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Old November 10th, 2006, 08:30 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Chicago Library - Old Style but New Construction

What is the story behind this design, which has an old style feel to it but is a recent construction? At first, I thought it was a very old building but later found out it's relatively new.

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Old November 11th, 2006, 04:18 AM   #2
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Some info
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/C...40668hwlc.html

And the competition
http://cynthiapcaster.org/Competitions_Website/hwl.html
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Old November 11th, 2006, 11:29 PM   #3
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Having seen it in person, I wasn't overly impressed with it... it's scale to the street was oppressive, to say the least... And it has that cheap, sort of 'disneyfied' feel to its historical cues.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 11:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonhouse View Post
Having seen it in person, I wasn't overly impressed with it... it's scale to the street was oppressive, to say the least... And it has that cheap, sort of 'disneyfied' feel to its historical cues.
You have a point, but compared to other monstrosities built around that time it's a masterpiece. I used to feel the same way as you but after living here fowr awhile, I've come to appreciate it a lot more.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #5
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I will say that it looks better fomr the nearby El platform... It's scale is much better, if you know what I mean.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:17 AM   #6
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I don't like it. I prefer the one by Murphy/Jahn. Back then there was a fascinating show on PBS that went throught the whole process of design philosophy/selection.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:51 AM   #7
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Wow, 1991! It looks really nice.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:49 AM   #8
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Yeah - as other posters have alluded to, the city chose this PoMo design through a competition, over some other really good entries (esp. Helmut Jahn's entry, IMHO). The humongous green roof ornaments were added later, and are made of aluminium not copper. The faux load-bearing walls give way to a steel-frame glass-curtain wall on the West face. The interior spaces are a letdown after the dramatic exterior, though there's a nice reading room/atrium on the top floor.

If nothing else, the library building's exterior is a great teaching tool, with historical Chicago references such as terra cotta buttons & ears of corn. The oversized aluminium owls on the roof are really whimsical & fun to spot from the El.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #9
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I thought the scale was OK ... it is about the same height as nearby buildings.
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