Posts tagged with "illinois":

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Boomtown: Houston poised to overtake Chicago as country’s third-largest city by 2025

The Texas metropolis of Houston is famous (or perhaps infamous) for its sprawling footprint. But as recent census numbers affirm, that growth reflects more than just a lack of zoning—within 10 years, more people will live in Houston than Chicago, according to information from health departments in Illinois and Texas. (Read AN's feature examining Houston's first General Plan here.) Long the country's third-largest city, Chicago is projected to have just 2.5 million people by 2025. Houston is expected to surpass that number, possibly growing to 2.7 million residents. A June study by Houston's Rice University found “if both cities maintain their average growth rates of the last four years, Houston would surpass Chicago as the country's third most populous by 2030.” Previous data from the 2000 and 2010 censuses had forecast a similar changing of the guard, noting Chicago had lost 200,000 people in the millennium's first decade, while Houston gained nearly 119,000. But new data publicized by Business Insider suggests the Texas metropolis could overtake the Windy City sooner. Houston leads the nation in job growth, owing largely to its expanding population.
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Notes from the Society for College and University Planning’s 2015 Chicago Conference

There’s much to be said about SCUP’s 50th Annual International Conference, held this year at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois, July 11 – 15. Aside from what one must imagine are the typical characteristics of this globe-trotting annual event—mission-oriented indoctrination, relentless networking against seemingly never-ending waves of competition and sweets, a diverse range of diurnal activities and workshops concerning a stunning miscellany of unpredictable subjects (including drones)—this year’s event presented interesting spins on an emergent, “integrated” planning strategy involving the use of Data in University programming. One of the conferences most interesting topics was the common theme of SIMULATION across the conference, specifically, in the context of using data born from a projected reality or fantasy, which ultimately ends up informing reality to such a magnitude as to change something. This is tied to video games, role-playing and the sensibility of the gamer. In “How to make the Future – With Games,” Jane McGonigal, Game Designer and Future Forecaster, leveled the crowd with an exegesis on the collective intelligence and “collaboration superpowers” of gamers and their seemingly shared, innate ability to, not sit in a dark room for hours ingesting potato chips on a pleather couch peppered by blades of setting sunlight that make it through the blinds but not the headphones (the blinds reference could be 80’s: American Gigolo, Less Than Zero), but “strengthen and transform” Society. McGonigal’s milieu, becoming ours, involves “massively multi-player future forecasting games” that enable us to imagine and plan for “strange and wonderful futures”. She is, according to SCUP’s description of the Plenary Session, today’s “leading speaker on the engagement economy and the application of game-design to the real world.” https://youtu.be/8HjjMv4LvbM McGonigal’s initial visualization and consequent circumlocutory word-play involved the construction of a predictive model in the form of an asteroid threat, which utilized player response to inform a “collective intelligence around real-world pandemic response.” She described her use of social media as a ready-made network to host this particular simulation or game. She defined a geographic region or corridor. Players fantasized about impacts to everything from available medicine to the stock market and their responses were ultimately used to inform responsive, BIG BROTHER agency thinking. McGonigal further described concepts of “Interactive Documentary” and concluded with a very compelling description of “Find the Future: The Game”, a game in which over 500 players explored the New York Public Library’s 70 miles of stacks using laptops and smartphones, following clues that amalgamated in short personal essays inspired by the event which are to be compiled in a volume to be stored within the Library’s collection. “The game is designed to empower young people to find their own futures by bringing them face-to-face with the writings and objects of people who made an extraordinary difference,” said McGonigal McGonigal made mention of one other related item of interest relative to reality and gaming, the text Ready Player One, by Ernest Celine. I just read this book, which takes the notion of Simulation to a level that displaces reality while at the same time, supplies the, let’s just say participant, with many forms of currency which have palpability in the real world, be it knowledge, a sense of physical security, or income. Celine constructs a post-apocalyptic world in typical sci-fi fashion. He integrates '80s lore (Music, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Video Games, TV, etc.) into the construct. His seamless interweaving of the content informing the game with the game itself and reality is fascinating, and it takes McGonigal's expertise to its logical conclusion: Data generated from Fantasy has value in the real world and has the capacity to inspire change on many levels, even policy. McGonigal’s influence put a strange, intellectual spin on the lens through which Data might be perceived on the level of Programming. It seems that Fantasy has as much to teach us about reality as human tracking. Going back to the idea of a predictive model, devoting more time to fully flushing out worlds that don’t exist, could significantly inform our approach to data-driven design methodologies in a way that is less invasive than human telematics.
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DXU Delivers Luxe Minimalism in Dekton

Sleek black rain screen reflects Porsche Design's understated style.

