The Future Of Chicago: Block 37

The Chicago Tribune's architecture critic, Blair Kamin, reviews the urban design for Chicago's Block 37, designed by Chicago architect Ralph Johnson.
September 8, 2004, 9am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"What Johnson, of the firm Perkins & Will, and the developer, the Arlington, Va.-based Mills Corp., propose is nonetheless intriguing because it correctly confronts the urban design challenge of Block 37's 2.7-acre void: This block, which once buzzed with shops, movie theaters, fancy grocery stores and restaurants where corrupt Chicago pols hung out, should be re-urbanized rather than suburbanized...

Underground would be a state-of-the-art Chicago Transit Authority Station where travelers headed for O'Hare International and Midway Airports could check their bags before boarding express trains. An electronic obelisk, flashing information from stock market updates to weather forecasts, would rise into an irregularly shaped atrium hollowed out of a five-story podium. The podium would house shops, restaurants, nightclubs and other entertainment.The Loop's pedway tunnels would feed directly into the project's lower levels. The atrium would culminate in an enormous skylight, which would be surrounded by a 'green roof' of grass and trees."

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Published on Sunday, September 5, 2004 in The Chicago Tribune
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