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Old February 5th, 2006, 03:17 AM   #81
Chi_Coruscant
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hmmmm.....it is only an initial design, right? It should require major revisions in order to complement the Millenium Park and Art Institute expansion.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 03:54 AM   #82
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wow, those renderings look pretty darn cool. I wish they were a little more creative with the whole "walk of stars" thing but overall the changes in Grant Park will be intreasting if not a major improvement. Still I would like to see more trees, trees, trees. Open space is good but I also want some areas that have a feeling of a "real park".
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Old February 5th, 2006, 06:08 PM   #83
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I actually emailed Bob O'Neill (Grant Park Advisory) a while ago talking to him about that. He agreed that Chicago deserved much better but I don't know if he can do anything to stop this garbage.

Here's the article:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

New vision for Grant Park
Museum, sculptures, dog park among plans for city's `front yard'

By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah

Tribune staff reporter
Published February 5, 2006

Grant Park, the lakefront gem that languished while Millennium Park grabbed headlines, is poised for a makeover of its own.

Driven by a small group of longtime enthusiasts and growing legions of newcomers to the booming South Loop--and boosted by the acclaim that greeted the new park to the north--plans are under way for a series of new features.

Construction in Grant Park will begin soon for the city's most expensive dog park yet, gussied up with a doggy fountain and a canine refreshment stand.

The city's "front yard" also will become a new testing ground for skateboarders. An artist whose sculptures elsewhere in the city have become targets for skateboarders has been commissioned to create a skate park to lure boarders away from downtown plazas.

A private group hopes to install a "Walk of Stars"
honoring local celebrities, while Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz is casting 100 9-foot-tall sculptures--towering, headless bodies--for the southwest end of the park.

More eye-catching still, at least from a financial point of view, the Chicago Children's Museum is pondering construction of a glassy four-level wonderland that could bring more than half a million people to the park annually.

It's all part of an effort by the city and Grant Park boosters to activate parts of the historic centerpiece that long have sat empty and overlooked.

The price tag?

Officials say they still are totaling up the figures, which likely will run into the hundreds of thousands, minus the much heftier cost of the museum.

As was the case with Millennium Park, a public-private partnership will pay for the cosmetic transformation, with the private sector picking up most of the bill. It's one of the things Grant Park Conservancy President Bob O'Neill picked up from the park to the north.

While public and private dollars flowed into Millennium Park, Grant Park got little more than the occasional fixer-upper: trees planted, gardens improved.

"Even though a lot of funds went into that as opposed to Grant Park, we looked at it as an inspiration," O'Neill said. "We wanted to spread that standard to more areas of Grant Park."

The Park District will spend public funds on the dog park, the skate park and on replanting and landscaping work on the south end of the park.

On the private side, the Motion Picture Hall of Fame Foundation hopes to raise $7.5 million for the Chicago Walk of Stars. The Polish and arts communities hope to raise $500,000 for the transport of Abakanowicz's pieces from Poland to Chicago. The sculptures themselves are $3.5-million gifts to the city from the artist and the Polish Ministry of Culture.

The Children's Museum, if it decides to move from its current home on Navy Pier, could raise money to pay not only for its building, but also for a new fieldhouse for Grant Park--a project that O'Neill thinks likely would run upward of $40 million. Museum officials declined to comment.

Bringing rooms back to life

Grant Park, originally named Lake Park, was designed in the French Renaissance style of formal outdoor rooms. The park is the legacy of architects Daniel H. Burnham and Edward Bennett and civic-minded businessmen Aaron Montgomery Ward, who sought to keep views of the lake open.

Construction on Grant Park, once an eyesore of swampy landfill and railroad tracks, began in 1915, but it came in spurts of activity and delays.

Parts of the park remain incomplete, while other plans changed radically: The Field Museum, for instance, was intended to sit where Buckingham Fountain now stands.

In his 1909 plan, Burnham envisioned the park as the civic and cultural heart of the city, but it remains empty much of the year, fully alive only during summer festivals.

The new plans are designed to bring life to different parts of the park by creating attractions in various outdoor rooms.

In the summer, the Park District hopes to have an urban garden show in Butler Field. A Solti Garden featuring a bust of Sir Georg Solti, the renowned Chicago Symphony conductor, will be created in one room along Michigan Avenue.

Another room will feature the Abakanowicz sculptures to bring pedestrians to the southwest corner of the park
, portions of which were added only recently.

