Chicago is a famed architecture town, but the road has not always been smooth. Hear from the editor and author, respectively, of two recently released guides – Laurie Petersen for the AIA Guide to Chicago and Vladimir Belogolovskyfor the DOM Architectural Guide Chicago, discourse on Postmodernist icons like the Thompson (future Google?) Center and Harold Washington Library, and muse on what came next, where we are now, and why Chicago is still important to architecture everywhere.

Show Notes

Intro/Outro: The Night Chicago Died, by Paper Lace


Postmodernism – is it still alive and well?

Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture

1980 Venice Architecture Biennale

Change in Chicago really began with opening of Millennium Park in 2004

Ideas are convergent rather than divergent these days…


Mayoral/Architectural Era Overlay:

Daley 1: Mies van der Rohe and Modernism

Daley 2: Millennium Park

Emmanuel: Riverwalk and boathouses


Big Tech Moves In: Google buys the Thompson Center – will it become more public?

Comparable to Pompidou Center or Lloyd’s of London as a kind of “Hi-Tech” building.

The criticism of Thompson Center’s poor conditioning has clouded Jahn’s other achievements, including the United Terminal at O’Hare and the Citicorp Center (now Accenture Tower)/Ogilvie Transportation Center.


State Street Village at Illinois Institute of Technology


Harold Washington Library – the last great Postmodern building in Chicago, looks like an “open book,” but once you’re inside…


The Chicago Cultural Center


The 1990s were a dead zone of malaise for architecture. The Museum of Contemporary Art by Josef Paul Kleihues gently nudged it out of that slumber. And then, Bilbao Guggenheim blared the klaxon.


The Chicago Seven


Stanley TigermanLibrary for the Blind, 1978


University of Chicago Campus

            Booth School of Business – Rafael Vinoly

Logan Center – Tod Williams Billie Tsien

Rubenstein Forum – Diller Scofidio + Renfro

            Obama Presidential Center – Tod Williams Billie Tsien


“There is more architectural diversity in a typical residential Chicago block than in all five boroughs of New York City.” – Vladimir Belogolovsky


Landon Bone Baker – socially conscious affordable housing projects


Respect for context did get a revival boost from PoMo.


Stewart Cohen – Contextualism


Is there a Chicago School of Architecture today? If there is, it is defined by respect for materials, and pushing boundaries to make buildings work well.