In the world of high-end retail, first impressions matter. Knowing this, DXU, LLC principal Eric Styer took special care selecting a facade material for the Porsche Design boutique in Oak Brook, Illinois. "We were trying to play off Porsche Design's simplicity and clean lines," said Styer, referring to the clothing and leather goods retailer's minimalist style. "Of course, this location is in a mall, so we had to deal with [their requirements] as well." After first eliminating other options on budgetary, performance, or aesthetic grounds, the architect found himself drawn to Dekton, an ultra-compact surfacing material from Cosentino. Styer's solution, a matte black Dekton rain screen featuring mitered joint detailing and integrated acrylic signage, plays up the material's strengths to embody Porsche Design's understated glamour. "We were looking for materials that would meet Porsche Design's design qualities as well as the mall's," recalled Styer. "They were pushing us to get granite on the exterior. However, that potentially leans in a direction we didn't want to follow." Specifically, Styer worried that the marbling on granite or another natural stone would distract from the overall impression he hoped to convey—of a solid block carved into masses and voids. In search of a similarly durable material, he reached out to Cosentino. The company mentioned Dekton, which was just being introduced to the United States, and suggested that the Porsche Design presented a unique opportunity to explore the material's use in a new application (as a facade). Styer was soon convinced that the material, composed of naturally existing inorganic minerals subjected to a patented high-heat, high-pressure process, would help him realize his technical and aesthetic ambitions.
  • Facade Manufacturer Stone Systems, Cosentino (advisors)
  • Architects DXU, LLC
  • Facade Installer Ryan Construction
  • Location Oak Brook, IL
  • Date of Completion August 2014
  • System Ventilated Dekton rain screen with mitered corners, integrated acrylic signage
  • Products Dekton by Cosentino in Sirius
Styer, who half-jokingly referred to Dekton as "basically surfacing on steroids," selected the material for three principal reasons. The first was its technical compatibility with his design. Dekton is manufactured in 5-foot by 10-foot slabs, thus reducing the occurrence of joints or seams. In addition, it can be miter-cut to mimic the appearance of cut stone. "That went back to the very simplistic, minimalistic impression we were looking for," explained Styer. "For all of our fenestrations in the building we have three-inch returns tucked behind the storefront volumes; that aspect of the material was perfect for Porsche Design." Durability was another important factor in the architect's decision to go with Dekton. The Oak Brook Porsche Design store is located on a high-traffic corner in a popular mall, making it especially vulnerable to wear and tear. Given Chicago's freeze-thaw cycle, Dekton's resistance to thermal shock was also a plus. As well as being technically appropriate and rugged, Dekton appealed to Styer on aesthetic grounds. Elegant but not showy, it captures the Porsche Design brand's emphasis on quality over bling. And though the material was available in only a limited number of colors and finishes at the time (Cosentino's offerings have since expanded to 23 colors), one of those combinations—the matte black Sirius—echoed the interior painting scheme. "In the interior, Porsche Design uses black glass, so if a high gloss black was available, we would have chosen that," said Styer. "But they also use matte black paint, so [Sirius] was perfect for us." The Dekton panels were installed as a ventilated rain screen. "There were some complications, maybe something of a learning curve in the fabrication process," recalled Styer. "A lot of that was due to the newness of the product in the States." None of the components that had been used to install Dekton rain screens in the United Kingdom were yet available on the other side of the pond, he explained, so "the Cosentino team had to jump through some hoops to get them here." The extra effort was worth it, however, as the particularities of the Dekton rain screen helped mitigate the difficulty of dealing with a preexisting structural rhythm. "For it being a pretty hard material, it was flexible in terms of some of the parameters we were looking for," said Styer. "There were piers we couldn't change, and a parapet element we had to tuck back into. To us, it seemed like a magic material." Styer is understandably pleased with where his hunt for an appropriate facade material led him—so much so that he looks forward to further experiments with Dekton. He mentioned in particular the capacity for bookmatching, and imagines a facade distinguished by a mirrored pattern. "It seems like you'd have more of an opportunity to do that with Dekton than with traditional stone," mused Styer. "It's a new aesthetic area I would like to investigate."
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Here’s how students from IIT used cutting edge technology to craft a rippling carbon fiber facade

