhibition of art inspired by the actor opens in LA at R&R Gallery.

Who to Blame for Four-Plus-Ones

Jerome Soltan. [via]

Monsters in Tubes

It's mystery tube day! Dan Grzeca (who designed the poster for our Labor Day show at the Metro last year) has a mystery tube sale going on right now -- and his include t-shirts.

Mystery Art

Willing to take a risk? Delicious Design League is selling mystery tubes containing a test print, two editioned prints and two misprints for just $30.

Seasonal Decoration

Ryan Kapp's gorgeous print 4 Seasons in Chicago would look lovely on your wall. [via]

Mr. Chicago is a Super Nerd

Meet Mr. Chicago and other adorably anthropomorphized typefaces at Supersmelle's tumblr.

Practice Makes Precious

Artist Lauren Nassef has been making a drawing a day, give or take; I particularly like the polar bear.

Scarcity in Print

The Endangered Species Print Project is a series of limited edition prints of endangered plants and animals, with the edition size corresponding to the remaining populations. If you expect to get a dwarf trout lily, you'd better hurry.

Is Writing Music for Architecture Like Dancing About Journalism?

This Saturday several musical works will be performed in or near the buildings that inspired them. Buildings include the Monadnock, the Aqua Tower, and others.

Digging a Deeper (Financial) Hole for the Spire

While no one seems particularly optimistic about the likelihood the Chicago Spire will ever get built, the building's developer recently experienced yet another financial setback.

Honoring Oprah

The 33rd annual Kennedy Center Honors have been announced, and the incomparable Oprah Winfrey is to be lauded in December with a lively celebration in Washington. Also on the list for the night are some other people named Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, Bill T. Jones, and Jerry Herman. You know, if time permits.

Another South Side Mural Meets Protest

A new mural has been added to the Little Village memorial to Manuel Perez, Jr. by Enlace Chicago, but some American Legion members are upset by its introduction -- and maybe its style.

Zero to Hero

From Chris Ware to Mies van der Rohe, Chicago Magazine names the city's top 40 artistic breakthroughs.

Define Your Modernism

The Art Institute has a Cartier-Bresson photo contest running until Sept 20th. Enter up to five photos inspired by the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit and compete for a membership, catalogues and general admission passes.

Urban Ruins in 3-D

Matt Bergstrom, the force behind Wurlington Bros. Press, has launched a Kickstarter to raise money for a 3-D View-Master set exploring abandoned buildings. Pitch in to help make it happen!

Here There Be Monsters

Artist Sanya Glisic urges you to pollute Lake Michigan so that we all may swim. [via]

The Imp is Free, Too

Speaking of free publications, the four issues of The Imp, "booklets about comic books" written by Daniel Raeburn about Book Club fave graphic novelists Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware as well as Jack Chick and Mexican historietas, are available for free download. Raeburn also offers a free excerpt from his book on Ware.

Artist's Statement: "Agggh! We're All Gonna Die!"

Lorado Taft's Washington Park-located sculpture Fountain of Time is the subject of today's featured article on Wikipedia.

Building in the Midst of Real Estate Catastrophe

Downtown high-end apartment occupancy rates are a surprising 94.5%, prompting developers to pursue options for new construction.

Art Loop Open Still Open to Applicants

The Art Loop Open has extended its application deadline to Sept. 7 and added new prizes for artists interested in participating in the public art exhibition. Details here.

Looks Like a Landmark to Me

Did you know the Wrigley Building isn't an official city landmark? Neither is the Merchandise Mart, Marina City, or a few other storied architectural icons. Blair Kamin explores some of the reasons why. One commenter points out that you can explore the city's preservation yourself on an upcoming CAF tour.

Plastic Models

Rotofugi, which just moved to Lincoln and Diversey, opens a show of Playboy-inspired art tonight.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog Art

Delicious Design League continues its tradition of awesome hot dog-related screenprints with a Chicago-style hot dog on a bike and a unique rendition of the Chicago flag.

A Red Flag for a Black Panther

Dan Grzeca, who designed our 6th anniversary poster, has a new print commemorating the murder of Fred Hampton in 1969.

Spicing Up a Landmark District

New City takes a fresh look at the Cermak Road Creative Industry District, which was a recent recipient of a $250,000 grant.

Koons for Kids

Oak Lawn has its own art installation by Jeff Koons in an unusual location: the CT scanner at Advocate Hope Children's Hospital. Koons's pop-culture panoramas and sculptures were the subject of a 2008 solo exhibition at the MCA.

How's That for Scaffolding?

Lynn Becker draws our attention to some unique scaffolding on the luxury Elysian's carriage court.

Au Revoir, Paris Street; Rainy Day

The Art Institute's popular photorealistic painting of soggy French people -- rendered by artist Gustave Caillebotte -- is paying a visit to the Museum Folkwang in Germany from Sept. 7 to February 2011. See it before it departs, mes amis.

The "Joan of Architecture"

Phyllis Lambert, founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1963 and apprenticed with Mies van der Rohe. Now 83, she is still kicking butt.

Bye, Bye, Tulips

The United and Continental merger is moving ahead, as its branding.

Coloring Contest

Break out your crayons, markers, and colored pencils: local artist Mindy Fisher is making a coloring book, and giving you a chance to win one of her paintings.

From Aqua to "Green"

The Architect's Paper looks at three firms pushing building design and development strategies surrounding the Loop, including Friedman Properties, one of the key players in the "green" garage.

Art in Motion

Fear no ART Chicago just released their newest webisode: an interview with 3 Blondes & a Bald Guy, winners of the 2010 Art on Track A.W.A.R.D.

Chicago's Top 40 Artistic Breakthroughs

Chicago magazine's newest list includes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, "This American Life" and that weird steel sculpture Picasso designed for Chicago in 1967.

Forget Food Trucks -- More Art Trucks!

This weekend marks the launch of Hot Box, a mobile gallery showcasing local artists. First up is FoGB Veggiesomething.

Oh, Her Aching Back

Laura Park, local cartoonist, needs to raise $3,500 (even with insurance) for a discectomy. Please help out this talented ink-slinger. Donations can be made here.

44 Portraits for 44 Presidents

A long-running art installation at the Neo-Futurarium, the Hall of Presidents contains a portrait for every US President... except for the most recently elected one. And now the call has gone out for artists to submit their Obama portraits to take the coveted 44th spot in the gallery. In addition to the fame of having his/her artwork on display, the winning artist receives a cash prize of $250 for their trouble! Full details at the Neo-Futurists' Website.

Boulevard of Unbroken Dreams

The Public Servant Blog nominated Chicago's boulevard system as number four on its list of the top 20 urban planning successes of all time.

Fine Art Fast

Don't have the cash or time to sit for a portrait? Oil Painting Express is your solution!

180 Acres of South Side Mega-development

The Architect's Paper has the lowdown about the Pullman Walmart and its surrounding development.

48 Hour Film Kickoff

This weekend kicks off the 48 Hour Film Project, where 800 Chicago filmmakers have two days to make a film based on a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre, assigned Friday night. Films show August 17-19 and August 24th. Sound awesome? There's still a few slots left.

Crowdsourcing Architecture

The tagging needs some work, but there are several notable Chicago buildings beyond the usual ones on, a crowdsourced guide to architecture. [via]

Our City, Screenprinted

Hiroshi Ariyama captures quintessential Chicago scenes in silkscreen.

Shortest Film

The Art Institute is hosting a one-minute film festival -- and you're invited to join in, whether as a filmmaker or audience.


An SAIC student's homage to Carolee Schneemann's Interior Scroll involving Spaghettios was recently noticed and healthily criticized on Hipster Runoff. [NSFW all around.]

Tradition. Honor. Mollusks.

Local postermaker Phineas X. Jones (also a FoGB) was the artist who wrought this fine piece of work for Lollapalooza this year. It'll be for sale this weekend at the festival, and on his site in small numbers later on.

Rising Star in a Big Pond

It looks like we've lost another promising young artist to New York. But we still love him. Right? Check out Abraham Ritchie's interview with emerging art star and SAIC alum Angel Otero at Art Slant and decide for yourself if you're willing to forgive him for leaving us.

Art Back on Track

Art on Track returns to the Loop CTA tracks this Saturday, from 5pm to 10pm. Fear No ART interviewed the founder, Tristan Hummel, to get a bit more info about how this unique show came about.

Reminder: Call for Artists!

Artists, don't forget -- you have until Friday, Aug. 6 to submit work for our Chicago Artists Month exhibition, which will be shown at the opening party Oct. 1.

Discovering Gilded Trash in the Gold Coast

The headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Sullivan and Wright designed Charnley House, is currently a living history museum thanks to an archeological dig going on in its (very small) backyard.

Meet Weston, Illinois

There aren't enough urban planning stories about nuclear scientists, the mob and the feds unwittingly working towards the same end.

Giving Girls Creative Refuge

In A/C, learn about Ag47, a Logan Square nonprofit giving voice to girls who have a lot to say.

Call for Artists

Gapers Block is mounting an exhibition as part of its sponsorship of this year's Chicago Artists Month! Learn how to enter your work for consideration over in A/C.

Talking Improvisation

WBEZ's Steve Edwards recently interviewed local improv masters T.J. Jagodowski and David Pasquesi about their craft, Chicago and improv in general. [Thanks, Justin!]

Flow with CRO

Chicago's best-known political street artist Ray Noland (a.k.a. CRO) was interviewed by Art Slant Chicago's Abraham Ritchie while he passed out Blagojevich-themed cupcakes outside the courthouse during his trial.

Art is a Moving Object

Chicago Art Magazine takes a look at the rise and fall of River North and the ascendancy of gallery districts in other parts of the city.

The Lovely Rookery

Artist Rob Funderburk has produced a beautiful silkscreen print of the Rookery, one of the city's most noteworthy buildings. (And is that a GB t-shirt we spy in that photo?)

Long Live Vintage!

Local artist Dolan Geiman recently announced a partnership with Fossil that's part of their Long Live Vintage campaign. If you'd like some background, check out GB's interview with Dolan and Ali, his business partner and now wife, from 2008.

Just Look At Yourself

The 6th Annual National Self-Portrait Exhibition begins tonight at 33 Collective Gallery downtown. Go to check out over 40 pieces created by artists from across the country.

Fine Shapes by Coarse

Check out toy-inspired sculptures by German artist Coarse at Rotofugi starting tonight.

Just the Streets

This skeletal map of Chicago isn't very practical, but it beautifully highlights the elegance of the city's grid. (You might find this diptych more affordable.)

"I could maybe survive the economy downturn, but what's the point?"

Lucien Lagrange, the architect of Park Tower, the Blackstone Hotel renovation and others I wish had been built, is retiring and declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the same time to "to plan ahead, organize and close in a decent way."

Blagojevich x 32

Remember that Chicago magazine Blagojevich portrait contest? Enjoy the results.

Art Talk

The summer interns at the Art Institute have started a twitter account where they post funny things they overhear patrons say in the museum. The results are hilarious and sometimes adorable. Oh, and they have a blog now, too.

The Eye Opens

Tony Tasset's sculpture "Eye" makes its official debut today. Check out the Trib's video of its making.

Looking at Lady Gaga

Chicago Art Magazine studies the pop star from a visual arts perspective.

Taste of the Art Institute

The Art Institute reminds us that it's air conditioned, has food and displays scary pictures of food that may remind you to take it easy at the Taste.

The Art of Changing One's Mind

Roger Ebert changes his mind about videogames as art.

Millennium Park is Pretty Cool

Millennium Park gets a nod in Vanity Fair as one of the most significant works of architecture created so far in the 21st century. Sadly, it's the only local representative on the list, compiled from 52 noted architects and critics.

Get Healthy, Get Creative

Your health and creativity go hand in hand, i.e. it's hard to paint when you can't afford antibiotics, and anyone who romanticizes consumption probably never got an emergency room bill. The Artists' Health Insurance Resource Center is a directory of health care resources for artists, performers, freelancers and the self-employed -- and wouldn't you know it, Chicago's part of it too.

Illusionists in Illinois

Fascinated by feats of illusion, trickery, and sleight of hand? The Elmhurst Historical Museum explores Chicago's connection to the world of magic in "The Magical History Tour," running through September 12.

A Very Different Architectural Boat Tour

Forgotten Chicago is hosting a boat tour of the Calumet River in August. Check out the US Steel South Works and other heavy industrial sites while sipping beer and wine!

A Building Vision

Artist Tony Tasset's giant eye sculpture is now under construction in Pritzker Park at State and Jackson.

Poster Gamer

Speaking of Kickstarter, local designer Justin David Russo's videogame posters were a major success. Hopefully they'll be available for purchase for those of us not lucky enough to get in on the funding.

Trump It Up

The spire atop the Trump Tower will be turned on for the first time tonight around 8:29 pm.

Storm Windows

Last Friday's storm finally made the building at 22 W. Washington look interesting, Lynn Becker says.

Dress that Underpass

Chicago-based artists can submit a design for one of 12 CTA and Metra underpasses needing some beautification in the 49th Ward (Rogers Park). Applications (PDF) are due by July 16th.