For years, Grant Park "drizzled to an end" at 12th Place and Michigan Avenue. About a decade ago, Central Station developer Gerald Fogelson donated Illinois Central Railroad property he purchased to Chicago, helping the city connect Roosevelt Road from Columbus Drive to Michigan Avenue and allowing Grant Park to square off its south end.

Abakanowicz's cast-iron figures, each weighing 1,100 pounds, will be assembled in a forest-like display by the artist in a space along Michigan, between Roosevelt Road and 11th Street. Pedestrians are meant to interact with the pieces.

Abakanowicz's outdoor installations, most of them groupings of similar beings, are located in Poland, New York, Paris and Israel. Recently, the artist was given the lifetime achievement award in contemporary sculpture by the International Sculpture Center.

The Walk of Stars also could pull tourists south.

The Motion Picture Hall of Fame Foundation is planning to install as many as 500 red stars, each one 3 feet by 3 feet, along a four-block promenade between Harrison and 11th Streets.

Costing $15,000 apiece, the stars would honor civic leaders, pioneers, humanitarians, congressional medal recipients, literary heavyweights, athletes and celebrities such as Harrison Ford and Quincy Jones. Notorious Chicagoans such as Al Capone need not apply.

The south end is also where the new dog park and skate park will be located.

A neighborhood park

For more than a decade, developers have been building residential complexes such as Central Station on the south end of the park and converting office buildings on South Michigan Avenue to luxury condominiums. Empty nesters from the suburbs and former Gold Coast residents are filling up the more than eight new developments under construction along the park's borders.

Grant Park has become their neighborhood park.

Their calls for more trimmings will result this spring in the construction of the $300,000 dog park, to be one of the largest in Chicago.

As is the case with other dog parks, a neighborhood group raised $75,000; the Park District will match that and seek the remaining funding from donations. The dog park may even have a gazebo devoted to selling doggie treats.

Nearby, three old tennis courts will be converted into a skate park. Vache Kodjavakian, the director of Grant Park's skateboarding committee, said fellow boarders liked skating on the "benches" designed by artist Dan Peterman that sit outside the Museum of Contemporary Art. They suggested that the district ask Peterman to create new sculptures with wheels in mind.

There are also plans to replant flowering trees and elms around Hutchinson Field, using a portion of the money generated last year by the Lollapalooza festival. There also has been talk of bringing artist Dale Chihuly's trademark glasswork to Congress Plaza.

Beyond those plans, some backers want to see the city cover the remaining Metra railroad tracks on the park's south end.

But what has park conservancy president O'Neill most excited these days is talk that the Children's Museum may move to Daley Bicentennial Plaza.

The museum unveiled a plan last month for a subterranean building with a glass atrium. The new site would lie on the other side of the BP bridge, which currently leads visitors east from Millennium Park--and sends many of them back when they realize there is nothing on the other end.

The museum's plans also call for a new fieldhouse in the east wing, almost doubling the size of the existing building, which is in dire need of replacement. If the museum decides to move ahead, Park District approval also would be needed.

At a recent meeting, museum officials unveiled their preliminary plan to area residents to gauge their interest. Neighbors expressed concern that a favorite ice skating rink would be removed and that fieldhouse programming would be displaced temporarily.

But when museum President and Chief Executive Officer Peter England asked the crowd of 50 what they thought of the museum moving into "a sacred site," resounding claps filled the room.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 07:38 PM   #84
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wow, a few hundread thousand dollars compred to Mill Park sounds like a bargain....Getting some Chihuly pieces would be awesome.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #85
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the chicago walk of stars best use chicago (six-point) stars. It would help maintain the walk as being more local and unique than just being an LA ripoff.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #86
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The more I think if it, the more I realize that the Children's Museum should move to Bicentennial Plaza.

Navy Pier will be fine. Use the space for more restaurants and clubs or something, or another ride.

Think about it how amazing it would be, plus it would put the museum closer to transit options. People in Millennium Park can cross one pedestrian bridge and go to a Children's Museum, or they can cross another bridge and go to the Art Institute. The proximity of such attractions would really add to the experience
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Old February 6th, 2006, 12:24 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murtaugh
the chicago walk of stars best use chicago (six-point) stars. It would help maintain the walk as being more local and unique than just being an LA ripoff.

Yeah, I think they will. There would simply be no relevance for them to do non-chicago related stars. The idea itself seems kind of dumb to me, but it would be even dumber if they didn't use Chicago related stars.

