Archive for the ‘Lake Shore Drive’ Category

Mies redone, x 3

02/18/2008

The Chicago Tribune, which has enough problems of its own, goes messing with Mies van der Rohe’s 860-880 Lake Shore Drive apartments.

The Trib Magazine’s Lisa Skolnik asked three firms how they would redo a 3 bedroom interior.

Lucien Lagrange: “There are now elegant transitions between all the traditional, now-enclosed rooms…”

Nathan Kipnis: “Mies was a great designer, but he was not green,” cracks Kipnis , who specializes in sustainable architecture. His plan was prompted by building resident’s claims about leaky windows and inefficient heating and cooling systems, hard points to address because the building has landmark status so its facade can’t be altered. “But the windows should be low-e to increase thermal efficiency. They could be tinted, or replaced with double glazed glass,” he suggests.

Rachel Crowl and Julie Fisher go with wood partitions installed on recessed tracks, gliding into place.
.

Advertisements

06/27/2007

It’s not King Tut’s tomb, or Al Capone’s vault, but…

The first stone is removed at 860-880 Lake Shore Drive, for plaza restoration.



Many more will come up.


Why are we doing this?

You see the sad state of the many years old travertine.

And we’ll repair the corrosion underneath that is causing lobby glass to crack


After years in the sun and Chicago winters,


-they could use a little painting.

Here’s to a great restoration. Can’t wait to see it.
Remember, these photos focus on what needs to be fixed. What’s interesting is that even with this normal wear and tear of the decades, these buildings still look great.


Is that clear? (smile) Looks like it.

-E

06/18/2007

Restoration begins at Mies van der Rohe’s
860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments



Looking for cracks in the travertine in the lobby to see which stones will need to be replaced is Douglas Gilbert, AIA of Harboe Architects, restoration specialists.

Most of the interior travertine is original, with a nice decades-old patina on it. We’ll powerwash it all and replace what needs to be replaced. This must be done, but it’s sad to see the evidence of time passed washed away, (I remember Chartres before and after a restoration; it had more character before.) And we’ll have to remove many stones that Mies himself selected. Here’s the grid for the travertine in the lobby.



In a building like this, in which the senses are heightened, each stone is different.

And of course, most important is the tone of the ensemble.

It’s the same story you read on the facade. Individual units, each slightly different, all with much in common, and connected into an artistic whole.

-E

05/11/2007

The architects LUCKY enough to get to restore Mies van der Rohe’s

masterpiece Lake Shore Drive Apartments are:

Ron Krueck and Mark Sexton, with Gunny Harboe!

They who did such a fine job restoring Mie’s Crown Hall at IIT.

Congratulations! We look forward to working with you,

and to a beautiful building.

-+-+-+

I’ve previously described what needs to be restored here.

Congratulations to the trustees for doing the right thing. They have not formally set the scope of the project. We will spend about $7.5 million dollars. We know what we hope to do — paint, restore the travertine plaza, the ground floor lobbies and spruce up the interiors of the lobbies (not a complete rehab). What we ultimately do is a function of cost. The first step is to do forensic work to get a better sense of the condition of the building and better estimate costs for each of these items. Then see how much work we can afford and adjust the project accordingly.
The work will be substantially complete by the end of 2008.
-Edward

05/11/2007

Why do we need to restore 860 – 880 N. Lake Shore Drive?
Here’s how the inside of the 860 mailroom looks now:


All the windows have been removed, due to cracking from corrosion and expansion of the steel below.

The good news is that very soon I’ll be able to tell you who the restoration architects will be. And you’ll be thrilled.

Mies vs. Lucien Lagrange?

05/09/2007

This is the Lakeshore Athletic Club, right across the street from our beloved 860 – 880 N. Lake Shore Drive by Mies van der Rohe. It was purchased recently by Fifield Companies who intend to demolish it. Read Lynn on what we might lose here.

Here are snaps of how it relates to Mies.


You can see the building at the end does not contribute to Mies, and it makes you shut down your vision, thus you appreciate Mies’ mastery less. Please no jokes about “less is more.”


We all know Mies is best in context; and the Lakeshore Athletic Club is one of the few extant buildings from when Mies walked the site directly north of it, and designed 860 – 880.

Ach! It’s so French vs. German.

The building to replace Lakeshore would be by Lucien Lagrange. He gave us this, on the corner, spending a lot of money, as Fifield says they will.


Dear Mayor Daley, Chicago Planning Commission, and the Landmarks Commission, why not “encourage” the developer save the exterior walls of the old Lakeshore Athletic Club? (And the wonderful ballroom, lobby and pool?) Unless he can put up something better for the citizens and the passersby.

All best regards,
-Edward

I’ll write more on this soon, stay tuned.

04/20/2007

860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive by Mies van der Rohe –
7+ million dollar restoration project

Just wanted to update you, and tell you where we stand.

Per the trustees, the following architects responded to our
Request For Proposal
:

Booth Hansen, Epstein, Gunny Harboe, Holabird & Root,
Krueck & Sexton, and Vinci/Hamp.

Gensler, and Fujikawa Johnson Gobel rejected our proposal.

After we choose an architect, the roof and exterior painting projects could start as soon as in August. The work on the travertine plaza

and lobby window wall would start next spring.

I wrote more about it here and here.

Stay tuned,
-Edward

02/24/2007

We will restore Mies’ 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments!

The finest, most poetic, most philosophical and aesthetically thrilling high-rise in the land.


I told you about the restoration plans here.

Now the board of trustees has passed the 7+ million dollar capital improvement plan. Thanks to Marc Boxerman, a trustee, and Don Hunt, a trustee, for their good work, and the others too.