The Beauty of Strange Closets

Chicago blog Strange Closets takes a close look at the charming and beautiful all around us. Similar to Apartment Therapy, but 100% local, the blog features shopping, interior design, and architecture you'll love looking at.

Celebrating Sullivan from an Era of Modernism

Blair Kamin draws our attention to Looking after Louis Sullivan, a new show at the Art Institute that highlights photography, drawings and fragments of the architect's work.

There Should Be a Nerd Museum. Wait, Aren't They All?

MuseumNerd tweeted his/her way through a plethora of Chicago museums this weekend. That's right: a whole PLETHORA. [via]

Wood-Maxey-Boyd Interior Finally Viewable

Chicago magazine has the first video tour and photographs of the recently cleaned interior of the historic Wood-Maxey-Boyd House, the lone survivor of two waves of construction and demolition on Lower Prairie Avenue.

Street Art in Context

With the recent visit by Banksy in support of his movie, the business side of street art has been on display. Fortunately, we still have some stellar free stuff.

Chicago Is Kind of a Sketchy Town

The Chicago skyline in Etch a Sketch format.

Buildings Sans Faces

Ever notice some older buildings look like they're missing something? It's because of those darn cars.

Feeling Lonely and Artless? Pick Up the Phone

You may not be able to call the time lady any more, but you can always call the audio tour of the MCA at 312.635.2274 if you're interested in some surprise art information. A bonus: Typing "9" isn't as creepy as seeing Gillian Wearing's work in person. If you'd like a more traditional MCA audio experience, you could always check out previous structured audio tours.

The Kind of Clouds You Don't Mind

One thousand helium-filled mylar balloons are currently floating around IIT's Crown Hall. They're Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds, and you should go see them before they float away on August 1.

Lock Your Bike to a Fish!

Have you ever dreamed of locking your bike to a 21st century German? Dream no more, as this could potentially become a reality when Chicago implements its newest public art project. The project would offer local artists the opportunity to create artistic bike racks to be placed around the city, so keep your eyes out for bike racks that look like Germans or dogs or even fish.

A Brand New Plate

Designers take a crack at re-imagining some ho-hum license plates, including that of Illinois. (via)

Your Very Own Guide to the 57th Street Art Fair

If you're going to the 57th Street Art Fair this weekend, you can plan your visit with the Hyde Park Herald's annual fair issue.

Poster Artists Speak Type Their Minds

If you've ever wanted to know more about your favorite show posters, tune in Wednesday at 1pm at the Rock for Kids' website to pose questions to some awesome rock poster artists. The nonprofit's new online interview series launches this week with Jay Ryan of the Bird Machine and continues Friday and next week. More in Slowdown.

Lights, Action, Design

Lightology, the locally based largest contemporary lighting showroom in North America, is having a design contest. The concept must feature at least one foot of Lightology's LED Soft Strip, and prizes include a $2,000 Lightology gift card and a feature in i4 design magazine. More details here.

Chicago's Typeface

CitID aims to "gain global consciousness by giving a (type)face to every city worldwide." There are three submitted for Chicago so far, including this sexy number. [via]

What 's the Collective Noun? A Misanthropy of Cartoonists?

Local (and formerly local) boys Chris Ware and Dan Clowes pose pensively with R. Crumb and Adrian Tomine in France with one lucky lady. UPDATE: It's been brought to my attention by DovBee that the collective noun for cartoonists is a "doodle." Excellent!

SOLVE Stickers On

Street artist Brendan Scanlon, aka SOLVE, was murdered in 2008, but his stickers live on and are being posted around the world.

By the Power Vested in I, Robot

Supposedly, the first-ever wedding presided over by a robot took place in Japan this week. No way, says local artist Ben Stone. His was the first.

Emerging Chicago Designers

AIGA's Chicago Design Week is nearly over, but the most publicly accessible event is tomorrow night at our friends The Post Family.

Coolness in Shortpants

This week in Book Club, One-Shots talks to comics artist by day, accordionist by night Sarah Becan.

From Modern to Abstract, One Feather at a Time

Friends of Pritzker School is raising money by auctioning off some pretty cool birdhouses by local architects and others.

First the Spindle, Then the Artist

Dustin Shuler, the artist behind the Spindle in Berwyn, passed away last week.

Banksy Does Chicago

Internationally famous street artist Banksy did a little work in Chicago.

So, the Trees are Bears Fans Too?

Time Out Chicago got to the bottom of the painted orange and blue trees in Grant and Lincoln Parks. Though don't get too attached to them, they're being removed soon.

A Literary Look

There's just one week left to enter Chicago Public Library's annual poster contest. Check out the details and submit today.

SUElebration Time

The Field Museum's chatty T-Rex named Sue is turning 10 years old (well, give or take 60 million) and the museum's having a party and a fancy online auction.

Designers' Mantra: Learn in Chicago, Then Leave

The New York Times uses The School of the Art Institute's Fashion Department to illustrate Chicago's most common dilemma in the arts.

Which Seats are Really the Best Seats in the House?

These seats.

Blago Runs Far

He really is everywhere: nearly a year after the stencil spawned a group art show, Ray Noland's jogging Blago has been spotted down in the Tar Heel state.

Make Believe WPB

Speaking of Wicker Park, the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce is looking for artists to fill storefronts in the neighborhood. The theme is "Make Believe."

(Un)realized Industrial Paradise

Speaking of company stores, if planned industrial communities pique your interest, you'll love CAF's upcoming guided tour of Pullman and the "industrial Shangri-La" of Marktown. The tour costs $50 but includes a guide, all transportation and a box lunch.

Antiques Made Daily

If you're a dealer of reasonably priced vintage and antiques décor, etc. who'd like to get in on the shopping frenzy caused by the inaugural pop-up Vintage Bazaar, you can now fill out a vendor application to sell at their upcoming summer show. The next spree will take place at the Congress Theater on August 22.

Artists Break Out of the Paper

NewCity's Breakout Artists issue isn't just a feature this year -- it's also a gallery show at Art Chicago this weekend.

Meet Michael Darling, Newly of the MCA

As noted in A/C, the MCA recently announced that Michael Darling will be the museum's new chief curator. If you'd like to know more about Darling, here's an article from when he became the Seattle Art Museum's modern and contemporary curator in 2006.

"Welcome to America. Americans Kill Each Other."

Local artist, Ray CRO Noland (who captured Blagojevich on the run) sums up Mayor Daley's recent gun control sentiments.

Inside Bigness

Lee Bey takes a look inside the proposed bathrooms of Outer Planets, the Schaumberg complex that would have contained the world's tallest building.

Fresh Pressed

Peek inside local letterpress studio Starshaped Press, profiled by the paper-loving design blog Felt & Wire.

The Dudes' Abodes

Apartment Therapy is looking for some guys who have a room in need of a do-over. Lucky for you, Chicago is one of their five selected metro areas (but sorry, ladies, this project is for boys only). Apply by May 24.

The Inside View on Outsider Art

Art by untrained and unknown artists is celebrated behind the green doorway of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. It's this week's feature in A/C.

Donnie Darko Could Not Be Reached for Comment

The Art Institute is installing jet engines on their third floor terrace, as part of an installation by artist Roger Hiorns. Mr. Hiorns really likes jet engines, apparently: he had one pulverized for a previous exhibition. UPDATE: According to TimeOut, the engines are filled with antidepressants. Yes, you read that right. What a downer.

Jay Ryan, Aaron Horkey, and Some Ancient Mammals

At noon, The Bird Machine will start selling stunning 25-screen prints of Jay Ryan and Aaron Horkey's recent collaboration. The poster's creation process is documented throughout this thread on

Beats & Buildings

Vocalo's Lee Bey sees some of Chicago architecture's best views in hip-hop videos.

Snakes! Snakes! SNAKES!

Bureau of Self-Promotion: I wrote an article for the Chicago Journal about the beautiful, bizarre, and frequently insane Ghanaian movie posters on sale at Primitive, a Fulton River District art gallery/store. More images can be found here.

Inception from Conception?

BLDGBLOG wonders if Christopher Nolan's Chicago childhood influenced his design aesthetic for the upcoming film Inception.

What to do with 60 Acres of Floorspace

Details of the redevelopment of the Old Main Post Office are starting to leak out, including the news that Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie Architects has been hired. They are considering making the mammoth building even bigger.

Food and Memories in Faber-Castell

Local comic book artist and hot dog aficionado Lucy Knisley gets interviewed in Book Club as part of the ongoing series One-Shots.

There's Nothing We Can't Fix

...with a little creative editing, courtesy of street artist Nick Adam.

Tour with the Devil

The Chicago Architecture Foundation's Devil in the White City tour this Thursday is 20 percent off with the promo code "facebook."

Preserve or Perish

Landmarks Illinois released its annual list of most endangered historic places today, and Chicago's Uptown Theatre and Prentice Women's Hospital make the cut along with the St. Lawrence Complex and North Pullman. (Related: the Uptown just launched a Twitter feed this week.)

Sitting On Your Ash

Reporting in from Milan, Craighton Berman brings us The Eyjafjallajokull Chair.

Tom Waits Put It Best

"There's a big dark town/ It's a place I've found/ There's a world going on/ Underground"

Microscopic Art

Nicole Gallery in River North opens an exhibition of Willard Wigan's incredible micro-sculptures today. He'll be at the gallery on Saturday from 11am to 1pm. [via]

Brick by Brick

Speaking of Mr. Wright, Matija Grguric of Croatia built this amazing Lego version of Fallingwater, much more realistic than the set available from Lego. With approximately 15,000 bricks compared to the 811 in the Lego set, it's layers of awesome.

Park Appreciation

The Infrastructurist gives Millennium Park props as one of the Best New Urban Parks in the U.S. Now get out there and enjoy it! [via]

Extra Time for Matisse

Apparently the AIC got sick of kicking the hordes of tourists out of the new Matisse exhibit on Friday nights so they've decided to keep the museum open until 8 on Fridays while it's up. Might make for a nice little date after work.

Seeking Evidence for a Ubiquitous Quote

Susan Augustine of the The Art Institute's Ryerson and Burnham Libraries recently determined the veracity of an often used (but typically unattributed) Henri Matisse quote. The in-house translation of the now authenticated quote is, "It has always bothered me that I don't paint like everyone else."

Mammoth Talent

Meet Velizar Simeonovski, the artist behind all the cool extinct fauna drawings for the Field Museum's Mammoths and Mastodons and other exhibits.

85 Tours in 365 days

Chicago Architecture Foundation's Jennifer Lucente has tasked herself with a challenge: participate in all of the CAF's 85 tours over the course of one year. Best part? You can join her (or at least watch from the social media sidelines).

Have You Seen This Dinosaur?

Midlothian residents Gary and Cathy Crawford are missing a velociraptor, and they'd like it back.

Getting Healthy, Panel by Panel

Local comic book artist Sarah Becan chronicles getting healthier in a sort of sequential weight loss diary. Good for anyone who likes beer and delicious food but is trying to slim down, and/or enjoys sweet, autobiographical, journal-style comics.

More on the Lakeshore Theater Closing

A.V. Club Chicago gets the inside word on the closing of the Lakeshore Theater this weekend.

Windowshopping for Art

It's a case of making lemonade out of the lemons of vacant storefronts. The New York Times recognizes Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood and Evanston as leading the way using that space for art displays.

Valuable Bent Plywood

Two Eames experts are auctioning their considerable collection at the Wright auction house here in Chicago next week. Check out the catalog.

Free to a Good Home

Who wouldn't want a box of tiny elephants?

Honoring Blagojevich with Your Art

Now that Blago doesn't get a portrait in the State House, Chicago magazine wants you to make one.

Aldermanic Art

The 50 Aldermen/50 Artists Project closes this Friday, but if you haven't seen it, fear not: the Reader has a gallery of all 50 portraits. Plus a quiz.

U of C Dorm to Apartments

The Shoreland Hotel, once housing for University of Chicago students, is now set to become apartments. The developer that bought the historic building in 2008 for $16 million has hired Jeanne Gang, the same architect behind Aqua, for the apartment conversion.

Something's Rumbling in Humboldt

Learn more about Humboldt Park's Rumble Arts Center in A/C today, and attend its Mercadito Craft Fair on Saturday!

Cloud Gate Artist Sets Sights on London's Olympic Park

Anish Kapoor is responsible for one of Chicago's most notable landmarks: Cloud Gate, better known to locals as "The Bean." Now, Kapoor will be making his mark in an even bigger way on the city of London. Designs for "Orbit," a climbable steel tower that's nearly 400 feet tall, were just unveiled to the public.

Two New Plaques to See During Architectural Tours

In a wacky juxtoposition of old and (less than) new, the Andersonville Commercial District and the Mies van der Rohe designed IBM Building have been just added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Fighting Over the Sheridan Plaza Hotel: Home of the Cubs

Horizon Realty Group, the firm that gave the world the gift of the (dismissed) twitter lawsuit, is back in court. This time, the firm is suing Landmarks Illinois because it doesn't want to rebuild part of a historic hotel wall. Seen in the lower right of this photograph, the wall was once part of a ballroom and is part of a preservation easement.