However, I hope I am wrong, and that it turns out to be a cool feature.



The chilren's museum for bicentennial is a good idea, I think. Chicago would be well served the more and more that Grant Park becomes a culture park.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 10:14 AM   #88
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I know they use beveled 6-point stars in the sidewalks in the loop a few places. If it;s like that it'll be fine.

It's be cooler if they did instead of stars, municipal devices. The Y in the circle. That would be unique and since the device is supposed to mean "I Will" it ties in with the significance of the people honored.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 11:28 PM   #89
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i wonder why they used 6 pointed stars in the chicago flags? the only reference i know to 6 pointed stars is the star or david. but the six pointed stars on the chicago flag is shaped a lil dif.

chicago star:


star of david:
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Old February 8th, 2006, 12:13 AM   #90
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"The Walk of Stars also could pull tourists south.

The Motion Picture Hall of Fame Foundation is planning to install as many as 500 red stars, each one 3 feet by 3 feet, along a four-block promenade between Harrison and 11th Streets.

Costing $15,000 apiece, the stars would honor civic leaders, pioneers, humanitarians, congressional medal recipients, literary heavyweights, athletes and celebrities such as Harrison Ford and Quincy Jones. Notorious Chicagoans such as Al Capone need not apply."

Why not honor Al Capone, a name much more associated with Chicago than Harrison Ford (I think he attended Northwestern but his career has basically been in LA) or Quincy Jones (raised in Seattle, lives in LA).

If you want to make an imitation "Hollywood Walk of Fame", at least use genuine Chicagoans. Mayor Daley, Paddy Bauler, Hinky Dink and Bathhouse John, the Everleigh sisters, Jesse Jackson, Roger Ebert, Oprah, Bugs Moran, etc. Immortalizing the notorious ex-citizens will do more for tourism and raising the city profile than putting out stars for folks who were born in Chicago and left as soon as they could. (Hemmingway, Ray Bradbury, etc.)
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Old February 8th, 2006, 01:07 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svs
"The Walk of Stars also could pull tourists south.

The Motion Picture Hall of Fame Foundation is planning to install as many as 500 red stars, each one 3 feet by 3 feet, along a four-block promenade between Harrison and 11th Streets.

Costing $15,000 apiece, the stars would honor civic leaders, pioneers, humanitarians, congressional medal recipients, literary heavyweights, athletes and celebrities such as Harrison Ford and Quincy Jones. Notorious Chicagoans such as Al Capone need not apply."

Why not honor Al Capone, a name much more associated with Chicago than Harrison Ford (I think he attended Northwestern but his career has basically been in LA) or Quincy Jones (raised in Seattle, lives in LA).

If you want to make an imitation "Hollywood Walk of Fame", at least use genuine Chicagoans. Mayor Daley, Paddy Bauler, Hinky Dink and Bathhouse John, the Everleigh sisters, Jesse Jackson, Roger Ebert, Oprah, Bugs Moran, etc. Immortalizing the notorious ex-citizens will do more for tourism and raising the city profile than putting out stars for folks who were born in Chicago and left as soon as they could. (Hemmingway, Ray Bradbury, etc.)
^ Agreed.

It is a waste to honor Harrison Ford and the rest. What do they have to do with Chicago?
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Old February 8th, 2006, 03:00 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
It is a waste to honor Harrison Ford and the rest. What do they have to do with Chicago?
Harrison Ford was born in Chicago and grew up in the Chicago-area (went to high school in Park Ridge).
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Old February 8th, 2006, 03:09 AM   #93
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the article mentioned nothing about Queen's Landing. Does anyone know if plans for the area are developing? An underpass under LSD was considered although the most dramatic plan has LSD covered with a deck for an above ground walk from Buck Fount to QL.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:00 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
^ Agreed.

It is a waste to honor Harrison Ford and the rest. What do they have to do with Chicago?
Well, if you want to include celebrities, and include only those still living in Chicago, you won't need many stars. I don't live in Chicago now, and consider myself a Chicagoan for life. Regardless, this walk of fame thing is not really important to me. It falls into the "whatever" category.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:07 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25
the article mentioned nothing about Queen's Landing. Does anyone know if plans for the area are developing? An underpass under LSD was considered although the most dramatic plan has LSD covered with a deck for an above ground walk from Buck Fount to QL.
I believe the underpass was ruled out since it would be lower than the lake level and thus causing drainage/flooding problems. They would have had to raise the level of LSD to accomodate it. They thought of doing above ground but they didnt want to obstruct views of BF and the skyline from LSD. I am curious about Queen's Landing as well.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 07:14 AM   #96
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I found this article - Seems pretty cool if they can get it done! Sounds like IDOT is on board. I have worked on a road improvement project in Chicago where it was an IDOT route within the city... IDOT basically let the city make all the calls. Sounds like IDOT will fork over some cash if the city wants this.

