Urban Fold

Reflecting on Daley's Mixed Design Legacy in Chicago

After 22 years in office, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is leaving office. This piece looks back on his mixed impact on the urban design of the city.

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin reflects on Daley's tenure and the good and bad projects he ushered.

"Daley had longevity and he had luck. His record-setting 22 years in office, one more than his father, allowed him to experiment and to coalesce the power that led to dramatic changes to the cityscape. Like his father, he had the good fortune to govern during good economic times. He rode that wave to strengthen the city's downtown, improve the city's infrastructure and make Chicago work.

But it did not work for everyone.

The city actually lost population during the last decade, the only one of America's 10 largest cities to do so. While Chicago's burnished downtown confirms its status as a world city, other parts of the city are little different from the urban nightmare of Detroit. The blooming tulips on North Michigan Avenue have not stanched the bleeding of people in Englewood, a South Side neighborhood that lost more than 9,500 people (a quarter of its population) in the past ten years."

Full Story: Judging Daley's record on architecture and urban design: A great, but flawed, shaper of Chicago's cityscape

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