(Less is) More on Mies

An interview with architect Ron Kruek, whose firm recently completed a restoration of Mies van der Rohe's masterpiece 860-880 Lake Shore Drive.

Better Reading Through Sequential Art

Over in Book Club, Josh Elder (founder and executive Director, Reading With Pictures, a nonprofit organization that advocates the use of comics in the classroom) talks about how comics play a crucial role in education. Also, Optimus Prime.

Happy Birthday, Mies!

Design Slinger wishes our resident Bauhaus architect a happy 124th.


In case you missed it, check out Alison Cuddy's expose on Radio M last Friday about local artists who are also musicians. Or is it musicians who are also artists? It's all art anyway, isn't it?

More Than Just Hanging a Painting

It takes a village to install, curate and manage an exhibition at the Art Institute. And with Matisse: Radical Invention, which opened March 20, it's no different.

Finding the 50 Aldermen

The Chicago Alderman Project has gotten a ton of coverage, so Friday night's opening at Johalla Projects is likely to be a madhouse. Get there early! Here's a sneak peek at a couple pieces.

Mies or Not Mies?

This week IIT is celebrating its Miesian heritage with signs posted around campus indicating which buildings were designed by Mies Van Der Rohe and which weren't. For more information about the campus architecture, you can check out the IIT history page, as well as the Mies Van Der Rohe Society website.

See Serigaphed Chicago

Check out this attractive Chicago travel poster put out by design and illustration studio The Heads of State.

Cut.Join.Play on a Derelict Lot of Your Choice

MAS Studio's design for creating community greenspace anywhere you like, entitled Cut.Join.Play, took first place in Architecture for Humanity Chicago's street furniture competition. It will be installed as part of Archeworks' +space project.

Caryatids and Cottages

Broaden your architectural acumen at Blueprint Chicago, a blog about buildings both famous and forgotten. Its author, a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation, also offers a "Word of the Week" to build your building vocabulary.

Beaver Brew and Aardvark Ale

Local artist Phineas X. Jones is creating a new, fauna-centric labeling system for the tanks at Half Acre Brewery.

Now That's a House

A house designed by Don Erickson, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, is on the market for $1.6 million, complete with two conversation pits, a pool surrounded by the kitchen and the family room, and a bathroom with a glass ceiling. Oh, and it sits on 10 acres in Barrington.

"But the Building's Identity Resided in the Ornament."

A new documentary about master architect Louis Henri Sullivan, Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture, is having a preview screening at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Sunday, March 14.

Carved in Stone

GB flickr pool member Suttonhoo paid a visit to the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst.

Bundled Tubes and Xs

Bruce Graham, SOM's architect of the Sears Tower and the Hancock Center passed away on Saturday.

"Hey, Artworld, What's the Deal?"

The good folks at Bad at Sports want a video of you asking questions about art for a show they're curating at Apexart. You have until March 18, so get recording!

'Tis We. 'Tis Wee.

WebUrbanist presents the cutest little freaking collection of cityscapes you've ever seen, including the Architecture Foundation's scale model of the Loop. (via)

Man Arrested on the Roof of the Art Institute

"Police said they didn't yet know why the man was acting the way he was."

Chuck Close up Close

Tickets for artist Chuck Close's May 6 lecture/book signing at The Art Institute went on sale on Monday. Get yours now if you want any hope of getting a seat--this will fill up fast. Call 877-307-4242 for tickets.

Demolition and Sludge Combined

Demolition enthusiasts will appreciate Noah Vaughn's latest post about the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's Sludge Disposal Building removal.

A Different Kind of Map

Neil Freeman makes interesting map collections; two of his latest include views of Chicago in which the all the north-south and east-west streets are centered, and all the numbered streets are on a color gradient.

From and To Those Without Homes

Earthquake survivors in Haiti are getting assistance from an unlikely source: a homeless shelter in Elgin.

Is Logan Square Chicago's Artiest Neighborhood?

35th Ward Alderman Rey Colon would like to think so. Check out his entry about his commitment to art on Studio Chicago's blog.

Times Looking Even Worse for the Spire

While the Mine the Gap competition plugs along, Shelbourne Development, the developer of the Chicago Spire, is in the news for all the wrong reasons again. This time the problem is they haven't paid their credit card bills. They also seem to have some troubles with their web security.

From the Top of a Parking Garage

Chicago-based photographer Alan Thomas's Chicago Self-Park was recently featured in Design Observer alongside a review of The Architecture of Parking -- which reconnects with Chicago via Leven Betts's Filter Park Garage.

Carbide and Less Carbon Building

Can the Loop be de-carbonized? A local architecture firm has a plan.

Aqua Stands Out

Aqua is to be named the recipient of the Skyscraper Award, the "world's most renowned prize for high-rise architecture" according to the presenter, global building database Emporis.

Designers, Have Some Time on Your Hands?

If so, Advocates for Urban Agriculture Chicago launched a design competition for a new logo.


Hey, do you like colorful, cartoonishly illustrated visions of consumerism, with a heavy dash of 1960's and a hearty sprinkling of monsters? You do? Have you checked out Shag's new exhibit at Rotofugi?

A Colorful Past

Rob Cartwright, manager of The Blackstone, wasn't always so hoity-toity. His life is like a mullet -- business in the present and party in the past.

This Old Neighborhood

North Mayfair is one of North America's best "old house" neighborhoods according to This Old House Magazine. [via]

Blogging Chicago Architecture

If Lee Bey's Chicago has whet your appetite for more local architecture writing, you may want to check out Vince Michael's Time Tells and Lynne Becker's ArchitectureChicago Plus.

Hanging in There

Despite being hit hard by the economic slump, the Art Institute is hanging on-- they're even able to offer free admission during February, as always. How? Hipsters, among other things.

Gold Coast Sprayed

Speaking of graffiti, a Gold Coast home undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation was hit by a couple graffiti artists Monday night. The artists, Mole and Nine, recently hit a building on Sheridan Road, too -- but that work's already coming down, along with the building.

How Would You Fill the Hole?

The Chicago Architectural Club's 2010 Chicago Prize Competition is called "Mine the Gap," and asks entrants to explain how they would fill the gaping hole left by the stalled Chicago Spire project. [via]

Illustrators Incorporated

The Illustration Corporation is not only Chicago's first illustration agency, it's also a place to check out some pretty cool drawings.

Walking Dead Breach Chicago Suburb

The zombie flick A Chance in Hell is set in 1944 Germany, but is currently being filmed in 2010 Elgin. Braaiinnns and Nazis and staggering undead hordes, oh my!

Who Says it's Worthless?

Newcity has a new review of a show at DePaul that features reject art. The art will be sold from its collection to purchase more desired pieces, but visitors can still cast their vote on what they think is good, bad or just plain ugly.

Reprinting Audubon

Joel Oppenheimer is at it again -- this time creating a full set of full-size Audubon prints with the New York Historical Society.


Early 20th Century graphic designer Lester Beall--educated and employed in Chicago for many years--was a trailblazer who created an immediately recognizable look for his work that incorporated modernist notions imported from the Bauhaus and other art movements. Here's a site devoted to the man and his ideas.

Inside Columbia's Media Production Center

Columbia's Media Production Center is now open for classes, so Chicago Journal stopped in on Lighting 1, the first class held in the space.

More Words and Pictures

Fifteen illustrators, including Chicagoan Laura Park, draw out a scene from their favorite books. [via]

Drawings Every Hour on the Hour

It's Hourly Comic Day, and more than a few Chicago artists are following John Campbell's (Pictures for Sad Children) lead and sequentially documenting each hour of wakefulness.

Art on the House

Just a reminder, the Art Institute is free (and full of events) throughout the month of February.

Born to Cover Art

The Reader profiles Kathryn Born (formerly part of the Bad at Sports podcast and briefly with ChicagoNow) and her new ventures, Chicago Art Map, Chicago Art Magazine and Chicago Art Collector

Haven't Seen the Modern Wing Yet?

No more excuses-- The Art Institute will be free the whole month of February.

Furnishing Chicago Streets

If you've got a great new design on your mind for some temporary outdoor furniture, the Chicago chapter of Architecture for Humanity wants to hear from you. They're sponsoring a street furniture competition, with entries due by February 26th. Check out this PDF for further guidelines. (Via the Reader blog.)

Logan Square Lookout

Yesterday Apartment Therapy's House Tours section featured FofGB George and Sara Aye's beautiful Logan Square home. You might remember George shot amazing photos from Pitchfork in Transmission in years past, and the couple run the company Hubwear, among other projects.

What a Bunch of Squares

Seeing spots before your eyes? How about red cubes? The Art Institute's delightful Red Cube project is explored in today's Trib. The Institute is also making a request to help locate 186 cubes that are currently MIA, possibly due to a cubist movement.

Crafty Cards FTW

For those creatively inclined Valentine's Day lovers, Andersonville and Lakeview card and frame shops Foursided and Twosided want to see your best handmade Valentine's cards. Winner gets $50 gift certificate. Deadline 2/7. Details and rules.

From the Top

Margaret Hicks wants to show you Chicago, elevated: her Pedway Tour takes you through over 40 city blocks connecting some of the city's defining buildings. [via]

Middle Ages in East Irving

WindyCitizen blogger FruzsE points out some medieval graffiti.

8 Arms to Hug You

FoGB Phineas Jones has your cephalopod-based valentine ready.

Photos to Make Your Heart Skip a Beat

A high-flying lass dances, balances, and jumps rope from the heights of a Chicago building in 1955.

FLW in the UAE

All that talk about the Burj Khalifa being influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's The Illinois? Blair Kamin calls shenanigans.

The Schaumburg Needle

The world's tallest building was nearly in Schaumburg. No, really.

The Name Roughly Translates as "Rich Uncle Pennybags"

The most expensive property currently on the Chicagoland real estate market is the $28 million dollar La Grand Reve mansion in Winnetka. You could throw a helluva party there, though it might take a while to reach the front door when your guests arrive.

FLW in the UAE

Slate examines what the Burj Khalifa in Dubai owes to Frank Lloyd Wright.

Hairpin Building Turnaround

The six-point intersection of Milwaukee, Kimball and Diversey is getting an economic boost in the form of a mixed-use redevelopment plan for one of its flatiron buildings.

Another Problem with Stalled Construction Projects

Waterview Tower has been sitting unfinished since 2008, and that presents a problem: its construction crane. Oh, and if you were wondering, its website is still under construction too.

Fine Art Master Con

A Northbrook man pleaded guilty to selling fake Lichtensteins and Picassos on eBay.

Free to Learn

Staying on budget should never mean missing out on Chicago's magnificent museums. Thankfully, The Local Tourist has compiled a handy list to help you get the most cultural bang while saving your bucks in 2010.

"A giant sandcastle in the sky"

Blair Kamin marks today's opening of the SOM-designed Burj Dubai with a glowing review of the building and its interior. UPDATE: If you are keeping track, the tower has been renamed Burj Khalifa‎.

Poetic Infighting

Trustees at Poetry are squabbling over how to spend Ruth Lilly's gargantuan 2002 gift.

Postcards, Photos, and Ephemera from the Edge

John Rininger was a local artist who passed away a few years ago at the age of 45. Wicker Park/Quimby's old-timers might remember him for his stamp art in particular. Marc Fischer paid a visit to John back in 2001 when Rininger was disposing of many of his possessions. He's since posted the story, and a selection of scans of the odd, disturbing, and thought-provoking materials he recovered, on his Flickr page. UPDATE: More here; thanks Salem.

A Decade of Chicago Architecture

Lee Bey looks back on Chicago's architectural Oughts.

The Art Institute by Way of Wonkavision

Yes, you can even eat the lions at the Art Institute's Gingerseum.

Preserving a Seminal Wright Building

Frank Lloyd Wright's first public building was Oak Park's Unity Temple. The building has been deteriorating for years, and its restoration foundation is seeking millions to save the structure. The National Trust for Historic Preservation keeps us up-to-date on related events in this recent article.

Dead Ends & Rabbit Holes

Chicago Art Magazine would like the Art Institute's Modern Wing a lot better if it wasn't so confusing to navigate.

Architecture Tours by iPhone

The folks behind PrairieMod have created FanGuide Tours, offering printed Prairie School architectural guides to Oak Park and River Forest -- and now iPhone tours of Chicago's architectural wonders.

The Art Institute's Cubist Collection

Keep your eye out for 500 red cubes scattered around the city as part of the Art Institute's "500 Ways of Looking at Modern exhibition. You can also make your own.

Adopt a Seurat Dot

If these gift guides didn't grab you, perhaps you'd like to surprise the art lover in your life by adopting one of the dots in "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte." The Art Institute is celebrating that painting's 125th birthday with this unique fundraiser. They'll send you a commemorative button in the color of your dot and a description of its location on the painting. Order your dot with this PDF form.

Rack 'Em Up

Bike racks don't have to be generic metal brackets simply bolted to the ground, or even now-useless parking meters. The Village of Algonquin is looking for artistic types to design new bike racks for the community. Get the info here.

Hole May Become Spire After All

Despite months of trouble, the Chicago Spire's construction may resume shortly if a proposed deal between the development company and union funds goes through.

