With a three-month-long celebration of Chicago architecture underway, there are some big changes in store for the city’s architectural landscape. Tonight we’ll talk about planned and potential changes to the city’s skyline with Lee Bey, host of Rivet Radio’s Architecture360, and architect and author Edward Keegan.
George Lucas’s proposed lakefront museum might not have to wait a long time in a galaxy far, far away for the final OK from the city. The City Council is expected to sign off next week on zoning changes allowing the UFO-looking museum to land between Solider Field and McCormick Place. (And just in time, as the new, sans-Jar-Jar-Binks “Star Wars” movie makes its way to theaters in December.)
The council was expected to vote this week, but in the eternal battle between brains and brawn, the Chicago Bears are trying to work out a deal with the museum, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Like Boba Fett and the sarlacc pit in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” parking spaces used by tailgating Bears fans would be sucked up by the proposed museum. The Sun-Times reports the Bears are looking for a better deal with the museum.
As city officials work to get the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art up and running, Gov. Bruce Rauner is looking to sell one of the city’s more iconic (or aesthetically challenging, depending on your cup of tea) buildings—the James R. Thompson Center. Designed by famed architect Helmut Jahn, the governor’s decision to sell the building as the state faces a financial crisis has raised concerns that the building could be demolished. (Note to potential new owners: You may tear down the building, but you’ll never be able to erase this epic gun fight from Peter Hyams' 1986 action-comedy flick “Running Scared.”)
The Thompson Center isn’t the only notable building in the city facing a somewhat uncertain future. Last week, the call to demolish the McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center was renewed by Blair Kamin, the Pulitzer-prize winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune.