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Mies van der Rohe

ChicagoNorth Side

A 2-bedroom home that Mies might approve

340 Diversey

The just-listed 2-bedroom, 2-bath home at Commonwealth Plaza, 340 W Diversey, is billed as a “Mies masterpiece.” Shall we shorten that to Miesterpiece? The home has undergone a renovation that respects Mies van der Rohe’s spare and timeless architecture. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer north views of the park and lake. A built-in office is a major ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 3, 2014

Trash-talking the lowly garbage chute

Lake Shore Drive

When was the last time you paid any attention to garbage chutes? If you don’t live in a multi-story building, it was probably when you read about two people being found dead in the trash chute of a Gold Coast high-rise. If you live in a high-rise building, you might find yourself forced to pay ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 6, 2014
News & trendsArchitecture & design

Mies on Marina City: Don’t do that again

Marina City

In the video, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Michael Darling talks briefly about the “organic” and “sculptural” quality of Bertrand Goldberg’s architecture and some of the architects who influenced his work. In his oral history at the Art Institute Bertrand Goldberg reports Mies van der Rohe’s dismissive summary of Marina City: “Well, everybody has to ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 20, 2013
North ShoreHighland Park

Tour a Highland Park landmark, the Ben Rose house and pavilion

Ben Rose house

The Ben Rose house and pavilion has been said to be the most important modernist home in Chicagoland. It was designed by A. James Speyer, a student of Mies van der Rohe, for Ben Rose, an internationally-known textile designer, and built in 1953. In 1974 David Haid, another of Mies’ students, designed an addition to ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 13, 2013
West suburbsElmhurst

A Mies van der Rohe subdivision prototype in Elmhurst

McCormick House video

The Robert McCormick House in Elmhurst is one of only three single-family residences designed by Mies van der Rohe in the United States. Built in 1952, it’s celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, but not as a home. In 1994 it was taken apart and reassembled at Wilder Park in Elmhurst as part of the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 31, 2012
News & trendsArchitecture & design

A sky-high basketball game atop a Weese vs Mies classic

Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago

With any luck you’ll never participate in a pickup game like the one pictured above at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago. Harry Weese, the building’s architect, was in his own words, “a man ten years ahead of a time that never comes.” A Chicago Magazine article is a storehouse of great Weese anecdotes, ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 2, 2012

Win a Lego version of Mies’ Farnsworth House

All you need do to have a chance to win one of two Lego versions of Mies van der Rohe‘s Farnsworth House is leave a comment on the Architects’ Journal or at its LinkedIn group before June 10. If you happen to be a Lego winner, and if you’ve visited the Farnsworth House, let us ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on May 24, 2011
ChicagoSouth Side

Mies with ease: 1,300 square feet for $165,000 at Promontory Apartments

Mies van der Rohe-designed Promontory Apartments

Not every Mies-head can drop 900 large on a Michael Pado renovation at 860-880 Lake Shore. If you’re dead-set on buying into a Mies building, you can get 1,300 square feet of living space in the architect’s very first high-rise, the Promontory Apartments co-op in Hyde Park, for less than one-fifth of that cost. Unit ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on October 18, 2010
News & trendsArchitecture & design

Quote: "Helplessly captive of the present"

My first girlfriend when I moved to Chicago was Tal Gilat, an architect from Israel. She was an admirer of Mies. Together we explored his campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. She showed me his four adjacent apartment buildings on Lake Shore Drive and said they looked as new today as when they were ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on July 14, 2010
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Walking the Drive: Mies' four black boxes

In this segment from their Lake Shore Drive walk, Joe Zekas and Francesca Rose look at the Mies van der Rohe-designed co-ops at 860-880 N Lake Shore Dr and the Esplanade Apartments condominium towers at 900-910 N Lake Shore Dr. Along with the 5,000 square-foot triple-combo unit Francesca mentions in this video, homes currently listed ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on July 13, 2010