Suburbs Get Taller, But Send Mixed Signals

Chicago's suburbs are growing taller, adding density and height like never before. Blair Kamin argues that these small towns are facing an identity crisis, stuck uncomfortably between city and suburb.

In the past, the only tall buildings built in the suburbs were office parks set off in their own environment. Today, towers are going up in traditional downtowns as transit-oriented infill.

Kamin writes, "These towers, which tend to be residential, have created a built-in clientele that boosts the fortunes of restaurants, shops and movie theaters. That allows aging downtowns to compete against suburban mega-malls. Yet the scale of the new towers-a dramatic departure from comfy, old Main Streets and residential neighborhoods around them-has raised questions of urban compatibility that their highway-oriented predecessors did not face."

Full Story: Suburban sprawl, meet suburban tall

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