http://www.grantparkconservancy.com/pages/9/

Another website with a few pictures of twin bridges designed by our buddy Santiago Calatrava that would flank Buckingham. A little extreme for Buckingham:

http://www.epstein-isi.com/portfolio...ortation_2.htm

Epstein performed analysis and design of a pedestrian bridge that would cross Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive between Buckingham Fountain and Queen’s Landing. The project also looked into the reconstruction of Lake Shore Drive between Monroe and Balbo. Epstein teamed with world-renowned bridge architect Santiago Calatrava on the design and engineering of this proposed pedestrian bridge.

Last edited by PrintersRowBoiler; February 8th, 2006 at 07:23 AM.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 12:17 AM   #97
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http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-park08.html

Navy Pier's kids museum weighs Grant Park move
February 8, 2006
BY ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporter


A cornerstone of Navy Pier for 20 years, the Chicago Children's Museum is exploring a move to a new building just east of Millennium Park.

Museum officials today will ask the Park District Board's permission to study the feasibility of relocating to Grant Park's Daley Bicentennial Plaza.

Supporters tout the move as a way to shine some light on Daley Bicentennial Plaza, a lonely patch of Grant Park.

The Park District hasn't signed off on the move yet. But officials are intrigued with the plan that would provide the district with a new 20,000-square-foot fieldhouse, courtesy of the Children's Museum, said parks spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner.

Sketches show 4-story structure

The current fieldhouse at 337 E. Randolph was built in the mid-1970s and suffers from a leaky roof, said Bob O'Neill of the Grant Park Advisory Council, which supports the move.

Preliminary sketches for a new Children's Museum reveal a four-story structure, though much of it would be underground. The museum would grow from its current 57,000 square feet at Navy Pier to 100,000 square feet at the proposed location.

In an interview Tuesday, museum president and CEO Peter England said "as of today, Navy Pier is still an option'' but he noted that the current location becomes very crowded during the peak summer months.

England did not estimate the cost of a new museum but said construction would take about 18 months. He hoped the feasibility study would be complete in a few months.

"It's a win-win for the Park District,'' said England.

Parks group backs concept

O'Neill said some questions have been raised about the future of an existing ice rink at Daley Bicentennial Plaza. O'Neill acknowledged that there is an ice rink at Millennium Park just a couple of blocks away but said that rink serves tourists while the Daley skating area is geared toward neighborhood use.

Erma Tranter, president of the watchdog group Friends of the Parks, said the group "supports the concept'' of the museum as long as it is primarily below grade. During construction, the museum also would need to find space to host park activities currently being held at the Daley Bicentennial Plaza building, she added.

The museum was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1982 in response to program cutbacks at Chicago Public Schools. After operating at a variety of sites around the city, including a Park District facility in Lincoln Park, the museum moved to Navy Pier in 1986. It draws 500,000 annually to its hands-on, education-focused exhibits.

The chairman of the museum's board is Gigi Pritzker Pucker, a member of the Pritzker family, which donated millions for the construction of Millennium Park. The BP Bridge connects Millennium Park to the proposed museum site at Daley Bicentennial Plaza.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 12:20 AM   #98
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http://www.suntimes.com/output/nance...lasalle08.html

Secrets uncovered at former Shubert
February 8, 2006
BY KEVIN NANCE Architecture Critic


The Shubert was always the red-headed stepchild of Chicago's great Loop theaters -- smaller, grubbier and far less ornate than the Oriental, the Cadillac Palace, the Auditorium and the Chicago. Producers coveted it for its scale, which is similar to Broadway houses, but many theatergoers groaned at the thought of an evening at the 100-year-old Shubert, with its drab colors, its paucity of bathrooms and its congested, claustrophobic bottleneck of a lobby.

But the Shubert, which began life as the Majestic and has now been renamed the LaSalle Bank Theatre with a reopening set for the week of May 20, is getting an extreme makeover. Its much-delayed $14 million renovation, part of a $40 million project that includes the rehabbing of the connected Majestic Building as a hotel, streamlines and expands the lobby to more than twice its original size, triples the number of restrooms and restores the theater's decorative details to their original splendor.