Though only one semester had elapsed since the student-designed and fabricated FIBERwave carbon fiber pavilion went up, by early 2015 IIT professor Alphonso Peluso was hungry for more. For his Digital Fabrication seminar this spring, Peluso upped the architectural ante, asking students to think in terms of a facade panel system rather than a freestanding structure. "It seemed like if we wanted to be taken seriously, we'd have to [focus on] a real-world application," he explained. With support from a number of outside experts, Peluso and his students designed and built a full-scale panel segment in a single semester. Beyond demonstrating the capacity of carbon fiber to function as a building skin, CARBONskin evidences the synergetic power of curiosity backed by experience. "The big story" behind CARBONskin, said Peluso, is the network of designers and fabricators he has become a part of since FIBERwave. Thanks to interest generated by the pavilion, several sponsors have donated materials. "Now we can keep moving forward," said Peluso. "I wasn't sure, because the crowdfunding thing is too difficult to do over and over." In addition, several leading lights in the field of carbon fiber architecture have offered technical assistance. Kreysler & Associates consulted on both FIBERwave and CARBONskin. And Greg Lynn, whose previous experiments with carbon fiber (including his RV PROTOTYPE House) served as models for CARBONskin, also shared information and advice. Lynn "has been a real inspiration for me and my students," said Peluso. "He's really ahead of the curve." Before tackling the facade panel design, the seminar enrollees—Carlos Davalos, Pablo Ferrer Franco, Jacob Harney, Raleigh Howard, Zhitao Hu, Zachary Jaffe-Notier, Aishwarya Keshav, Bowen Lu, Caio Mendonca Placido, Mina Rezaeian, and Eric Schwartzbach—gained early exposure to carbon fiber in a seasonally appropriate exercise. Knowing that students enjoy fabricating at full scale, and deciding to take advantage of the particularly cold weather, Peluso tasked the students with designing ice structures in the vein of Heinz Isler. "I saw a connection between ice structures and carbon fiber," he recalled. "With carbon fiber, you work with cloth, and use chemicals to make it structural. I thought, 'Why not use water instead, and harden the cloth into ice?'" Because the forms involved hanging cloth over supports, moreover, the students could start working with carbon fiber immediately, building small-scale prototypes of their ice structures without first completing a tutorial in CNC milling or molding techniques. Soon, however, it was time to shift focus to the facade system itself, which would be applied to a disused two-story curtain wall mockup on the IIT campus. Working in groups, the students designed and fabricated scale carbon fiber models of four facade panels. At midterm, they presented their designs to Polynt Composites' Rick Pauer. (Peluso and Pauer first met through the comments section in an AN article on FIBERwave.) Both Pauer's critique and the students' own experience were instrumental in determining a final panel configuration, which the class voted on after a design charrette. "When they make these small-scale models, they start to run into a lot of challenges; they start to understand the capabilities of carbon fiber," explained Peluso. "They use that as a feedback loop, and make adjustments  based on the actual process of working with the material." Featuring a complicated topography of hills and dips punctuated by amorphous PETG windows, the design the students selected was the most complex of the those produced during the charrette. "It was exciting and intimidating at the same time," recalled Peluso. "But that's where the best projects come from, in general—people who are willing to just go for it." Meanwhile, a number of industry sponsors had volunteered to donate materials. But with the semester flying by and none of the promised supplies yet on hand, Peluso made a tough decision: he purchased (at a discount) enough cloth from Soller Composites to build three feet of the 9-foot-11-inch-tall panel at full width. (Peluso and his summer students will use material since delivered by Hexcel and Vectorply to fabricate a full-scale panel.) To work around another challenge—the fact that the molds were too large for the school's vacuum former—Peluso called on Matt Locaciato of Fiberworks. Locaciato showed the class how to use a Duratec primer (donated by Composites One) to prevent the carbon fiber from sticking to the CNC-milled wood molds. "It was our first time using the primer and it worked," said Peluso. "It was one of those magical things." The rest of the fabrication process, which involved curing the carbon fiber with West Systems epoxy resin, releasing it from the mold, CNC-trimming the panel to size, and finishing with several applications of a Duratec top coat, went smoothly. Given the speed with which a single semester passes and the nature of the course—a seminar rather than a studio—the fact that Peluso and his students completed one-third of a full-scale panel before the summer break is itself remarkable. For Peluso, the crowning achievement was the collective pride the project engendered. At the beginning of the term, he said, "I didn't really know what the outcome would be. When you have students in studio, you can count on them for a lot of hours. For an elective, they don't put in that kind of time." But by the time they joined Locaciato in the shop to prime the molds, all of the enrollees were fully committed. "At that point, the students started to become really excited about full-scale fabrication with this exotic material—you started seeing them more," recalled Peluso. "I think that's the coolest thing [about this experience]. The success is that these students came together."
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Navy Pier’s new “Wave Wall” by nArchitects lays a modern Spanish Steps at the foot of a Ferris wheel

