The National Public Housing Museum Eyes a 2021 Opening

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Dec. 3, 2019 When you’re working to establish a museum with such contested subject matter as the National Public Housing Museum (NPHM), it pays to have a few shorthand expressions within easy reach, lest anyone get confused about creating a curatorial platform for an institution many associate with failure. Crystal Palmer, […]

An Activist Architecture Stirs in Chicago

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι Oct. 9. 2019 Perhaps the most compelling installation in this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial doesn’t feature a single architectural model, rendering, or image of buildings (or of anything else). It’s a series of short blocks of text, probing the Chicago police’s killing of Harith Augustus on the city’s South Side in July of last […]

A One-Stop Shop for Affordable Backyard Homes Advances in L.A.

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι May 1, 2019 Looking at the pressing shortages of low-income housing in each and every state in the country, it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that NIMBY homeowners are winning the fight against new housing, and especially against affordable housing. But there’s one potential foe that reactionary homeowners are ill-equipped […]

Can Artist Theaster Gates Help Bridge a Town-Gown Divide?

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι April 5, 2019  The newly renovated Keller Center, home to the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy on Chicago’s South Side, is crafted from a 1963 building designed by the architect of New York’s Radio City Music Hall and D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Edward Durell Stone. On the outside is a […]

‘The Whole World a Bauhaus’ Reveals a Movement’s Fault Lines

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι March 13, 2019 The centenary exhibition “The Whole World a Bauhaus” is touring the globe, and is now making its only U.S. stop, through April 20, at the Elmhurst Art Museum in the western suburbs of Chicago. (The Elmhurst has earned its stripes, boasting a house on its campus designed by […]

The Bauhaus in the Age of Frictionless Design

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι March 14, 2019  The Institute of Design at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) may be the most direct offspring of the Bauhaus, which was the most influential design school in the world. Founded by former Bauhaus faculty member László Moholy-Nagy in 1937, and later absorbed into IIT (whose architecture school was […]

The Brilliant Artist That Chicago, and the World, Nearly Forgot

The Atlantic’s CityLab Ι June 18, 2018  Edgar Miller was a virtuoso in any medium he chose: painting, sculpture, stained glass, architecture, interior design, printmaking, metalwork, cutlery, graphic design. He put those prodigious skills toward building a creative community on Chicago’s near-north side in the 1920s and beyond. Miller’s handful of architecture projects (a series of […]

Blue Light Special: The Chicago-Area High School in an Old Kmart

CityLab Ι May 8, 2017 Belvidere Road is an unremarkable stretch of suburbia in Waukegan, Ill., north of Chicago, lined with highway-sign staples: gas stations, car washes, fast-food joints, and a low-rent motel. It was only after a previous deal to move his private high school into a converted office building fell through that Preston Kendall […]

The Gateway Arch, a Global Icon, Reconnects to St. Louis

CityLab Ι March 12, 2018 Until recently, the grounds of St. Louis’ Gateway Arch were as hemmed in and isolated as the shimmering catenary curve that defines the city is grand and imperious. Walled off by a 1,200-car parking garage on one side and a freeway gulch on the other, the arch was a car-choked […]

The Story of the Great Lakes in 8 Maps

December 11, 2017 Ι CityLab  Stretching across eight states and two Canadian provinces, the Great Lakes region contains the world’s largest freshwater system and is likely the greatest single surface aggregation of rare resources on the planet. If it was a standalone country, its economy would be the fourth largest in the world. Yet its natural […]