Next we must choose the right restoration architect(s). Krueck and Sexton (scroll down) / Gunny Harboe? John Vinci?

And I’m a little sad that they’ll probably have to rip up the travertine in the lobbies. To get at leaky pipes underneath. That’s the original travertine and it feels it. Replacement is never the same. Stone, with its graining and the way it wears, gives off an energy doesn’t it? It tells a tale (and travertine knows stories all the way back to ancient Rome.) Our lobby feels more authentic than does, for example, the reconstruction of Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion.

But the travertine on the south porch of Crown Hall was redone and it feels and looks good, the Farnsworth House has been heavily restored after floods, and it feels and looks good; so it can be done, if the right person is doing it, with care. That here is our next charge.

And I’m excited to move forward with this.
-Edward

02/24/2007

We will restore Mies’ 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments!

The finest, most poetic, most philosophical and aesthetically thrilling high-rise in the land.


I told you about the restoration plans here.

Now the board of trustees has passed the 7+ million dollar capital improvement plan. Thanks to Marc Boxerman, a trustee, and Don Hunt, a trustee, for their good work, and the others too.

Next we must choose the right restoration architect(s). Krueck and Sexton (scroll down) / Gunny Harboe? John Vinci?

And I’m a little sad that they’ll probably have to rip up the travertine in the lobbies. To get at leaky pipes underneath. That’s the original travertine and it feels it. Replacement is never the same. Stone, with its graining and the way it wears, gives off an energy doesn’t it? It tells a tale (and travertine knows stories all the way back to ancient Rome.) Our lobby feels more authentic than does, for example, the reconstruction of Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion.

But the travertine on the south porch of Crown Hall was redone and it feels and looks good, the Farnsworth House has been heavily restored after floods, and it feels and looks good; so it can be done, if the right person is doing it, with care. That here is our next charge.

And I’m excited to move forward with this.
-Edward

02/16/2007

Tyler makes me think. He asks, “What are our five favorite buildings in America, that are publicly accessible? “ The list was not easy to make. We are blessed with great buildings in this land. From California, to the New York Island. But we’ll give it a try.

All this was prompted by this crazy AIA list of “the people’s” favorite buildings in America.

So here’s ours, in reverse order of favorites.

If Tyler wants to name the St. Louis arch, then I’ll choose as

#5. “Cloud Gate” in Millennium Park, Chicago, by Anish Kapoor.

Tyler says the arch is the best piece of public art in America. He might be right, it is sublime and thoughtful and delightfully modernist. But is it superior to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C., the Statue of Liberty, or “the bean?” “The bean,” Cloud Gate, is also a gate, not seen in the pic above, and as I’ve written, it expresses Einsteinian space, the relationship of the individual to the collective, of the individual to the self, the relationship of heaven to earth and light to solid, and it gorgeously displays the celestial passage of time. Not bad for a single object. I’ll vote for it as a “favorite building” also to show how architecture and sculpture are wedded these days.

4. Fallingwater and Robie House, by Frank Lloyd Wright.

I could have listed Wright’s Guggenheim, Unity Temple, or Johnson Wax, but I’ll choose these two domestic symphonies. They’re exhilirating to walk through, to experience the blend of nature and flowing space and important for their attempt to fashion domestic harmony (would that it were!). I could have listed only the obvious masterpiece Fallingwater, but I know
Robie House better and for its urban location and size it would be an easier model for more people to follow. Would that urban and suburban dwellings were built with such sensitivity and artistry today.

3. The Auditorium Building, by Louis Sullivan.

A powerful, beautiful statement of the importance of bringing culture at the highest levels to all the people. A gesamtkunstwerk by “unser Lieber Meister,” if ever there was one. In there more than anywhere else in the world, one feels, “Ars Longis, Vita Brevis.” And it’s thrilling. When the performance is moving, say, the Joffrey dancing Balanchine’s “Apollo”, one looks up at the space under the golden, electrically lit arches above, and has a taste of what heaven will be like.

2. 860 – 880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Mies’ work was left off the AIA/people’s list of favorite buildings, but his solutions to find dignity and poetry in modern, industrial life are unrivalled. I always live in large cities, and can only afford to live in a high-rise. If I could live in any high-rise anywhere, I’d like to live in 860 – 880 N. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Oh, wait a minute, I do live there. I’ve been there 5 years. Each day is magic. The ways the two halves of the whole play off of each other, in unfolding overlapping ever-sliding planes. The way the I-beams rise up the sides, create depth and when you walk around the buildings, cause the facades to seem to open and close. The crystalline cleansing of walking through the lobby. The serenity of looking out through my magic windows, through which the city takes on a perfection. After 5 years, I still hear music from these works of art.

And, as of today, my number one pick for my favorite building in America is:


1. The Farnsworth House, by Mies.

Plato would be jealous. The Farnsworth incarnates, in space, light and a few fine materials, mostly in pure white, the perfect idea of the modern house. Whether it works well or not is another issue. I love to sit inside and contemplate the ever-changing nature outside, and the nature of life, lived in a modern way – is that possible? – inside. Space and time flow through one, inside this lantern, this beacon, this jewel in the woods. It is more beautiful, more shocking, more perfect than you, or even Plato, could imagine. A true Temple of Love to love. Adding to it’s allure is that it’s unattainable now that it’s owned by the National Trust and Landmarks Illinois. When it was for sale recently was the only time I’ve ever played the lottery.

What’s your list?

I thought of mine off the top of my head, I’m sure I’ll argue with myself as soon as I post this. What didn’t make my list, but could have?
For a religious building – Eero Saarinen’s chapel at MIT.
For a library – Louis Kahn at Phillips Exeter Academy.

There you go.
Now let’s build more good ones!
-E