Contract - November 2015 - 20

PHOTO: MEG WALTON

EDITORIAL

What Is Worth Saving?

Among the many reader comments in the Tribune after this
As we developed the content for this issue, we found the featured
October's Kamin article, I agree with this: "It's still a significant building.
interiors to be quite interesting because each has a notable past. For
Significant buildings are works of art, and we shouldn't be quick
the six repositioned lobbies that we showcase, the level of design detail
to destroy them." Lakeside Center is not a masterpiece, and it is not
to reinvigorate the public entrance of an office building is fascinating. In
each of those projects, the building is modern-only 23 to 44 years old- Crown Hall at IIT. But that's the point: Does an important modern
in a significant urban location, and the owners are forward thinking about building need to be a masterpiece to be worth saving?
To be sure, Lakeside Center remains a vital McCormick Place
the relationship of interiors to the life of the structure. Some preferred
component. Kamin's article points out that Lakeside Center was in
a light touch with a few key interventions to modernize, while others
use 192 days in 2014 as it has continued to serve a major economic role
completely redesigned the entrance to reflect a new era. The projects
are all recent modern buildings that were given a new life, through design. in attracting large tradeshows to Chicago. On election night in 2012,
President Obama gave his reelection celebration speech from inside
At the same time we prepared this issue, we read an October 13
article "Tear down lakefront McCormick Place" in the Chicago Tribune, Lakeside Center. In 2014, the AIA held its national convention's general
sessions within the Arie Crown Theater inside Lakeside Center.
in which architecture critic Blair Kamin advocates for the demolition
But now it is worth tearing down? Preserving or adapting it, and
of what is now the oldest building in Chicago's convention center,
extending the lakefront green space (if green space is the real issue)
the 44-year-old Lakeside Center. Kamin argues that it should be
a bit further into the lake around it are not options? What other bravura
demolished to allow for more extensive lakefront parkland to be built
exercises in architectural modernism-powerful works of steel-andin its place, and McCormick Place should simply add newer structures
glass modernism-are worth tearing down?
west of Lake Shore Drive.
As we know, the number of architecture critics at daily newspapers
The firm C.F. Murphy Associates designed Lakeside Center, and
in the U.S. has declined. Therefore, the number of champions of
the lead architect was Gene Summers, a protégé of Mies van der Rohe.
architecture writing for the general public is not as large as it once
The glass-and-black-steel structure with a dramatic, expressive
was. And if the architecture critic in Chicago, one of the most important
overhang-a forceful presence along Lake Michigan-is part of
cities for modern architecture's legacy in the world, is advocating the
Chicago's rich architectural legacy, specifically an era of 20th century
demolition of one of the city's well-known modern buildings, what are
modernism that was led by Mies and those who followed him like
the prospects for preservation of modernism in general?
Summers. In his own argument for tearing it down-even within the
My fear is that it is too easy-too blasé-to say it is acceptable
same sentence-Kamin acknowledges the architectural significance:
for modern buildings that are significant but not masterpieces to be
"It's time to start a civic conversation about getting rid of the shoreline's
Berlin Wall-the Lakeside Center of the McCormick Place convention torn down. The design profession needs to champion the nuanced,
creative preservation or reuse of modern architecture. If not, we stand
center, a powerful work of steel-and-glass modernism..."
to lose an architectural legacy.
But Lakeside Center only blocks lake views from other
McCormick Place buildings and a short stretch of Lake Shore Drive-
Sincerely,
Germans may find the comparison to the Berlin Wall to be either
tasteless or laughable or both.
John Czarnecki, Assoc. AIA, Hon. IIDA
When he wrote an obituary about Summers in December 2011,
Editor in Chief
Kamin mentioned Lakeside Center positively: "It was, by all accounts, a
staggering structural achievement." In the past, Kamin had also written
Visit contractdesign.com/editorial to read all of Editor in Chief
that Lakeside Center "preserved Chicago's status as a convention
John Czarnecki's editorials
powerhouse and was a bravura exercise in architectural modernism."
20

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Contract - November 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - November 2015

Contract - November 2015
Contents
Editorial
Industry News
Columnist: The Building Blocks for a Truly Multidisciplinary Practice
Exhibition: Missed Opportunities at Chicago Architecture Biennial
Product Focus: A Gem of a Seat
Product Focus: Light Box
Product Briefs
Denver Union Station and The Crawford Hotel
U.S. Embassy Finland
Your Father’s Office Building, Repositioned
Sunset Media Center
One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
745 Atlantic Avenue
1133 Avenue of the Americas
Capella Tower
1201 Third Avenue
Designers Select: Tables and Casegoods
Sources
Ad Index
Installation: Member of Pussy Riot Depicted on Canvas in Sunset Media Center
Contract - November 2015 - Intro
Contract - November 2015 - Contract - November 2015
Contract - November 2015 - Cover2
Contract - November 2015 - 1
Contract - November 2015 - 2
Contract - November 2015 - 3
Contract - November 2015 - 4
Contract - November 2015 - 5
Contract - November 2015 - Contents
Contract - November 2015 - 7
Contract - November 2015 - 8
Contract - November 2015 - 9
Contract - November 2015 - 10
Contract - November 2015 - 11
Contract - November 2015 - 12
Contract - November 2015 - 13
Contract - November 2015 - 14
Contract - November 2015 - 15
Contract - November 2015 - 16
Contract - November 2015 - 17
Contract - November 2015 - 18
Contract - November 2015 - 19
Contract - November 2015 - Editorial
Contract - November 2015 - 21
Contract - November 2015 - 22
Contract - November 2015 - 23
Contract - November 2015 - Industry News
Contract - November 2015 - 25
Contract - November 2015 - 26
Contract - November 2015 - 27
Contract - November 2015 - Columnist: The Building Blocks for a Truly Multidisciplinary Practice
Contract - November 2015 - 29
Contract - November 2015 - 30
Contract - November 2015 - 31
Contract - November 2015 - Exhibition: Missed Opportunities at Chicago Architecture Biennial
Contract - November 2015 - 33
Contract - November 2015 - 34
Contract - November 2015 - 35
Contract - November 2015 - Product Focus: A Gem of a Seat
Contract - November 2015 - 37
Contract - November 2015 - Product Focus: Light Box
Contract - November 2015 - 39
Contract - November 2015 - Product Briefs
Contract - November 2015 - 41
Contract - November 2015 - 42
Contract - November 2015 - 43
Contract - November 2015 - 44
Contract - November 2015 - 45
Contract - November 2015 - 46
Contract - November 2015 - 47
Contract - November 2015 - 48
Contract - November 2015 - 49
Contract - November 2015 - Denver Union Station and The Crawford Hotel
Contract - November 2015 - 51
Contract - November 2015 - 52
Contract - November 2015 - 53
Contract - November 2015 - 54
Contract - November 2015 - 55
Contract - November 2015 - 56
Contract - November 2015 - 57
Contract - November 2015 - U.S. Embassy Finland
Contract - November 2015 - 59
Contract - November 2015 - 60
Contract - November 2015 - 61
Contract - November 2015 - 62
Contract - November 2015 - 63
Contract - November 2015 - 64
Contract - November 2015 - 65
Contract - November 2015 - Your Father’s Office Building, Repositioned
Contract - November 2015 - 67
Contract - November 2015 - 68
Contract - November 2015 - 69
Contract - November 2015 - Sunset Media Center
Contract - November 2015 - 71
Contract - November 2015 - One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
Contract - November 2015 - 73
Contract - November 2015 - 745 Atlantic Avenue
Contract - November 2015 - 75
Contract - November 2015 - 1133 Avenue of the Americas
Contract - November 2015 - 77
Contract - November 2015 - Capella Tower
Contract - November 2015 - 79
Contract - November 2015 - 1201 Third Avenue
Contract - November 2015 - 81
Contract - November 2015 - Designers Select: Tables and Casegoods
Contract - November 2015 - 83
Contract - November 2015 - Sources
Contract - November 2015 - 85
Contract - November 2015 - 86
Contract - November 2015 - Ad Index
Contract - November 2015 - Installation: Member of Pussy Riot Depicted on Canvas in Sunset Media Center
Contract - November 2015 - Cover3
Contract - November 2015 - Cover4
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