When Monuments Go Bad

June 7, 2021 Ι Bloomberg CityLab The stately eagle atop the 50-foot-tall fluted column of the Illinois Centennial Monument can be seen from blocks away. Located in the gentrifying Logan Square neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side, the memorial was designed by Henry Bacon and Evelyn Beatrice Longman and built in 1918 as an allegorical representation […]

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 […]

What We Talk About When We Talk About Architecture

February 12, 2021 Ι Architects Newspaper  In early June, I put on a white KN95 mask and a black sweater and left my apartment like thousands of other Chicagoans to protest the murder of Black Americans by police. An hour or so of marching and chanting culminated at an intersection near my home dominated by […]

Who’s Around Underground?

February 2021 Ι Landscape Architecture Magazine  Republic Square in Austin, Texas, is one of the city’s most historic, sensitive, and heavily trafficked public green spaces. In the heart of downtown, it’s one of the original four public squares dating back to the city’s founding. In 1839, the city’s initial run of surveyed and platted blocks […]

Design Trust Chicago seeks to address systems beyond structures

Architect’s Newspaper Ι December 30, 2020 The recently unveiled Design Trust Chicago will coordinate the work of Chicago’s activist designers, placing community, racial equity, and social justice ahead of for-profit, developer-led agendas. Publicly announced in November, the Design Trust was founded by Katherine Darnstadt of Latent Design, and Elle Ramel and Paola Aguirre of City […]

Shanghai’s Longhua Airport Is Converted into a New Public Park

Metropolis Magazine Ι November 30, 2020 At Xuhui Runway Park on the banks of Shanghai’s Huangpu River, in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world, it’s impossible to miss the history of what came before. Designed by Sasaki, Xuhui offers a palimpsest of a reused airport, preserving its materials and forms. […]

In One of Chicago’s Most Affluent Neighborhoods, Hidden Stories of Resistance Unveiled By App

Next City Ι November 20, 2020 The Armitage-Halsted historic district in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is renowned for its well-preserved collection of 19th-century architecture and commercial streetscapes, filled with Victoria-era ornamentation, pressed metal bays, and classic Chicago corner turrets. Today, Lincoln Park is a thoroughly gentrified site of winners-circle complacency; dog parks, stroller moms in […]