Is this library politics?

April 28, 2021 Ι The Chicago Reader  Drive south on the Bishop Ford Expressway to Altgeld Gardens and you’ll pass plenty of reminders you’re in a landscape not meant for inquisitive visitors. There are looming grain silos next to a parked shipping freighter, a village-scaled water reclamation plant, and plenty of anonymous warehouses. But once you […]

Whose History?

March 1, 2021 Ι Architect’s Newspaper  Built in 1939, Willert Park Courts in Buffalo, New York, was among the first public housing projects in the country. These ten two- and three-story rectilinear buildings are arranged north to south on parallel tracks around a central courtyard. They were an American echo of German Zeilenbau modernist planning, […]

How a Plan to Save Buildings Fell Apart

April 7, 2021 Ι Bloomberg’s CityLab (with Elizabeth Blasius) In 2018, Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development felt that they had a progressive plan to preserve one of the city’s most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. Pilsen, on the city’s southwest side, was home to Eastern European immigrants in the 19th century; in the 20th century, it drew […]

Inside the ‘Tartarian Empire,’ the QAnon of Architecture

April 27, 2021 Ι Bloomberg’s CityLab In 1908, architect Ernest Flagg completed the Singer Building in Lower Manhattan, a Beaux-Arts showstopper made for the Singer sewing machine company. From a wide base, a slender 27-story tower rose, topped by a mansard roof and a delicate lantern spire. Every inch dripped with sumptuous detail inside and […]