Best of all, the renovation -- overseen by George Halik of the Chicago firm Booth Hansen -- has uncovered a number of architectural details that had been hidden from public view for as much as half a century. From above false ceilings, behind drywall and underneath layers of flaking paint, the theater is turning out to have been a chamber of secrets worthy of Harry Potter.

This architectural windfall took Lou Raizin, president of Broadway in Chicago (which owns and programs the LaSalle Bank Theatre and three other Loop venues), by surprise. "We're basically bringing a piece of history back," he said during a tour, "that the majority of us who have operated this theater and worked in it for years really never knew existed."

For example, the former one-story lobby turned out to have a second story that had been covered up, complete with classical-style columns with ornate capitals. Above the lobby expansion -- formerly occupied by retail businesses and soon to contain the theater's new ticket booth and bar/concession area -- was another hidden space, this with an ornamental vaulted ceiling.

In another discovery only last week, the decorative plaster ornamentation beneath a marble banister was found not to be made of plaster after all. It turned out to be made of brass, which had been thickly painted many decades ago -- apparently to keep the material from being stripped out as scrap metal and used to support the war effort during World War II.

"We'll soon be seeing it," Raizin said, "for the first time in a long time."

The theater renovation, originally scheduled to have been complete last month -- frustrating theatergoers and Broadway in Chicago, which had to reschedule shows and/or shift them to other venues -- has been trickier than expected, in part because of the discovery of the hidden architectural details.

Another factor in the delay included a greater-than-expected amount of hazardous materials (especially lead paint and asbestos, which coated the old wiring) that had to be removed. Then there was the complexity of retrofitting the 1906 building with modern mechanical systems that it never had before, including a sprinkler system in the public areas and an internal elevator.

"Every space in this building is used," Halik said. "The challenge was not only finding the space [for the elevator], but dealing with the problems of creating that new shaft. We had to find ways to weave these new systems into the nooks and crannies."

The stage itself will be largely unaffected by the renovation, but the auditorium is getting new wiring and new carpeting of a rich red color with flecks of gold. There will also be new seats, whose number will have been reduced by as many as 120 from the original 2,000.

Perhaps the most noticeable new feature of the auditorium will be its yards of carved decoration around the proscenium arch and side walls, which is being painted, glazed and highlighted with gold leaf. In the lobby, ceiling ornaments that had been painted what Raizin called "various shades of mud" will now be a bright gold to match those inside the auditorium.

Decoration in this staircase turned out to be brass that was disguised as plaster to save it from being stripped during World War II.

"The ornament in this building is going to be spectacular -- people who've been in this building before will never know it's the same theater," Halik said. "You really didn't appreciate what was here before. Just now, as we start to decorate this, do you really see what's there."

In addition, much of the building's exterior terra-cotta cladding is being restored or replaced.

"When you restore a theater like this, you want to do it right," Raizin said. "It's not like you can go halfway and say, 'OK, it's time to open.' You've got to take it to completion, and that's been our goal all along."


A workman restores ornamental details in the LaSalle Bank Theatre auditorium, which is undergoing a major makeover as part of a $40 million renovation. (JEAN LACHAT/SUN-TIMES PHOTOS)

THE BASICS

Theater opened: 1906, as the Majestic; renamed the Shubert in 1945, then the LaSalle Bank Theatre in 2005

Lobby: expanding to twice original size

Number of restrooms: tripled

Interior ornaments: repainted, highlighted with gold leaf

Newly discovered: ornamented ceilings, decorative work beneath banister

Mechanical systems added: internal elevator, sprinkler system in public areas

Cost: $14 million; part of a $40 million project



The LaSalle Bank Theatre's old lobby ceiling had covered up this second story above it, complete with elaborate Ionic columns.


Architect George Halik (below, left) and Lou Raizin, president of Broadway in Chicago, discuss the LaSalle Bank Theatre project.



Decoration in this staircase turned out to be brass that was disguised as plaster to save it from being stripped during World War II.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 09:48 PM   #99
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According to Chicago Tribune's webpage, Chicago Historical Society is renamed as Chicago History Museum.
If anyone here cared enough about the name change.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 04:22 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi_Coruscant
According to Chicago Tribune's webpage, Chicago Historical Society is renamed as Chicago History Museum.
If anyone here cared enough about the name change.
Historical Society was better. Ah well.
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