Archive for the ‘Lake Shore Drive Apartments’ Category

LIFE imitates Mies

Images of Mies and his work
from Life Magazine.
(via Coudal and Jason Fried)

New York, New York. 1956

1957. “Room reflecting in glass wall of apartment in Lake Shore Drive apartments. Outside view of companion building and traffic also visible.”

Nice that the popular magazine LIFE appreciated so early what Mies was trying to do.

One of the more casual shots of him that you will see

December 1956
Mies van der Rohe relaxing on couch while smoking cigar and reading at home.
(LIFE’s caption says it was taken in New York, but I say Chicago.)

Most shots of Mies have him concentrating, like this

November 1956
Mies in Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology

They look to be working on a model of the New National Gallery in Berlin. Or is that a student’s variation of it?

Again thinking, with the thinking man’s developer, Herbert Greenwald

November 1956

And with Philip Johnson. The woman looks like Phyllis Lambert.
LIFE’s caption says they’re “studying technical problems concerned with model of a fountain. Chicago, October, 1956”

Must be for the Seagram Building plaza

Here are “Bronze I-beams ready to ship from Chicago Extruded Metals Company to New York City, where it will be part of the new Seagram’s Building. November 1956.”

Nice to know they were made in Chicago.

And finally, a photo of the still unfinished Mies’ 860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments.

Bottom Photo: Ralph Crane
All other photos: Frank Schersel.
A few more, here.

Mies’ Lake Shore Drive Apartments not looking good these days


Remember I told you we were going to restore the darn things, and the plaza?

It’s happening! Can you tell?

Inside and out.

That had been original travertine on the inside. Something will be lost, but much will be gained. Water had been seeping through and corroding the steel.

And this “plasticized glass,” not original but from an earlier intervention, will be replaced with an acid-washed glass which is far more elegant.

Architects Krueck and Sexton, who restored Crown Hall recently and magnificently, are doing this work. Rico Cedro is their man on the job. Gunny Harboe, known for quality and important restorations is also working on this. It’ll go on for months. I can’t wait to see it when it’s complete.

AIA Architect wrote about the project, noting,

“So when Krueck & Sexton Architects of Chicago were given the opportunity to renovate the two buildings, their goals were to protect Mies’ timeless vision and to transform its cultural vitality into a bulwark against the creeping comodification of architecture.”

Huh? I’d like to hear more on that.

Mies on a Hot Tin Roof


I’d never seen this photograph before. Mies in 1960 with his 860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments. (Where I live when I’m in Chicago.)

by Slim Aarons.

Funny, like the Barcelona Pavilion, which for so long was known only from memory and black and white photos, until it was “reconstructed;” it is (as “cityofparis” says in a comment to this post) very odd to see a color photograph of Mies. It does make him come alive in a more modern way. The color even makes him seem a little less dour than we think he is in most of the black and whites.

And from the angle, he is floating. As his buildings do.