Mies van der Dough

What does an architect's gingerbread house look like? The Trib finds out -- and lets you bid on the results or make your own. (Thanks, Dee!)

Bears (and Other Interesting Animals) with New Habitat

The Brookfield Zoo has unveiled a new $27 million habitat called the Great Bear Wilderness Exhibit.

I Love Your Painting/I Think I'm Fainting

Happy 150th Birthday Georges Seurat! Well, there are worse things/Than staring at the water on a Sunday.

Edgar Miller Revealed in New Book

In A/C, we feature a photo essay by Alexander Vertikoff taken from the new book Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home: Chicago's Forgotten Renaissance Man.

Art Pops Up in the Loop

The Chicago Loop Alliance is filling empty storefronts in the Loop with art exhibitions and studios. Currently, Pop-Up Art Loop's current tenants include Chicago Underground Film Festival, the Chicago Photography Collective and artist Sara Schnadt.

Documenting Consumer Chaos

If you're going to be out and about with a camera tomorrow, perhaps you should consider contributing to the Picture Black Friday project.

Test Cell Demolition Started

Demolition of Mies van der Rohe's "Test Cell" at IIT is under way, and architecture critic Blair Kamin still thinks it's a good thing -- and indirectly addresses the criticisms raised by Edward Lifson (previously).

Football and Funny Books

Bears linebacker Lance Briggs has a (sort of) secret hobby, and he knows where to go to to get his sequential art fix. Listen here as he talks about growing up with comics, keeping that love alive in the NFL, and his fan site. GO BEARS! GO COMICS!

Eye in the Sky

Robert Cameron, photographer, known for his aerial shots of Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and other places, has passed away at age 98.

Trash as Fashion

Did you acquire your newest fashion design at an event sponsored by the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County? Perhaps.

Kombat Ready

Chicago-based illustrator and videogame artist Vincent Proce shares some concept art for Mortal Kombat characters done before he left Midway Games earlier this year [via]

Because You Might Have Forgotten

You are beautiful. It's true.

Old Chicago Theater, Illustrated

Gordon McAlpin does a beautiful job capturing the decaying beauty of Portage Park's Patio Theater in today's Multiplex. (See it bigger here.)

Musing on Muses

Garrison Keillor reflects on art for The New York Times after a visit to The Art Institute: "I see no reason to paint flowers. You can buy fresh flowers. Still lifes are only an exercise. And abstract expressionism is for the lobbies of big insurance companies. The true calling of an artist is to paint women and the greatest challenge is the naked female form. That's what separates the true artists from the wallpaper-hangers."

Riddle: How Does a Building Get Taller Without Getting Taller?

The Trump Tower hasn't gotten any taller, but it's just moved up in the rankings to the sixth tallest in the world thanks to a revision in the way the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat measures buildings.

Goons in Action

You may have noticed his Goons hanging out in a nearby alley or tunnel, but now the elusive Chicago street artist responsible for the highly recognizable creations has managed to bring them to life with a stop-motion video sponsored by Orbit.

Goodbye Beautiful

As the city gets ready to tear down a Mies van der Rohe building on the IIT campus, former "Hello Beautiful" host Edward Lifson writes a letter to Blair Kamin at the Tribune.

Chicago Cheer

The holidays are coming, and what better way to show your spirit for the season and the city with these charming Chicago Flag Snowflake cards from local paper good entrepreneurs 16 Sparrows.

Pop-up Poster Shop

Ork Posters is turning its studio into a temporary poster shop for the holidays -- details in A/C.

Art is Everywhere All the Time (Today)

Today only, Chicago is hosting a 24-hour decentralized somewhat guerilla-type art event. Dozens of artists, some internationally known, are either showing art pieces or performing them around the city. Get the details in A/C.

Stencils as Art

Ever wanted to learn how to make stencils? Christian Scheuer gives you some tips in A/C.

A Drawing a Day in November

Not content to just participate in NaNoWriMo, FoGB Phineas Jones of Octophant is doing NaNoDrawMo. Ex-Chicagoan Mike Rohde is too, but in his trademark SketchNotes style.

State Street Boutiques?

One day State Street could have a whole lot more small boutiques on it.

Fresh Paint

Check out some of the new paintings coming out of SAIC's MFA program in A/C.

Hey-hey! Hey, Where Did Jack Go?

Whither the Jack Brickhouse bust that sat between the Michigan Avenue Bridge and Tribune Tower? Not to fear, per Steve Johnson, Jack's out for repairs.

Hey, I Can See Your House from Here

Photographer Michael Wolf took pictures in the "central downtown area" (we just call it the Loop, New Yorkers) with a telephoto lens, sneaking peeks into the offices and apartments of individuals who either can't afford blinds or don't bother to use them. Yeah, that's not weird.

Loyola Shuts Down Student Gallery

Loyola University is having trouble prioritizing-- as usual, art is the first thing to go.

They're Creepy and They're Kooky, Mysterious and Arty

The Art Institute polled their employees about the "scariest/creepiest/spookiest" works in their collection. They selected these bits of nightmare fuel. However, I think the staff is mentally repressing Jeff Koons' Woman in Tub. It's art, so I guess it's safe for work. People might wonder about you though.

A New Way to Find Art

The folks who brought you Art Talk Chicago have created a website dedicated to comprehensively mapping out and showcasing gallery events around the city. There's even a handy little interactive map.

First Michael Reese Building Demolished

The Friend Convalescent Home on the former Michael Reese campus is now the first Walter Gropius building to be demolished in decades.

New Developments at Michael Reese Hospital

While demolition preparation continues for nearly all of the Michael Reese campus, the city is considering keeping one Gropius building, the Singer Pavilion.

Picturing Historic Chicago

Noah Vaughn points us to two historical caches of Chicago photographs from Zeus Of HollYWOoD and Joe+Jeanette Archie. If you have your own, we'd love it if you'd add images to the GB flickr pool.

Gigapixel Panoramas of Chicago

British photographer Will Pearson spent some time in June making gigapixel panoramas of the Chicago skyline at dusk. It should go without saying, but the detail is impressive.

Sullivan Center Peeks Out of the Scaffolding

Design Slinger gives us a couple close-up looks at the bit of restored Carson Pirie Scott Building, now known as Sullivan Center, recently revealed from behind the protective scaffolding.

Time to Reassess "If you build it, they will come"

There are dozens of multimillion dollar homes for sale throughout the region, and they're not selling. Two standouts are a suburban castle and a home named "Villa Taj" that will soon be auctioned.

What's Going on with Market Hall?

The FBI wants to know what happened to the $1.1 million Illinois FIRST grant given to the Historic Pullman Foundation for the still unrestored Market Hall.

Garage Turned Pawn Shop Art Installation

Two local artists have turned a three-car garage into a mock pawn shop in which much of the stock is art. Kelly Reaves has more in this week's A/C feature.

More Trouble for the Chicago Spire

Well, the Spire isn't done for yet, but its developer is in the news again. This time, its sales center is facing eviction.

The City's Ugliest Building?

Travel+Leisure named the Harold Washington Library one of the world's ugliest buildings.

Three Sheets to the Windy City

Chicago is yours for the drinking, thanks to Cityscape Bar's new Architectural Martini Tour, an alcoholic ode to some of the Loop's best known buildings.

A Little Off the Top

The witty folks at the Art Institute have given their October self-guide a morbidly funny theme: decapitation (PDF file). Insert Tales from the Crypt pun about not losing your head here.

Rolling Art Gallery

Art on the Track brings an eight-car art installation to the Loop this Saturday. [via]

The Smartest Kid on Earth Meets Fall-Out Boy

Chris Ware and Pete Wentz wander about an industrial area and sit on a pipe, chatting about their work. Boy, the director sure likes cross-cuts.

And Daniel Burnham Looked Upon the Ruins and Said, "Let's Rock!"

It's the 138th anniversary of the Chicago Fire, and MTV pays sentimental tribute with... Dragonforce? Indeed, the city did arise from the ashes like a huge, shredding, windmill-headbanging phoenix.

Favorite Spots in Chicago

FoGB Laura Park received a commission from an expat to draw "a portrait of everything she missed in Chicago." Do you recognize everything in there?

A Thing of Beavty

Have you ever seen the Art Institute's new logo and wondered "Why a v instead of a u?" Design firm Pentagram explains the whys and wherefores of Abbott Miller's lovely and precise designs for the museum's interior and exterior signage. (via)

Come On, We Were All Thinking It

Aon Center + Smurfit-Stone Building = Barely Single-Entendre.

Chicago in Columbus

The Columbus, Ohio Museum of Art has a stellar collection of social issue oriented art, much of which was produced by Chicago affiliated artists such as Aaron Siskind and Ivan Albright.

Outsider Art from an Insider?

The Reader's big feature this week surrounds the mysterious Clyde Angel and his true identity.

Trib: Rebuild Our City While Preserving Gropius

Now that there is no need to build an Olympic Village, the Trib is calling for a broad set of community investments, including the preservation of "Reese's landmark Walter Gropius buildings."

A Map of Words and Images

Chicago Art Map is a new site covering the city's art scene.

Rolling Meadows

Artist Joe Baldwin is trying to implement his idea for a CTA "mobile garden," a subway flatcar covered with native plants that rides the rails. So far the CTA hasn't said no, but he needs help raising funds and such. Get in touch with him at the site or through the Facebook page.

Agggggh! They Escaped!

You've seen American Gothic at the Art Institute, right? Well, don't tell me this photo doesn't blow your mind just a little bit.

Beauty on 47th Street

The mosaic under the 47th Street Metra station is finished, and it is lovely. Hyde Park Progress has pictures.

Artistic Leaps and Bounds

Allison is "an avid Art Jumper," which I do not think was a word until she coined it. Anyway, she likes to jump in art galleries, and she's not the only one. Naturally, the Art Institute is represented.

Campus of the Future

Chicago Journal focuses on academic architecture as UIC contemplates its future development and new student housing is proposed in the South Loop.

Save These Buildings

Landmarks Illinois has released its annual Chicagoland Watch List of endangered buildings. The list includes Cameron's house from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the Lincoln/Fullerton streetscape and three Frank Lloyd Wright homes.

Boxing Ballerinas

If you're an admirer of artist Joseph Cornell (I am, to an embarrassing degree), you might want to stop by the Art Institute at noon today to hear a lecture on Cornell's fascination with ballet and its influence on his art.

Where Are the Hover Cars?

Blair Kamin reviews the "Big. Bold. Visionary. Chicago Architects Consider the Next Century" exhibit at the Chicago Tourism Center. Is it wrong to think the slightly creepy Blade Runneresque version of the Windy City, covered in a "transparent blanket that resembles a giant piece of Glad Wrap," is kind of awesome?

Art Map for Gallery Night

This Friday is one of the biggest in Chicago's art world as nearly every gallery kicks off the fall season with an opening. Fortunately John Lendman created a convenient googlemap to many of the openings over in A/C.

"Brigadoon of Industrial Housing Complexes"

Chicagoist's Lauri Apple takes a tour of East Chicago, Indiana's historic and crumbling Marktown district.

A New Life for the Sears Power House

Blair Kamin has glowingly reviewed the renovation of the 104-year-old Homan Square Power House, which powered the West Side Sears complex before the firm moved to the Sears Tower. The building will be used by the Henry Ford Academy: Power House High. Historic and pre-renovation photographs are available through the Power House's official site, and a handful of post-renovation photographs from the grand opening celebration are available elsewhere.

Up, Up, and Away!

Disney may have acquired Marvel, but superheroes and anti-heroes will still be out in full force in a few weeks at the Windy City Comicon, a growing and lively comic convention featuring a diverse array of local talent.

Button Down Interview

In A/C, Lindsay Muscato talks with Busy Beaver owner Christen Carter about how she got started and the company's new store.

Weekend Arts Reading

The Reader's annual Fall Arts Guide is on stands now.

The New Lakefront Building

The new DuSable Harbor Building is winning praises for its modern and earthen sides, although there are already complaints about upkeep.

Going, Going, Gone

If you've ever had the desire to see a 2.7-million-square-foot post office auctioned, head to the Intercontinental Chicago O'Hare Hotel in Rosemont by 1pm today. UPDATE: The building sold for $40 million to an as-yet unknown bidder, Chicago Real Estate Daily reports.

Look for the LHS

Today might not be the most fun for it, but the Chicago Architecture Foundation runs a tour of Louis Sullivan buildings in the Loop, including one today at 2:30pm.

The Aon Center's New Blemish

Have you noticed the "nasty little carbuncle" on top of the Aon Center and wondered what it is? It's an antenna that was apparently designed without regard for the simple verticality of the building.

Fill That Blank Spot on Your Wall

Hey! You have just a couple days left to purchase prints from the Gapers Block-curated "Chicago Week" on WallBlank. Prints by Dmitry Samarov, Sharon Parmet, Mark Hansen, David Schalliol and Clare Rosean are all still available.

Arts Industrial Complex

The City is planning an arts district down near East Pilsen.

