I actually read a comment on the Skyscraper City website that slammed the cleaning of Holabird and Roche's 1894 Old Colony building, saying how much they preferred the grime encrusted facade that we'd come to assume simply mirrored what was underneath. And one point the poster made - that the cleaning has brought every flaw and bit of broken decay into high relief - has certainly proven to be valid.
But how can you not see what's been revealed as a small miracle?
Not a dark, forbidding hulk, but brick and terra cotta almost shockingly light and graceful.
Not a shadow-soaked, menacing Gotham, or a bleached Burnham Ultrabrite white, but a sunny Mediterranean expression of the City Beautiful. Match it with the exuberance and color of Burnham's Fisher Building, built just two years later on the other side of Van Buren, and we've restored, a century after it was last seen as the architects originally intended, one of the most handsome gateways in Chicago.