Navy Pier is three years into a $278 million overhaul, and the new face of Illinois' most visited tourist attraction is beginning to emerge—most recently a grand staircase titled “Wave Wall" washed over the foot of the pier's famous ferris wheel. The peninsular mall and mixed-use amusement park has many major changes still in store, courtesy of a design team led by James Corner Field Operations. But photos available on the website of designers nARCHITECTS reveal a completed portion of the project collectively called “Pierscape” that creates an outdoor amphitheater from a simple stairway. (The full design team includes dozens of consultants.) The form of the new public space, which faces south into Chicago Harbor, resembles a sweeping wave or a wending draft of wind. Treads made of composite materials domesticate the snarling steel risers. Glass beneath the steps allow passersby indoors at the Pier to glimpse activity on the steps outside. From the bottom of the stairs, the project unspools into an audience seating area for public performances, and also frames the historic Navy Pier Ferris wheel—a 196-foot tall wheel will soon replace the current one, itself a stand-in for the 264-foot icon first transported to the spot from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The designers say “Wave Wall” was inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome.
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This urban intervention in Chicago would let citizens control colorful lights under the “El” with their smartphones

Chicago is best known for Wrigley Field and the Sears Tower (yes, the Sears Tower), but one of its most prominent urban features is the elevated train tracks that form the “Loop,” or the downtown area bound by this snaking steel goliath. However poetic the idea of the “El” might be, it brute steel structure could, like most raised infrastructures, use some improvements. To draw attention to improving the El, the Chicago Loop Alliance has even outlined a plan called Transforming Wabash, which focuses on one heavily trafficked throughway underneath train tracks. The Wabash Lights is a site-specific installation that would convert a stretch of the tracks into a programmable light show with over 5,000 LED tubes. Urban instigators Jack C. Newell and Seth Unger need your help to Kickstart a pilot of the project, and, at the time of publication, they have less than a week to raise $13,000 to complete their crowdfunding campaign. The underside of the elevated train tracks above Wabash Avenue will be their test site for the lights, which the pair says embrace and celebrate the existing, rather than destroying the character of what is there. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jackcnewell/the-wabash-lights-the-beta-test From the Kickstarter campaign:

For most people visiting or living in Chicago, Wabash Avenue in the Loop is a dark, noisy, sometimes scary place to either avoid or walk quickly through. Positioned between the history of State Street and the futuristic playground of Millennium Park, Wabash Avenue is an underutilized resource in the city for art, culture, and business.

The design calls for 520 light tubes that are programmable every 1.2 inches, and Chicago residents can control the lights using a smartphone or computer. The project was initially entangled in a bit of a bureaucratic red tape, but it now has gained all of the approvals needed to move forward with a pilot outside of the Palmer House Hilton on Wabash Avenue. The duo has been working closely with the Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago Department of Transportation, and the city government. To contribute to the project and see Chicago’s streets come to life, head on over to their Kickstarter page.
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VDTA’s Taut-Skinned Godfrey Hotel

Metal and glass accentuate Chicago high-rise's iconic form.