Editorial Cartoons Making a Comeback

Nine years after the death of Jeff MacNelly, the Chicago Tribune's editorial cartoonist, the paper has hired Scott Stantis to pen original work for the paper. For a glimpse of what to expect from Stantis (and the Trib's editorial vision), check out this gallery of selected work.

Chicago Week Today: Clare Rosean

Our fifth Chicago Week feature, "Blue Mountain," by Clare Rosean, is now available in A/C. You can also jump straight to the print's page on Wall Blank.

The Spire Looking Less Likely

The Spire is drilling its way back into the headlines with a new lawsuit brought by Bank of America against Shelbourne Development for its failure to repay $4.9 million.

Chicago Week Today: Mark Hansen

Our third Chicago Week feature, "Untitled," by Mark Hansen, is now available in A/C. You can also jump straight to the print's page on Wall Blank.

Chicago Week Today: Sharon Parmet

Our second Chicago Week feature, "Like an Asteroid," by Sharon Parmet, is now available in A/C. You can also jump straight to the print's page on Wall Blank.

Establishment Temporarily Closed for Renovations

As anyone who has visited Millennium Park recently knows, the Burnham Plan centennial pavilions are taking a beating. To help out, Ben van Berkel's structure, which is pictured in Rearview today, will be closed for repairs during the next four days.

Chicago Week Today: Dmitry Samarov

"O'Hare Staging Area #10," by Dmitry Samarov, is the first in a series of five works to be featured during Chicago Week, a collaboration between GB and Wall Blank. Each print will be available for one week through Wall Blank, with 10% of the proceeds benefiting Chicago Artists' Coalition. Check A/C every day this week for a new piece by and interview with a Chicago artist.

Doors Open on the Right... At... Dammit! It's a Painting!

Cool! Here are "10 Awesome Images That Are Actually Paintings," including a nifty image of the Damen El station. And here's an even closer look.

"The Heaviest Stone to Carry"

Beautiful street art in River North.

The Seashell?

A sculpture by Zaha Hadid has opened in Millennium Park opened yesterday, in honor of the Burnham centennial.

Obey The Dominotrix

North Shore blogger Poppy Buxom bought every issue of Domino magazine after the title folded earlier this year. Maybe if she'd done it earlier Domino might still be in business? Anyway, she's reading every issue - from Spring/Summer 2005 to March 2009 - and blogging about it over at The Dominotrix.

An Urban Clear-Cut

The fate of the buildings on the Michael Reese Hospital campus might still be in the air in advance of the 2016 Olympic bid (emphasis on might), but the landscaping has already been razed.

A Weekend Day Trip Option

The Fox River Trail in Batavia is a good destination for a day trip; be sure to check out the Fabyan Villa.

Lots of Water

Wonder what the view is like from the last available 81st-floor penthouse in the Aqua tower? YoChicago has your answer.

The "Milan of the Midwest"

Thanks to Michelle Obama, our residences are now in Italy.

Street Level Art

Is collecting street art preservation or theft? Just one of the questions raised by an article in New City.

"Chicago Week" Deadline Approaching

Don't forget: Friday is the deadline for submissions for the Gapers Block and Wall Blank "Chicago Week" visual arts competition, so get those paint brushes, vectors and camera shutters going!

You May Have the Queen's Fireplace

A British newspaper columnist believes a fireplace that kept Queen Elizabeth I warm in 1574 is hiding somewhere in Chicago. So if you have "a pretentious overmantel bearing the royal coat of arms," he'd like to talk with you.

Belmont Gets Heads

Carfree Chicago profiles artist David Csisko and gets a sneak peek at the public art he's creating for for the Belmont CTA stop.

Cheap Culture

Empty Wallet is your resource for free and pay-what-you-want performances, art exhibits and cultural events around Chicago. [via]

Pow! Crash! Google!

Google has new comics themes for iGoogle, including work by former and current Chicago cartoonists Dan Clowes, Jessica Abel, and Jeffrey Brown

Nice, Um, Rendering...

The Reader takes a closer look at why Zaha Hadid's Burnham Centennial Pavilion isn't ready yet.

Elevating the Turf

Derek Erdman says, "There's something nice looking about gang graffiti, I think."

Looking Up at People Looking Down

Apparently you can see people in the Ledge outcroppings on the SearsWillis Tower from the Chicago Architecture Foundation's riverboat tours.

Hiding in Plain Sight

My favorite webcomic, former GB film critic Gordon McAlpin's Multiplex, today features a stunning rendering of Andersonville's Calo Theater façade (now a Brown Elephant store).

The Caged Tomato, Unleashed

Ever wonder who designed the Hot Doug's logo? It was Caged Tomato, Bake and Destroy interviewed her recently about her influences, baked goods and more.

TV Imitates Art

Bravo TV is casting for a new reality show a la "Project Runway," and you're invited to try out -- assuming you're a contemporary artist with the skills to produce great art in a limited time. The as-yet unnamed show auditions in Chicago on July 16, so get your portfolio ready.

Call for Artists: "Chicago Week" from GB and Wall Blank

Gapers Block is teaming up with Rockford-based arts purveyor Wall Blank to host a visual arts competition. Four winners will be featured on GB and have prints offered for sale on Wall Blank during "Chicago Week" in August 2009. Get the details in A/C.

Buildings Made of Glass

Design Slinger showcases the classic Chicago Window, as well as the artist homes of Burton Place.

Pull Up A Chair

Artist Dan Peterman's 100-foot-long art installation "Running Table" will be set up in Millennium Park in time for the July 4 party/food/drinking holiday. The artwork is a commentary on American consumption and recycling. Perfect timing.

Funny Every Day

Joe Janes is writing a comedy sketch every day for a year.

The Art of Rogers Park

This past weekend was Rogers Park's annual Artist of the Wall festival, when local residents paint new murals on the long concrete bench along Loyola Park's beachfront. Here's a video walking a good portion of the wall.

110 Stories of Green ... and then Some

The Sears Tower is about to get a $350 million makeover to reduce 80% of its energy consumption over five years. How's it going to do that? Wind turbines, among other transformations. Oh, and don't forget it's going to have a LEED certified hotel next door that will draw no energy from the power grid.

Requiem for Spike

Did you know... Laurens Corning "Spike" Shull, a U of C alumnus and WWI war hero whose "doughboy" image graces Rockefeller Chapel, is featured in Wikipedia's "Did You Know..." section today?

Thoughtful Interior Design

In A/C, Katherine Raz profiles designer Suzanne Trocmé, who's debuting a new chair at NeoCon this week.

Fund, Blago, Fund

No, don't give money to the former governor -- help fund a group art exhibit featuring works about him.

Can-Do Attitude

From today until June 28 you can check out Canstruction Chicago 2009 at the Apparel Center, an architecture competition where 19 teams have build sculptures using canned goods. After the competition, the food will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Suggested admission: one canned good.

Building Review: The Modern Wing

Over in A/C, Carl Giometti reviews Renzo Piano's new Modern Wing at the Art Institute now that it has had a little breaking in.

Uncovering Recovering Artifacts

Apparently millions of dollars in Italian artifacts can generate quite the national interest. NPR's coverage is particularly good.

$10 million in Stolen Italian Artifacts

"It just goes to show you, you never know what you'll find in a bungalow."

View 1,000 Buildings at Once

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is putting the finishing touches on a 400 city block model of the city that includes every building in the area. Stop by from Wednesday until September 20.

...Or You Can See the Real One for Free

California-based store Out of Vogue has a rare 4-inch vintage model of the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza that was made for commemorating its 1967 dedication for sale on its website for $375.

Far Freaking Out, Man

Want to give your place that perfect 60s or 70s countercultural ambience? Lead Pipe Posters has original prints (some with Chicago themes) of the black light, hippie-dippie, up-against-the-wall-pig, muggle-huffing ilk quite possibly still hanging up in your trippy uncle's basement. Guess there's nothing left to be said but...

The US by Comparison

Chicago artist Kathryn Rodrigues offers an A-to-Z size comparison of the United States to (almost) every other country over on Radical Cartography.

The Deep

Here's a quick reminder that the Chicago Spire is still just a big hole in the ground.

No Gorilla at the Top

The proposed design for a redeveloped 35th Street Metra station looks a little like a Donkey Kong screen. [via]

Documenting the Building Down the Block

Have you ever noticed that the architecture website Emporis has neighborhood-based building lists? Because it focuses on major projects, a lot of lists are thin, but the site provides a decent amount of information about the buildings it does cover. Hyde Park and Lakeview are particularly full because of their decent number of high-rises.

Aqua Filling Up

Aqua, the much admired Studio Gang showpiece, has nearly landed a hotel for 15 of its floors. If you don't have the cash to visit -- not to mention live there -- you can still experience the joy of belonging by regularly reading the Aqua Homeowners website.

Extreme Makeover: CHA Edition

The Trib's Blair Kamin covers a startling transformation of the CHA's Dearborn Homes on South State Street from utilitarian eyesore to an idyllic college-like campus. Back in 2008, Carl Giometti gave another perspective in A/C.

Exploring People with Funsherpas

The funsherpa blog was launched last month with the mission of "Uncovering what interesting people are interested in." The most recent post is an interview with artist Jay Ryan, who also happens to be the designer of the GB 4th Anniversary Poster.

A Modern Triumph

Influential Artinfo gives its assessment of the Art Institute's new Modern Wing, designed by Renzo Piano. Their conclusion? It's a winner.

Passing the Buck in Bridgeport

Last week, Gabriel Villa was finishing his legal mural when it was painted over by a Streets and Sanitation crew. Chicago Public Radio has the scoop about what happened and who's being blamed. [Thanks, Justin!]

Build Your Own Fallingwater

Or Guggenheim or, if the site's splash page is any indication, the Sears Tower, with LEGO's new Architecture line, which soon include several sets of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings.

A.Okay Officially Closing

Well-loved vinyl toy, clothing and sneaker boutique and art gallery A.Okay Official will be open for the last time this Saturday. Come by for DJs, refreshments, and a blowout sale.

A Sacred Space

The NY Times gives a thoroughly positive review of Renzo Piano's Modern Wing of the Art Institute and gives us an additional sneak peek of the building.

Without Bounds or Limits

The Art Institute's Ryerson & Burnham Archives has launched a website about the Burnham Plan of Chicago for its centennial, including a set of lantern slides of images from the plan.

Obviously, It Was Where They Kept the Teleportation Tube

Katherine of Chicago wonders what the bizarre ceiling thing is at the Washburne Trade School at 31st and Kedzie.

Rainbo and Metropolis

Author Aleksandar Hemon tells the Wall Street Journal about a handful of places around Chicago that are meaningful to him, in connection with the release of his short story collection Love and Obstacles.

Assaulting the Gunnery

Blair Kamin isn't really a preservationist, but it's still interesting to see an architecture critic argue for the demolition of a Mies van der Rohe designed building, regardless of its diminutive nature. Of course, as he demonstrates in the article, not everyone agrees with him.

The Owl of Illinois

A lovely illustration of our great state. Part of Frank Chimero's States series. [via]

Rod and Stencil

Rod Blagojevich is showing up in a lot of alleys lately -- on the wall, as street art. (He was even in Rearview yesterday.)

103 Stories, Straight Down

Taking a cue from all those people with their heads pressed against the windows, the Sear Tower Skydeck will open a new feature in June: glass enclosures that stick out from the building, giving visitors a look straight down.

United in Preservation?

Oak Park's Unity Temple is on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of America's 11 most endangered historic places -- yet didn't make Landmark Illinois' list announced earlier this week. Interesting. (It's not on Preservation Chicago's list either, but then it's not in Chicago.)

Pushing the Boundaries

NewCity profiles some of Chicago's breakout artists in the current issue.

Endangered Places

Landmarks Illinois has released its 2009 list of the 10 most endangered places in Illinois. Chicago entries include two hospitals -- Michael Reese (as covered in Mechanics) and Prentice Women's. Chicago's Landmarks Ordinance itself got special 11th designation.

Edible Action Art

Combine jelly and wrestling and you'll get attention locally. Make art with those ingredients and you'll attract international attention.

"Chicago can still do things"

The Trib contextualizes the opening of the Art Institute's Modern Wing in these economic times, plus it gives us a brief mother-son exchange and a vague statement from the Institute's director.

Posterized Book is producing a book, which includes several local poster artists -- and if you preorder it, you could get a limited edition Jay Ryan art print free!

Uncle Lauri Fun Apple

Artist Lauri Apple will be making art in the window at Uncle Fun, 1338 W. Belmont, from 11am to 5pm this Saturday. Check it out, then stop inside for some art projects of your own.

The Latest Version

Version, a festival of arts, music and education, kicks off tonight and runs through May 2. This year's theme is "Immodest Proposals."

Modern Ride

Have a few thousand dollars lying around and a secret desire to travel in curvy aluminum style? You're in luck -- check out this Vintage Airstream Trailer offered by Johanna in Logan Square.

Lions Brought To You By...

As we mentioned, Alderman Ed Burke is nonplussed about the upcoming Art Institute fee hike. The council votes tomorrow on some sort of finger wagging legislation. I recommend privatizing the lions or maybe installing "sitting meters" on the steps.

Concern for Prairie School Half of Michael Reese Campus

Despite assurances from the city that the 1907 main building at Michael Reese is safe from demolition, pieces of it are going missing and being damaged. There is still no word on the modernist portion.

Not a Bad Donation

When farm-implements heir Brooks McCormick passed away, he donated his 8,000sq ft condo in the name of his wife, Hope, to four local organizations and the World Wildlife Fund. They may each receive $1 million from the sale.

New Neighbors for the Bean

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Burnham Plan, Millennium Park will enjoy two new pavilions come June 19. More in A/C.

View the Alien Up Close

Speaking of the U of C, the oval outline of its new Helmut Jahn designed Mansueto Library is finally recognizable, as you can see for yourself on its webcam.

South Works Loses a Partner

A major financier of the redevelopment of the largest "open" land in the city, the former U.S. Steel South Works, has dropped out of the plan. To give you a sense of scale of the project, the other partners are continuing preparations to build "17,000 housing units, a million square feet of retail space and a 1,500-slip marina on the site."

City of Big Landmarks

Is the East Village a historical landmark? Neighborhood resident Carol Mrowka doesn't think so, and took her case to court when the city deemed it so. This kind of legal action has local preservationists worried about the "future of scores of such landmark districts and buildings in a city that adores its architectural legacy."

Oak Park's Secret Gallery

"I can't imagine 'My garage is also an art gallery' would serve as a successful pick-up line." Meet The Suburban.

Beyond the Burnham Plan

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Burnham Plan, Chicago Public Radio launched a new section, Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham. Among other features, don't miss the regional population growth timeline and fact list.

What Willis Is Talking About

Willis Group CEO Jim Plameri takes to the web to talk about the renaming of the Sears Tower. [via]

Newly Green + Wired

If you've been holding off on checking out the MSI's Smart Home, now's the time to go. It's recently been remodeled and is open for business.

Inside the Damaged Holy Name Cathedral

The Trib gives us a glimpse into the fire-damaged Holy Name Cathedral.

Everything But Net

Be sure to check out today's Layer Tennis match, which features local artists Phineas X. Jones versus Dan "Jetsah" Grzeca battling it out on actual paper, not pixels. The action starts around 2pm.

Making the River Walkable

The Chicago River pedestrian route from Michigan to State is now three months from completion and looking good. The next extension will go from State to Lake.

Documenting Vanishing Significant Buildings

Former GB staffer and web extraordinaire Dan X. O'Neil just launched a new website that documents buildings on the city's Demolition Hold List. If you'd like to know how he made the site, check out his description of the process.

Poster Design Contest for Chicago Public Library

The Chicago Public Library is accepting submissions for a poster design contest to promote the library and its "Not What You Think" campaign. Poster artist extraordinaire Jay Ryan will be among the judges. You can read all the official rules here. Submissions must be received by Thursday, April 9.

Historic Buildings and Park Designated

According to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Chicago's Inland Steel Building, Spiegel Office Building, and Independence Park were all recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Underground Comics Queen Tells All

It hasn't been easy, but formerly Chicago-based independent cartoonist, teacher, and wind energy protester Lynda Barry has risen through a troubled childhood and rocky adulthood to become a creative legend.

Homeless But Not Hopeless

A homeless poet finds salvation in his words. Hear some of his work over at Medill Reports.

We're Gonna Build Something This Summer

Haven't you always wanted to build your own furniture? In A/C, Christian Scheuer shows you how to make a cool side table.

A Shining Beacon

The owners of the Sears Tower are considering painting/cladding it in silver, to save energy and draw new attention to our tallest building. And possibly blinding people on sunny days.

Not Quite a Sister City

In Isreal's Negev Desert is the Tze'elim Military Base, and on that military base is the city of Chicago, "so named because its bullet-ridden fake walls apparently recall the punctured real walls of Al Capone's Chicago."

How Are You Doing?

Journalist and Gapers Block contributor Laura Mayer wants to know how you are for her audio art project. Call 1-800-737-6045 to let her know. Audio clips are posted on the site regularly.

"Creativity in short supply"

We know what some of you think about the Olympic bid, but most public critiques haven't spent much time on the architecture. Blair Kamin starts the discussion with a serious critique.

With Friends Like These...

This week's Reader feature investigates the financial troubles threatening the eviction of Loren Billings, the 89-year-old widow who lives in and runs the Museum of Holography.

Another Ist in Our Midst

Meet Museumist.

Walter Gropius and Michael Reese

Following Preservation Chicago's inclusion of the Michael Reese hospital in its most recent Chicago 7, Blair Kamin writes about new evidence that Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius played a bigger role in the design of Reese than previously thought. If you're unfamiliar with the look of the hospital's modern buildings, here are additional photographs.

The Unemployment Blues

Now we KNOW the economy is in a nose dive: Even Blue Man Group isn't immune to layoffs. They've also cut back on PVC pipes and marshmallows (OK, not really sure about those last two).

Gaga for Googie

NewCity explores a vanishing architectural style. More examples of Googie on flickr.

More Good Design at O'Hare

InterContinental's new O'Hare hotel is part of a wave of high-end design sites replacing no-frills airport hotels. It has amenities like an art gallery with in-house curator in adddition to an overall contemporary design.

Art Institute Free for February

Just a reminder, the Art Institute of Chicago will be free of charge and the Edvard Munch exhibition, which opens 2/14, will be half price.

Cool Forgotten Luggage

Speaking of the CTA, the Damen Brown Line stop recently reopened, featuring some very cool new public sculptures. (That leaves just Paulina and Wellington still closed, incidentally.)

Public Art for Public Transit

In A/C, we've got a report on Tuesday's meeting to choose public art for the Belmont CTA station. Uninvolved by certainly related: the Chicago Public Art Group.

Two Fifties Classics

A '57 Chevy visits the Farnsworth House.

Four Floors, Parking Underneath

My first apartment in Chicago was in a four plus one. It was pretty awful.

State Sovereignty National Union

That's the Illinois state motto, as printed here by Emily Wick as part of her Fifty States and their Mottos project.

Seven Endangered Places ... and Things

Preservation Chicago's annual Chicago 7 draws our attention to the house of photographer and preservation activist Richard Nickel, the mid-century Modern portion of the Michael Reese campus and the "Old-fashioned" wood windows that decorate many older Chicago buildings, among others.

Another Hancock Building for Chicago

Chicago real estate firm The John Buck Company may soon add Boston's Hancock Tower to its portfolio, which includes a good chunk of the Chicago region.

Modern Piano

Get a sneak peek at the Art Institute's new Modern Wing, designed by architect Renzo Piano.

Exquisite City Returns

Last fall, local artist Kathleen Judge curated this extraordinary exhibit of a city made (mostly) of cardboard at the Viaduct. The exhibit closed in December, but you still have a chance to check it out. Starting Thursday, the exhibit runs--complete with sound effects--at the Chicago Tourism Center. Details in Slowdown, or check out the Exquisite City site.

Architecture of Years Past

If you haven't explored Google Book Search, you owe it to yourself to find the time. Lynn Becker has an excellent starting point for you. [via]

Mr. Shep Goes To Washington

Shepard Fairey's iconic, ubiquitous "Hope" portrait of President-elect Barack Obama has been acquired by the National Portrait gallery. The work should be on display by Inauguration Day. Can't make it to D.C? Check out Go Tell Mama! if you haven't already done so.

The Work of Comics

In A/C, Lindsay Muscato interviews Josh Elder, author of graphic novels including Mail Order Ninja.

Commemorating the Pigeon Man of Lincoln Square

Street artist Saro is looking for photographs of Joseph Zeman from which to create a tribute. Zeman was struck and killed by a van in the December of 2007.

Trump Tower Spire Finally Installed

After several attempts, the Trump Tower's mandated spire was installed on Saturday. Watch video highlights of the more-than-four-hour spectacle.

Spire-ling Downward

The construction of the beleaguered Chicago Spire has a new headache: Dublin-based Anglo Irish Bank Corp., who is the main lender of the Spire's developer, is going through its own American-style financial woes with the resignation of a president who concealed $121 million in personal loans and rapidly falling stock values.

The Mall-fication of Wrigleyville

Did you know there's a huge "mixed use mega-complex" in development for the southeast corner of Clark and Addison? Addison Park on Clark would take out all the businesses on the east side of Clark Street all the way down to The Irish Oak.

Impressionists Come Home

About six months ago, the Art Institute of Chicago lent around ninety Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces to Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum while the AIC galleries were being expanded. Today, the paintings are back, including Gustave Caillebotte's Paris Street, Rainy Day, which returns to its old place at the top of the stairs.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Remember the nude Palin painting at the Old Town Ale House? Well, Governor Blagojevich has joined it -- and he's nude too.

'Goth' Without The Eyeliner

The blog Public Art In Chicago gives a peek at the latest addition to the city's outdoor art lineup. We think it'll look familiar to you, although not quite like this.


... and even more photogaphy (Photo Friday at GB!). The work of photographer and multimedia artist, Daniel Everett and in particular, his stunning Departure series.

FLW Masterpiece in Need of Repair

Frank Lloyd Wright's masterful Unity Temple is in peril after heavy rains brought down a portion of the ceiling. Help out if you can.

Taylor Made...and Demolished

The ever-vigilant architecture critic Lee Bay looks at the rise and fall of the controversial Robert Taylor Homes on his blog. He even includes a link to video clip of Mayor Daley the Elder speaking at the grand opening.

Art on Tape

Explore the world of video art with the Video Data Bank.


From "50 Things You Might Not Know About The President Elect": he collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics. I think his motto leans more towards "With great power comes great responsibility." than "By my hands and I'll varnish this floor with your brains."

Travel Talk

Tonight at 7pm, FoGB Anne Elizabeth Moore will be reading new work about "life among the cute and the Cambodian," based on her recent travels to the country, at The Parlor, a reading series sponsored by Bad At Sports Podcast and hosted by The Green Lantern, 1511 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor.

New Life For Old Post Office

The old main post office maybe finally be getting a new life as an office and condo development, according to the Sun-Times. The plan also calls for reducing the middle section that rests over the Eisenhower Expressway. To be fair, the building hasn't been totally useless over the years, appearing in two very popular movies recently.

Looking Good Inside

The AIA Chicago awards for excellence in interior architecture are up. Wish I worked in some of these places.

Tower of Babble

Hey, is anyone else tired of This. F*cking. Election?

A 'Hole' Other Problem

Now that plans for the Chicago Spire have been put on hold (due to economic reasons), Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamen is wondering what we could with the hole that's been left behind. He's gotten lots of suggestions so far, most of them making reference to Mayor Daley and/or Todd Stroger.

City of Slumped Shoulders?

Recent problems with the construction of The Chicago Spire and selling out Trump Tower is leading some to speculate that Chicago is losing its "skyscraper swagger."

Thing Sings?

The Addam's Family musical will debut at the Oriental Theater in November 2009. It hasn't been cast yet, but Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth have participated in readings as Gomez and Lurch. Just kidding. Obviously, the lovely and pale Ms. Neuwirth was born to play Morticia.


The New York Observer speaks of ill tidings for Donald Trump's nearly completed Trump International Hotel & Tower. The curiously coifed real estate magnate owes lenders $1 billion, but has sold only $600 million in condo units. Well, at least it looks snazzier than the old Sun Times building. For now.

Exploring the Art Foundry

Strange Closets attended an open house at 319 Albany, aka the Chicago Fine Art Foundry, over the weekend. They took lots of pictures.

From 'Village' To Condo

The days may be numbered for Hyde Park's Village Center shopping district. Plans for a 150-unit condo are underway and just needs the city's John Hancock on the deal. One of the area's blogging watchdogs, Hyde Park Progress, wrote about the future of the site a while back.

RIP: Ben Schaafsma

Another loss to Chicago's art community: Ben Schaafsma, curator and co-founder of InCUBATE, died on Saturday after being hit by a car in New York. New City's Art blog has an obituary.

Long Live Analog

Chad Kouri loves working with paper. Pick some of his work up on Etsy.

Mastery of Ornament

Sarah Vowell on the architecture of Louis Sullivan. [via]

RIP Patrick Welch

Local artist Patrick Welch unexpectedly passed away last Thursday. He originally hailed from England, and founded an art movement he called micromentalism. Welch was interviewed for Gapers Block in 2007. You can also listen to an interview he did for Chicago Public Radio this past June. Memorials are appearing on his MySpace page. Welch will be much missed by Chicago's art community.

Architecture is in the Details

More than you ever expected to learn about "sculptured glass modules," a particular subgenre of glass blocks.

World's Largest Hole in the Ground

Upset that he hasn't been paid the $11.34 million he's owed, architect Santiago Calatrava has stopped working on the Chicago Spire and has filed a lien against the developer. Although underground utility work is still being done at the site, the developer has postponed all other construction work due to the problems with the economy.

WBEZ's Polling Place Photo Project

When you're ready to take a break from photographing for GB's Transitions Photo Project, retrain your camera on your local polling station for the WBEZ Polling Place Photo Project.

Lost and Found

In a nice reversal on the spate of curious burnings experienced by several of his buildings over the last few years, a Louis Sullivan storefront has been rediscovered at 18 S. Wabash.

