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Lincoln Common, a 1.1-Million-Square-Foot Development, Takes Shape in Chicago

A massive new development in Chicago's Lincoln Park is taking shape, and the local architecture critic has offered a positive review of the final product.
October 1, 2019, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Chicago, Illinois
The Lincoln Common development in Chicago, as pictured in November 2018.

Blair Kamin writes news and a review of the Lincoln Common development in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. The development totals 1.1 million square feet of development, a mix of uses, and a number of public spaces designed to encourage pedestrian activity for all ages.

As noted by Kamin, the project "sparked a battle" with neighbors regarding heights and densities when developers first offered ideas for replacing the defunct site of the Children's memorial Hospital in 2012.

The outcome, now largely in place, consists of two 20-story apartment high-rises designed by the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The towers, taller than anything in the immediate vicinity but shorter than originally planned, have a total of 538 units. Chicago’s Antunovich Associates handled the rest of the project, from a seven-story building for seniors along Fullerton to a loft office building along Lincoln to restored buildings like the former White Elephant Resale Shop, a white terra-cotta charmer from 1925. In all, more than 15 buildings have been erected or renovated.

Kamin's assessment of the design of the nearly complete project is positive, attributing the success of the project to the project's two architects, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and the traditionalists at Antunovich Associates. Instead of the "dreary sameness" of large projects that only have one architect, Lincoln Common "effectively blends a variety of styles, scales, materials and textures. So even though Lincoln Common is an instant district, it looks like it grew up over time."

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