Given the odds stacked against it, Godfrey Hotel's 2014 opening in Chicago counts as a major victory—even if it took more than a decade to get there. Valerio Dewalt Train Associates (VDTA) signed on to the project in 2003, after being approached by a developer affiliated with a mid-market hospitality chain. Four years later, following a delay in financing, construction was finally underway. Then the recession hit, the original developer went under, and the building remained half-finished. The case languished in bankruptcy court until 2012, when Oxford Capital Group purchased the property. Fortunately, boutique hotel operator Oxford Hotels and Resorts hired VDTA to complete the project—with few changes to the original plans. "It's interesting that through the course of the almost four years that this sat wrapped in tarps, it remained desirable," said VDTA's David Jennerjahn. "For the hotel operator, it was a really distinguishing architectural design." Together with its cantilevered form, Godfrey hotel's slick metal panel and glass facade combines function and aesthetics in an iconic package. The hotel appears as a series of three offset rectangular boxes, stacked vertically. "The building has a very symbolic form—what I would call a very muscular form—and none of that is arbitrary," said VDTA's Joe Valerio. The offsets serve two purposes. First, they express the building's structure, which follows the staggered truss system developed in the 1960s by William LeMessurier, a noted structural engineer. As the name suggests, LeMessurier's method involves staggering story-high steel trusses on alternating column lines, thus creating large clear span interiors. Though the staggered truss system is usually deployed to create buildings that "look like a cereal box," said Valerio, VDTA approached their structural engineer with an alternative proposal. "We nonchalantly said, 'There's a lot of redundant strength there. [The volumes] should be able to cantilever out,'" he recalled. The structural engineer gave them the go-ahead, and Godfrey Hotel's unique form was born. As an additional benefit, the stacked configuration allowed the architects to carve the interior spaces into a variety of room types and sizes, an idea they prized from the project's beginning—and which Oxford Hotels and Resorts, in particular, embraced.
  • Facade Manufacturer Metl-Span (insulated metal panels), Oldcastle (punched windows, storefront), Pittco Architectural Metals (curtain wall)
  • Architects Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
  • Facade Installer All American Exterior Solutions (metal panels), Alliance Glazing Technologies (curtain wall)
  • Facade Consultant Curtainwall Design Consulting
  • Location Chicago, IL
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System insulated metal panel system with integrated aluminum punched windows, aluminum curtain wall system
  • Products Metl-Span insulated metal panel system, Reynobond aluminum composite panels, Pac-Clad corrugated perforated panels, Oldcastle aluminum punched windows and aluminum storefront, Pittco aluminum curtain wall, Nanawall moveable storefront, PPG Solarban 60 glazing
Like the offsets, said Jennerjahn, the building's skin performs a specific set of functions even as it "works toward the goal of creating a distinctive boutique hotel image." On the north and south facades, an insulated metal panel system from Metl-Span attaches directly to the stud work, doing triple duty as weather barrier, vapor barrier, and insulation. Integrated punched windows nod to the River North neighborhood's masonry fabric, while the panels' taut surface avoids detracting attention from the building's unique shape. Finally, said Jennerjahn, "using a metal skin on a metal frame building was another tie to an honest expression [of the structure]." The east and west facades are almost entirely transparent. "In 2003, no one had heard of LEED," said Valerio. Noting the potential for solar gain, he explained, "If we were designing the building today, we wouldn't have all-glass walls on the east and west elevations. We put them there because we wanted to take advantage of the views." The glass also reveals the staggered truss system. Because the trusses run north-south, opening the building to the east and west was the only way to show them off. "That created other opportunities we did not even think of," said Valerio. In some cases, he said, "the trusses really become a part of the room," operating as built-in furniture. Despite the change in ownership and an eleven-year gap between conception and execution, Godfrey Hotel's architectural design remained almost entirely unaltered. "There were some changes internally, but the exterior of the building and the expression of the building were very consistent," observed Jennerjahn. Valerio agrees—and is humble enough to acknowledge the unusual serendipity of the situation. "Oxford fundamentally built the hotel exactly as we had designed it," he said. "It was really just an amazing kind of dumb luck."
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Developers tap Perkins + Will principal to help redevelop site adjacent to Bertrand Goldberg’s River City

Plans for 2,700 new homes along the Chicago River have some neighbors and realtors calling a long-vacant lot near the Willis Tower by a new name. “River South” refers to a few sites, among them: a 7.3-acre riverside parcel between Harrison Street and the River City condo complex designed by Bertrand Goldberg. As Crain's Chicago Business reports, that's where developers CMK and Lend Lease are planning five towers with nearly 2,700 residential units, anchored by a 47-story building with 626 units. The developers tapped Perkins + Will principal Ralph Johnson to draft a master plan for the area. Whether or not the River South moniker sticks, the area has generated renewed interest from real estate watchers. Two other Chicago developers, D2 Realty and Phoenix Development Partners, have previously hinted at a large, mixed-use development on a 1.6 acre-parcel nearby. According to Crain's, developer Related Midwest is in talks to develop another 62-acre property at Roosevelt Road and the Chicago River.
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Gallery> Tour the rehabbed Chicago Motor Club, a Henry Ford–era art deco mecca for motorists