Adding a Line to Saarinen's Poem

The Wall Street Journal reviews OWP/P's 15 year journey renovating and updating the U of C's Law School complex. More images of the classrooms and main tower are available on the firm's wbsite.

Work Stops at Chicago Spire is reporting that work has stopped on the Chicago Spire at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, planned to be the biggest residential structure in North America. A spokesperson for developer Shelbourne Development Group blames the economy, but says condo unit sales at the 150-story tower are still happening and that completion is still expected in 2012.

Call for Images: Transitions

GB is doing a photo feature for Detour on the theme of "Transitions," and we'd love to get submissions from readers. If you'd like the chance to be included, please add your photographs to our flickr group with the tag "Transitions" by noon on Saturday, October 18. More details are available in the group's discussion section.

Glass and Mud House

Interested in seeing what the recent floods did to the historic Farnsworth House? You can take a tour, and by doing so help fund its restoration. [via]

Check Out Art

October is Chicago Artists Month; there are dozens of events highlighting the city's vibrant arts scene all month. See a full list of events here

Yeah, I Drew a Pretty Good Square with One of Those Once

Wow. The senator from Illinois as rendered in Etch-a-Sketch... and more!

Now That's Reporting

Apparently, the "Beanie Baby magnate" just bought the penthouse of the Chicago Spire. Keep in mind this is currently the lead story -- with graphic and all -- on the Trib's website.

Palin Spotted @ Old Town Ale House

A nude painting of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin (or is it Second City alum Tina Fey?) now graces the wall at the Old Town Ale House.

Chicago Gathers a MoSS

Next weekend, the Museum of Sustainable Style opens for a four-day look at sustainable clothing, accessories and furniture.

Gunnery Building to be Demolished

Despite earlier hints that the Gunner's Mate School in North Chicago would be preserved, the Navy will go ahead with plans to demolish the building.

Further Frank Lloyd Wright

...this time courtesy of Jason Fried: The Mike Wallace Interview.

World Famous Architect

Edward Lifson digs up a video of Frank Lloyd Wright on the game show "What's My Line?" in 1956. [via]

Resurrecting Pilgrim Baptist Church

Architecture fans take heart. Plans are afoot to rebuild Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan's Pilgrim Baptist Church, which caught fire in January 2006 (one of three Sullivans to burn to a crisp that year). The current estimate for repairs is $37 million. Donations are encouraged.

Important Buildings in Trouble

Landmarks Illinois has released its Chicagoland Watch List, an annual review of threatened buildings in Chicago. If you're so inclined, you can vote on which ones should be preserved at the Trib.

Landmark Under Water

As noted by the Reader's "Chicagoland" blog, Mies van der Rohe's famous Farnsworth House has fallen victim to the recent heavy rains. Donations are being accepted to help restore the landmark structure. If you can, contribute.

Burnham's The 'Face' of Chicago

The Tribune's "Skyline" blogs discusses the impact of Daniel Burnham, not only on the look and layout of the city but the 'burbs as well.

Chicago has the Craftiest Bastards

And you can prove it. The Washington City Paper (in D.C.) organizes a cool craft show called Crafty Bastards. This year they're running a contest to vote for the bastardiest crafter craftiest bastard. Norah Utley of Sheriff Peanut (and Berwyn) is in the contest. And in case you've never seen her cool-ass stuff in person, you can pop into this weekend's Renegade Craft Fair to say howdy.

Chicago's Female Founding 'Fathers'

It wasn't just the Marshall Fields and the Potter Palmers who rebuilt Chicago after the Great Fire. WBEZ-FM reports on the women who helped raise the city from the ashes.

Now That's a Hole in the Ground

The Chicago Spire's progress has reached the surreal stage.

Turning Trash into Cash

This week is recycling week at GB, with two features exploring what is typically perceived as the underside of the economy. In A/C, we take a look at Scrappers, a documentary film featuring the lives of three local scrap metal collectors. Over in Detour, we visit with Barry "Can Man" Woodson, leader of a street crew of recyclers in Wrigleyville. After reading the articles, you may want to check out the Scrappers fundraiser on Friday.

River North Landmark District Proposed, Delayed

Last week's discussion of a preliminary landmark designation for a section of River North was on the schedule then off again due to intervention from Alderman Brendan Reilly. The action will now go down during the Landmark Commission's October meeting.

"Second Hand Bandit" Potentially Identified

Authorities claim the person responsible for 21 bank robberies is a South Side designer. It appears this is his myspace page.

Taking Stock of Louis Sullivan

Chicago architecture fan Lee Bay takes at look at the recently unwrapped Louis Sullivan-created Chicago Stock Exchange arch on his blog, as well offers as some great random people shots at Buckingham Fountain.


Whether you're a fan of Obama, McCain, or a Hillary booster, you can embroider your vote with free redwork patterns from Black Threads, a blog about African American quilting. [via]

Red Rubber Ball

Kurt Perschke's RedBall project is coming to town. Fans of The Prisoner be at ease.

It's Not Graffiti, But Actual Art On The El

This Saturday you can experience the Orange Line like never before. Art On Track will convert an eight car CTA train into a mobile art gallery from 6-10pm. Sorry kids, no strollers will be allowed on this ride. Tickets are only $5!

Keepin' It Real

In September 520 homes in Ravenswood Manor will join the National Register of Historic Places. For residents, including Gov. Blagojevich, that means tax credits for rehab work.

Displaying the Preserved Preserved

One of the city's finest preservation artifacts, the former Chicago Stock Exchange Building arch, is being slowly uncovered now that the Art Institute's Modern Wing construction is wrapping up.

The Embiggening of Chicago

From four-story condos to Calatrava's tower, Chicago is getting bigger and taller. Unfortunately, there's likely nothing you can do about it should that huge new development loom over your yard.

Love, Delivered

Today is your last chance to take advantage of Pink, a (Love) Courier Service. Jaime Calder has the details in A/C.

Beijing Bests Chicago ... and Everywhere Else

Ever wondered what the world's most famous film critic thinks about Olympic ceremonies, China or President Bush? Wonder no more.

LaSalle's New Pal

Tne New York Times shows LaSalle Street and its classic architecture some love, citing renovation as one of the boulevard's assets.

A Perfect Memorial

Cultural Chicago thinks the Harold Washington Library is a fitting tribute to the late mayor.

Communing with Cartoonists

The Holy Consumption is a site showcasing the work of Chicago-based cartoonists Jeffrey Brown, John Hankiewicz, Paul Hornschemeier and Anders Nilsen. Get a peek inside their sketchbooks and how they develop their work.

Fresh Meat (which is French for veal) is a new site launching today for artists and designers to showcase their work for the advertising industry. The site was designed by local studio Synthetic Infatuation.

More Chicago on Project Runway

Project Runway fans will be excited to know a Chicago contestant will be on the show this year.

Remember to SOLVE

Juxtapoz magazine has a truly moving article about the life and death of and memorials to recently slain street artist, Brendan "SOLVE" Scanlon. After you're done reading this, wipe your eyes and go check out SOLVE's last show at Swim Cafe, up through August 1.

Writing's on the Wall... or Sidewalk

It is written on the city. [via]

In Illinois, We're Sittin' Pretty

You can relax now: The list of "America's Best Public Restrooms" is out and, yes, Illinois has two of the top 10 spots, including one in Chicago. You can vote for the No. 1 place for No. 1 (or 2) here.

Buy a Metal House

Not just any metal house, actually -- the metal house, as seen on HGTV and elsewhere. It's for sale -- the architect who owns it is building a new metal house right next door.

Musheum of Science and Industry

Dave, who runs the Building Collector blog, proudly added a wee, lumpy-looking pot-metal replica of the Museum of Science and Industry to his collection of little itty-bitty edifices.

Not One, But Two

Speaking of domes, plans to create a multi-million dollar fitness center are making progress [lower right side] on the South Side.

Sweet Dome Chicago

Chicago's own Tiffany dome, thought to be the largest in the world, is back on display at the Chicago Cultural Center after a brief restoration. More in A/C.

Stitching the CTA

Jessainthebox creates embroidery based on photos shot on CTA trains. [via]

Checking Out The Scene

The always-interesting Urban Observer (aka Lee Bey) offers serenely beautiful shots from around the city, as well as a visual tour of the underappreciated John W. Farson House (The Pleasant Home) in Oak Park.

Baguio, New Sister City?

The city of Baguio, Philippines would like to be another of our Sister Cities. Interestingly, Daniel Burnham did the city's initial master plan.

Logan Square Gets Preservation Props

The July/August issue of Preservation magazine, published by the National Register of Historic Places, gave Logan Square a nice write-up for its lovely abodes, complete with a descriptive walking tour.

The Art of Getting Together

It's time for our monthly GB Get-Together, and we've got a big evening planned for this Friday! Join us at artist Mike Genovese's studio in the pedway below the Chicago Cultural Center from 5 to 7pm, then follow us to Phaiz Gallery at 8pm for free wine and an exhibition of pop song-inspired art. The only catch: you'll have to RSVP to get in. Details in Slowdown.

Love Factory In East Pilsen

An artist from Austin is coming to Chicago soon and setting up a Love Factory, with assembly line, where messages of love will be built and delivered by bicycle to various zip codes in Chicago. It's an art project on a grand scale. The artistic director of 'Pink on Tour' has a website with more info about the project and they are seeking volunteers to help out.

Art in the Salon

Tonight at ROOMS Gallery's monthly Salon, there will be theatre, film, burlesque, music and, um, clowning, all for just $3.

Bringing Mies Back to Life

860-880 N. Lake Shore Drive, one of Mies van der Rohe's first glass-and-steel highrises, is undergoing restoration. Edward Lifson has some closeup photos of the work.

It's Really OK

Local artist Sighn gets a little attention in GOOD magazine for his "ITSOK" series. (Thanks, Audrey!)

Speaking of the Waterfront

If you're all parked out, why not try a waterfront museum? The McCormick Tribune Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum is located on lower Wacker Drive at Michigan Avenue and gives visitors a look at "visions for the river realized or forgotten." It's open Thursday through Monday and costs just $3.

Beautiful Bungalows

Know any awesome bungalow rehab or garden projects? Nominate these Chicago classics for a Richard H. Driehaus Bungalow Award. Winners will get $750, appear in an exhibit and receive other recognition. Download an application on the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association's site.

Tributes to SOLVE and an Arrest

Following his murder, the Trib profiles SOLVE and provides details about an arrest made in his case. Tributes are being posted in a new flickr group and an ongoing discussion, which has plenty of links to other tributes and information.

Another Mid-Century Architect Gone

Walter Netsch, primary architect of the UIC campus and numerous other buildings has died.

Should Marina City Be a Landmark?

Some think so and are pushing for it.


Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture is shopping around a bold proposal for the lakefront.

Collaging Chicago

The art of Melanie Moore. [via]

Viñoly's New Design for the U of C

Following the recent announcement about new construction at the U of C, the school's announcing a new medical pavilion building designed by Rafael Viñoly. The Trib has the most details, but there's an image in the Chronicle article.

The View from Above

Check out the (hypothetical) panoramic view from the 140th floor of the Chicago Spire. [via]

What Can Evanston Teach Hyde Park?

Plenty, apparently, particularly when it comes to redeveloping HP's Harper Court, as Hyde Park Progress points out.

Studio Underground

Artist Michael Genovese has transplanted his art studio to The Pedway below The Cultural Center, adding a touch of "hip and artsy" to temper the tunnels' vibe of "sun-starved and empty."

Koons Summer

Tomorrow, Jeff Koons’s first major museum exhibition in more than a decade starts at the MCA. It runs through September 31. Get in the mood with your very own Koons iGoogle theme.

Art For The People, By The People

ArtWorks, a new community center in Uptown that offers affordable art classes for the whole family, is having an open house this weekend to show off the works of community residents. Details in Slowdown.

Summer Solstice in Hyde Park

Hyde Park Progress attends the grand opening of the new swanky Solstice luxury condo development in Hyde Park ... and gets a touch of vertigo.

Observing the Big Onion

Mike from Chicago Carless got an unexpected treat on a recent Great Chicago Places and Spaces tour: a visit to the secret observation deck atop the Intercontinental Hotel.

Protecting Michigan Avenue

Blair Kamin alerts us that the National Trust for Historic Preservation will name the Michigan Ave. streetwall to its annual list of endangered places. The Trust is concerned about threats of rooftop development, like proposed plans for the Chicago Athletic Association Building.

If You Can't Stop, Smile as You Go By

A new mural in Bucktown.

Marina City Modifications

Despite protests from Marina City residents, Dick's Last Resort's plan to move to and modify the structure has been approved.

Can't Read it, but it's Pretty

Congrats to FoGB Revise CMW on winning the Montana paint's "In Search of the Best Writer" graffiti contest.

Make Your Own Mini-Movie

Hideous Beast recently announced a short film project, Show and Tell. Find a member of their community willing to teach something they feel is valuable to a larger public, and make a one- to three-minute movie about it. The finished flicks will be shown here and on the Beast's Movie Bus.

The Politics of Art

Hyde Park Progress celebrates the planned removal of a piece of public art in the neighborhood that has fallen into disrepair, yet remained standing because of its precarious location in the middle of two wards.

Brutalism, Meet the Dome

Helmut Jahn's proposal for the addition to the U of C's Joseph Regenstein Library would definitely be the most radical building on campus. More details are available in a Trib article, along with these thoughts about the design: "The hesitation is: 'Where is my large, drab rectangular box to have books stored in?' This is very different, but it will still do what that box was going to do."

No Relation to Forrest

Today, in its weekly Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed series, the Comics Should Be Good site shares the sad story of Sidney Smith -- Trib cartoonist and creator of the incredibly successful but seldom remembered comic strip "The Gumps".

Smart Homelife

The Museum of Science & Industry's latest exhibit, "Smart Home: Green + Wired," debuts today. Prairie Mod's latest podcast is an interview with creator Michelle Kaufmann.

Screenprinters, at Your Marks

Announcing the First Chicago International Poster Biennial. Artists have until May 27 to submit a poster, 100 of which will be selected for the juried show June 7 at IIT's Crown Hall. [via]

Spindle May Rise Again

After the demise of the Berwyn Spindle last weekend, word comes that the Spindle may be rebuilt, if the former owners can work out a deal with the artist. Also in Spindle news: an appreciation of the artwork by one of Berwyn's most ardent supporters, Svengoolie.

It's Not Really Rubbish

If you want some lovely movies to past the time, look at the efforts of local collective Look At Rubbish. They've won heaps of praise for their music videos, and are exhibiting at Cannes this year. You can probably follow some of the fun at their blog, Trash on Rubbish.

Photographing Looptopia

Couldn't make it to Looptopia this year? Flickr with Looptopia 2008 pictures if you want to see some of what you missed.

Nothing Really Matters

The Berwyn Spindle comes down, and the Sun-Times has the video. Wayne Campbell was unavailable for comment.

Cookies, Pastries and Fast Food

Pamela Mitchell Johnson paints food we love to eat.

Say It Ain't So...

Close to 90 paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago's collection of Impressionist art are heading to Texas, where they'll be displayed at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. The good news: they'll be back in time for the winter holidays.

Rust Never Sleeps (Or Goes Out of Style)

After pioneering the "oxidized look" for some of its buildings (most notably the Daley Center), Chicago architects are turning once again to self-weathering metals that purposely rust.

Bike to Artropolis, Get in Free

A ticket to this weekend's Artropolis, the international art show at The Merchandise Mart, is normally $20 for a one-day pass, but if you bike to the event you'll get free admission to Art Chicago, NEXT, The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair, The Artist Project and The Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art. That's a whole lot of art to look at for free, people! Just park your bike in the racks when you arrive and check in at the South Lobby Concierge Desk to get your ticket.

Volunteer Your Skills

We know that a big portion of you, our dear readers, work in advertising, design and marketing. If you're looking to put your skills to use through volunteer opportunities, consider joining the ranks of the Arts & Business Council or the Taproot Foundation. Help non-profits while expanding your professional network.

Signs of Trouble for the Chicago Spire?

Garrett Kelleher's development group didn't meet property tax filing deadlines in March. Is it a sign of trouble, or is everything moving along just fine?

Mile High

What if Frank Lloyd Wright's Mile High Illinois building had actually been built here in Chicago? It might look a little like this.

Steppenwolf Gets a Spinal Tap

Actor Michael McKean will be coming to Chicago this summer as a castmember of the Tracy Letts-penned Superior Donuts. The play runs June 19-August 17 at Steppenwolf.

Dick's Creating Controversy in Marina City

Dick's Last Resort's plan to move into Marina City and add "garage-style" doors along the river is meeting opposition from residents.

eBay Auction of the Day

The Berwyn Spindle, a bargain at $50,000 (shipping costs $100,000). The Sun-Times reports that the Spindle is still coming down to make way for a new Walgreens, so it's either going to a good home or being taken down by the current owners, who will then "take a look at our options" to see what they can do with the sculpture.

Sounds in Isolation

In a post about "supercuts," points out Chicago artist Chuck Jones's collection "Isolation Studies." (The rest of his site is worth exploring, too.

Monuments and Murals

Swing by A/C to check out this week's double interviews with muralist Augustina Droze and Carrie Hanson, choreographer of Monument, which is currently running at Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

His View from There

WFMT critic and interviewer Andrew Patner has a blog covering the arts, classical music, and occasional forays into local politics--all in his inimitable Patnervian style.

Missing Monster Mask

Have you seen an elaborate demon mask in a styrofoam cooler? It belongs to Miss Monster, and it's gone missing after her landlord threw a bunch of her stuff in the alley.

Architectural Background

The Art Institute has an impressive collection of oral histories from Chicago architects. [via]

The Word On The Street

Mother Jones magazine interviews Chicago spoken word icon Malik Yusef on music, the state of hip hop and the trouble in the streets.

Endangered Chicago

The Landmarks Preservation Council announced its annual 10 most endangered buildings in Illinois, and this year it goes to 11: Wrigley Field joins the others due to the renovations and proposal by Tribune Co. to "relax" city landmark status to let some major changes slide.

This Week's A/C Feature: Sara Schnadt

If you haven't already, head over to A/C and check out this week's feature, which is an interview with performance and installation artist Sara Schnadt.

Re-Cover the Fountain

The Wicker Park-Bucktown SSA is looking to redesign the winter cover for the Nelson Algren Fountain in the Polish Triangle. Further details here; download the RFP.

What Might Have Been

Lee Bey presents some fascinating, unrealized plans for the South Loop and the Cook County/City Hall building in the current Chicago Journal issue. As always, you can check out the Emporis unbuilt high-rise section for more crushed dreams.

Bought a Calder Print Lately?

Two Northbrook men are among seven arrested in a bust of counterfeit art rings that sold thousands of counterfeit pieces to art buyers around the world.

How to Market a Building Internationally

Given that the Chicago Spire is a speculative building, there's the question of how to raise the funds. Apparently one way is to host exhibitions in a variety of cities, such as Dublin, Hong Kong and Singapore, about which this release was written.

Living in (Green) Style

West Town residents and Art Institute faculty members Frances Whitehead and James Elniski make the New York Times Home & Garden section today for their elegantly styled, green tech-tacular pad. The couple's home features photovoltaic and thermal panels, geothermal desuperheaters, dual-flush toilets and other enviro-sound amenities.

Good Design on the Cheap

The NY Times sings high praise for the relatively new and inexpensive buildings designed for the Hyde Park Art Center and the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. [Thanks, Jessica!]

Pushing All the Buttons

School of the Art Institute faculty member Wafaa Bilal's controversial video game/art installation "Virtual Jihad," in which viewers are supposed to kill U.S. soldiers, penetrate a bunker and assassinate President Bush, has been pulled from an exhibit by a Troy, N.Y. university. Bilal, born in Iraq, gives his side of the story on his website.

Foreclosure Lawsuits? 95. Years? 3.

The Sterling Private Residences can now claim the title of reigning Chicago Foreclosure King. Way to go! (If you are a premium subscriber to Crain's, you can read the full article.)

Black Mark for Blackstone

Don't count Tribune architecture expert Blair Kamin among the biggest fans of the newly rennovated Blackstone. While he applauds the effort, he manges to use words like "garish," "atrocious," "screeching," "psychodelic," "disconcerting tension," "jolting," "bizzare" and "grotesquely" in his review.

Putting People Back in the Illinois Center

The Chicago Loop Alliance recently released redevelopment suggestions for the Michigan Avenue side of the Illinois Center. One sample idea: a "modern adaptation of the Spanish Steps in Rome."

Introducing A/C

Gapers Block is proud to announce the launch of our latest section, A/C, covering arts and culture in depth. Don't miss the premier feature, a look inside the studio of artist Erik Newman.

What a Wrigley Name Change Could Mean

Trib architecture critic Blair Kamin warns about what Sam Zell's plan to sell naming rights to Wrigley could mean for landmark buildings across the city.

Dwelling in Ukie

Dwell Magazine takes a walking tour of Ukrainian Village, hitting a range of the expected and the lesser known in art and commerce.

Not Much Protection

The Reader has a scathing critique of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.

‹-- Two-Way Wrist Radio, Deactivated

Sadly, the Dick Tracy Museum in Woodstock, IL, will close June 1. Dick Tracy was created by Chester Gould, who wrote and drew the comic strip from 1931 until he retired in 1977. Cartoonist Ed Piskor provides a colorful account of a meeting between the rather conservative Gould and cartoonists Jay Lynch and Robert Crumb here.

Freshly Dipped

From the creators of Midwest-born Formula Werks comes Freshly Dipped, a site where you can find local art, wearables, and more. Right now, you'll find stuff for sale from local street artists Artillery, The Grocer and more.

Shredded Missouri

Check out the work of designer Frank Chimero, especially his ongoing The States series.

The Blackstone Rides Again

The New York Times trumpets the rebirth of the historic Blackstone Hotel and ties its return to the housing/building boom in the South Loop.

Calling All Artists...The Coyote Wants You (Maybe)

Around the Coyote is joining forces with Looptopia this year for its spring arts festival on May 2 and is looking for artists to participate. Perhaps this is the perfect time to take that piece of visual art, literature or music that you've been pouring your soul into and give it the audience it so sorely deserves? Move quick, because the application deadline is this Friday, February 15.

Textaport Tonight

Head on over to the Caro d'Offay Gallery at 2204 W. North Ave. tonight for Textaport 2008, in which artists try to interpret descriptive text about a particular mystery object and create an original work of art based on that description. When the creating's done, the results -- made on-location, and remotely -- will be put on display. 6-9 p.m. Call 773-235-7400 for more info.

Goin' to the Movies

Local webcomic Multiplex just released its first e-book, collecting early strips and several new ones. And it's free!

Dwell loves Chicago

The March issue of Dwell shows a lot of Chicago love; first with a profile of Wilkinson Blender Architecture's gut-renovated, Gold-certified LEED-H home the Wis Tavern Building and secondly an interesting article about architect Bertrand Goldberg, best known for his landmark Marina City complex and the endangered cloverleaf-towered Prentice Women's Hospital.

Art Between Art

It seems appropriate that the I^3 Festival of interstitial art begins on Leap Day -- the ultimate interstitial date.

Gallery Raid

Contemporary art gallery Kass/Meridian was raided by the FBI today as part of an art fraud investigation.

The Artful Codger's Local Connection

George Greenhalgh, an 84-year-old pensioner from Manchester, U.K., received a two-year suspended jail sentence on Jan. 29 for selling forged works -- produced by his son, no less -- to museums around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago. Greenhalgh's piece to the Art Institute was a fake Gauguin, the Glasgow Daily Record reports. Due to his old age and poor health, Greenhalgh won't go to jail, but will instead be free to stay at home and listen to his old Oasis and Fall records.

A Room with a Feud?

The new Trump International Hotel and Tower is set to open today, possibly amid protests by Local 1, a hotel workers union. Meanwhile, another big downtown hotel is reportedly in the planning stages.

Chicago El Stories

CTA art isn't usually all that interesting, but this work by Jonathan Gitelson looks amazing, at least online. We'll have to wait for the Armitage stop to reopen to be sure.

Gaining Exposure

If you caught the MCA's Sympathy for the Devil exhibition this past autumn, you might recall encountering a couple of photographs by local artist Melanie Schiff. The 30-year-old Chicago photographer is now the subject of a three-page profile in the February issue of the international art magazine Modern Painters. The attention arrives after Schiff was recently selected for inclusion in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. The artist is currently represented by the Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago.

The Latest Chicago 7

This year's list of most endangered Chicago landmarks from Preservation Chicago includes the idea of landmark designation itself.

February Free Days

The Art Institute of Chicago will offer free general admission every day from Feb. 1-29. You'll still have to pay for the Hopper and Homer special exhibitions, which open Feb. 16, but the museum makes it up to you by offering weekend Q&A sessions with its curators, Saturday lessons in conservation and other perks.

Very Cold Art

You can watch the progress of the Museum of Modern Ice's Paintings Below Zero at its official blog. Can someone please shorten that URL?

Oo La La!

Chicago photographer and Nelson Algren buddy Art Shay once took an artfully racy photo of Algren's lover, French author, philosopher, and feminist Simone de Beauvoir, which writer Susie Bright has thoughtfully provided on her blog. (Possibly NSFW, hardly hardcore, but definitely lovely.) For background on Algren and De Beauvoir's legendary affair, go here.

End of Creche Exhibit

Sunday is your last chance to see the creche exhibit at Loyola University's Museum of Art, otherwise known as the LUMA (P.S. - today the museum's free).

A Little Creepy

If you're in the mood for some spooky photography and artifacts (a coffin, outmoded medical restraints!) this weekend, check out the opening of Ward 7: America's Abandoned Asylums at the Co-Prosperity Sphere Saturday evening.

Modern, Schmodern...

"Less is more (boring)" for local financial investor Richard Driehaus, who takes a swipe at the city's modern architecture in favor of the classical style. So much so that he's opening his own museum for decorative arts in the Nickerson Mansion here in Chicago in the spring.