Posts tagged "preservation"

Chicago Cultural Center: BYO Flashlight Tour with Cultural Historian, Tim Samuelson

Chicago Cultural Center: BYO Flashlight Tour with Cultural Historian, Tim Samuelson
For Chicago Cultural Center’s late-night building tour with Chicago Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson, participants were reminded to BYO Flashlight, and arrive promptly at 10:30 PM. The night concluded around 1AM with a screening of the wonderful “Lost Buildings”, an animated film by Chris Ware; an inspired excursion through Samuelson’s early love of buildings and his... Read more »

The Phallus and the Womb in Chicago Architecture: Prentice Hospital and the Sears Tower

The unfortunate destruction of Prentice Hospital for Women has me thinking about metaphor in Chicago Architecture. What do great buildings tell us about ourselves and about our culture; how is cultural meaning embedded in their design and how does this meaning – whether consciously or not – play out in how we embrace or reject... Read more »

Prentice Hospital for Women Meets the Wrecking Ball

Prentice Hospital for Women Meets the Wrecking Ball
Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Hospital for Women is being demolished. Blair Kamin reported on it with a collection of really sad photographs – the blasting sun and crisp colors an incongruous backdrop for the destruction of this wonderful building. It’s appropriate in a way, because the process that brought us to this has been so marked... Read more »
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Welcome the Return of Light at an Ancient Wisconsin Effigy Mound Solstice Observance

New Year’s day; I love it. All the holiday parties are done, all the expectations met in one way or another. This is a day I can do whatever I want. Half the population is staying in with a headache or a football game, (or both); the streets and byways are quiet. With any luck there’s been some snowfall…. It’s a wondrously quiet day. Just me and my resolutions.
Every solstice and equinox, an observance ceremony is held on a small Native American Effigy Mound known as Frank’s Hill in southwestern Wisconsin. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places, and considered sacred by many. The hill – part of the Shadewald Group – is owned by a local farmer named Frank... Read more »

Independent publishing and bookselling in the heart of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area

The rolling hillsides typical of Wisconsin's driftless area.
The independent book publisher is alive and well in Wisconsin. Tucked into the southwest corner of the state, a lively, smart and diverse group of writers and publishers gathered on Thanksgiving weekend at the Southwest Wisconsin Book Festival in Mineral Point, Wisconsin’s creative beehive in the heart of the driftless area. I drove to the... Read more »

Swimming in the shadow of the nuclear tower

Red car in the driveway, cooling tower in the yard.
I’ve been making the rounds on Lake Michigan this summer; doing a version of the “Circle Tour”… in pieces. Part 4 of the journey took me south to Mt. Baldy Beach in Michigan City, Indiana. This is a great beach, crashing waves, lovely sand, families, dogs … and a looming power plant cooling tower. That... Read more »
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A Short History of America

A Short History of America
In honor of the 4th of July, I offer this, from the great cartoonist R. Crumb. Crumb drew “A Short History of America” in 1979. It shows an urban landscape gradually obliterating a single wilderness scene. Later, Crumb added three possible scenarios to the question posed in the final panel: “What Next?”. He drew a... Read more »

Wilderness, the Frontier and the Chicago Marijuana law

Wilderness, the Frontier and the Chicago Marijuana law
I’m researching a trip into the wilderness for some R&R soon, and I came across a headline on a National Park website about staying safe from bears and marijuana. Intrigued and slightly bemused, I clicked on the marijuana warning. I figured I’d find a ‘Reefer Madness‘ sort of imagined terror. Instead, the warning raised a... Read more »