You can credit Chicago's recent boom in boutique hotels with revving up an historic 16-story building once home to the Chicago Motor Club, which rolled back onto the market in May as a Hampton Inn. As AN wrote at the project's inception, the design draws heavily on 68 East Wacker Place's history. Perhaps most notably, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture retained a 29-foot mural by Chicago artist John Warner Norton that suggests cross-country driving routes from 1927. Mural restoration expert Dmitri Rybchenkov, of the Chicago firm Restoration Division, led those efforts. In addition to the mural, other details recall the building's original identity as a motorist's mecca. To wit, an original 1928 Ford Model A overlooks the lobby. Interior designers with Gettys One also worked to restore many of the art deco details originally included by architects Holabird & Root. Vacant for over a decade, the building was destined for demolition before developer John T. Murphy, president of Murphy Asset Management, cobbled together historic preservation tax credits and financing from the Hampton Inn hotel chain to revive the short yet handsome structure.

Via Kenny Kim Photography, take a look inside the renovated Chicago Motor Club building:

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Take a tour of Chicago’s newest Green Line stop, Cermak-McCormick Place, designed by Ross Barney Architects

Chicago commuters transiting through the South Loop and Chinatown have had a new stop since early this year, when the Chicago Transit Authority opened its newest train stop: Cermak-McCormick Place. Designed by Ross Barney Architects (the team behind West Loop's lauded Morgan stop for the Pink and Green Lines), the new station employs brawny steel trusses and sleek, curved surfaces. Via the architects, here's a gallery of images from the new station, shot by Kate Joyce Studios:
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Yoko Ono breaks ground on public art project for Chicago’s South Side

The Chicago Park District starts work today on a new project by Yoko Ono. Her first permanent public art installation in the Americas will be a meditation on world peace, harmony with nature, and Japanese-American relations dubbed SKY LANDING, which is slated for a parcel of Jackson Park once home to the historic Phoenix Pavilion. Instead of a groundbreaking, construction began Friday with a “ground healing” ceremony on Wooded Island. Ono's installation, set to open in June 2016, will include a sculpture and landscape design meant to evoke a sense of harmony with nature. The details of the project are still largely undefined. “I recall being immediately connected to the powerful site and feeling the tension between the sky and the ground,” Ono said in a press statement. “I wanted the Sky to land here, to cool it, and make it well again.” Following the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the Japan Construction Company shipped several prefabricated, traditional Japanese structures to Chicago's South Side, establishing the Ho-o-den (Phoenix Pavilion). It remained on Wooded Island until fire destroyed the Phoenix Pavilion in 1946. Now home to Osaka Garden, the site is part of a public-private overhaul of Jackson and Washington Parks under the nonprofit banner Project 120 Chicago. Led by the Chicago Park District and businesspeople including Robert Karr, Jr., a lawyer and the executive vice president of the Japan America Society of Chicago, Project 120 Chicago was convened to “revitalize” Frederick Law Olmsted's South Side parks, which have suffered from years of deferred maintenance. In 2012 the group's efforts began with an initiative to plant hundreds of cherry blossom trees. They then hired architect Kulapat Yantrasast and his firm wHY to look into building a new Phoenix Pavilion. Preservation landscape architect and planner Patricia O’Donnell and her firm Heritage Landscapes were hired to lead larger preservation efforts in the parks.
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Ride Chicago’s new elevated park and bike path, The 606, with this time-lapse video

Chicago's long-awaited bikeway and elevated park, The 606, opened last weekend (on 6/6, no less) to a rush of pedestrians and cyclists who were eager to test out the new 2.7-mile trail after years of planning, design and construction. The public park remains extremely popular in the sunny week following its debut. https://vimeo.com/130217662 Formerly called the Bloomingdale Trail, the former railroad has been likened to New York City's High Line, but it is quite different—the 606 is as much a highway for bikes as anything else, due in part to its having been largely funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) improvement program. For those who haven't had a chance to visit the trail, Steven Vance of Streetsblog snapped this time-lapse video of a recent bike ride that covers the length of the trail, which runs through the West Side neighborhoods of Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Wicker Park, and West Town. (Vance is also a contributor to AN.) https://instagram.com/p/3tlNEuERTh/ Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates led the design of the trail, which slopes slightly at various points throughout its length to slow bike traffic and suggest spaces for community events. Several access points connect the elevated trail to parks and city streets below. Meanwhile with The 606 up and running, affordable housing advocates are worried the popular park could help swell the tide of gentrification sweeping out longtime neighborhood residents. https://instagram.com/p/3t4zaOCP0J/