Monday, June 29, 2009

Not Pritzker perfect, but a new South Loop park a welcome addition to State Street

This is what it looked like in 2006, a flat, usually deserted expanse of fenced-in lawn:
This is what it looked like just this past February:
Now Pritzker Park, at State and Van Buren, is finally open, shorn of its unwelcoming fencing. The trees and the plantings still look a little sparse, but with time they should fill in. Last Saturday, there was only one other person taking respite in the quarter-block space, but with DePaul just across the street, you'd like to think it will become more popular, especially once all its amenities are in place.
The concrete edgings for the planted spaces are inscribed with quotations from a large and eclectic group of writers which ranges from Richard Wright, to Carl Sandburg, Walt Whitman, and that jolly Nazi philosopher and prince of polka Martin Heidegger. Poor Walt - his words are partially obscured by a garbage receptacle, but he still fares better than Indira Gandhi, whose name is covered over with black tape, as is that of Sandra Cisneros, whose name was misspelled "cisenos."
Right across from the library, and no one could find a proofreader?

"You can never have too much sky," is the Cisneros quotation. The park's planners have apparently came to a parallel conclusion that you can never have too much flat concrete. Although the northern half of the park is generously landscaped, the southern half is disturbingly barren. All the tall trees that lined Van Buren were uprooted and removed. Reports are that a large chunk of the expanse is to be turned over Chicago's bus shelter king JCDecaux for concessions and a cafe to be designed by New York's Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Let's hope Stern comes up with something more graceful than his stubby-limbed bus shelters strewn throughout Chicago's streets. "Removable seating" is also promised, on the website of park designers HoerrSchaudt landscape architects.
Even in its current schizoid, unfinished state, however, the new Pritzker offers a welcome change from a site that suffered from not-so-benign neglect until the city transferred ownership to the Park District in 2008. The old fencing and abutments basically negated the value of the openness by shearing it off from the surrounding streetscape. Now, movement flows unimpeded, and both Thomas Beeby's Harold Washington Library and the re-emerging beauty of Holabird & Roche's 1894 Old Colony Building get a welcome frame of space and perspective.

Even more importantly, Diane Legge Kemp's brawny Library Loop L station, which previously seemed uncomfortably shoehorned between the library and the fencing, now has room to breath, and the station and its rustic arcade offers a graceful hem-like transition from the park to the library's massive facade.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trash Buckingham Fountain: Just Eight Bits a Day!

Chicago just spent a lot of money completely upgrading the surface paving all around Buckingham Fountain. A lot more will be spent after the fountain shuts down this fall to restore it to its original 1927 splendor. Reported cost: $25,000,000.

But for a mere dollar a day, you can turn all that work and beauty into a mere backdrop for your promotional appetites.
In a city where services continue to contract even as taxes and fees skyrocket and the mayor hordes billions into his slush fund TIF's to finance his beloved Olympics, the recycling bins you see here are being marketed as a solution for a city grown incompetent to provide adequate receptacles in its public places. Just throw up your hands and toss the problem over to an entrepreneur who provides the containers - free! - in exchange for getting carte blanche - if the situation at the fountain is any example - to paste advertising messages all over city landmarks. Couldn't we just persuade the mayor to get tattooed on his forehead and be done with it?

Friday, June 26, 2009

On the Uptown Theater's Past - and Future, plus Under the Buckingham

"The best theater in Chicago that you can't see" is how one speaker describes the Uptown Theater in the documentary Portrait of a Palace, to be screened at a lunchtime lecture at the Chicago Architecture Foundation next Wednesday, July 1st. The 4,000+ seat Uptown, opened in 1925 at a reported cost of $4,000,000, was one of the city's very grandest movie palaces for over 50 years, but it's now been shuttered and rotting for almost 30, despite fervent efforts of activists to save it. Last July, finally, it was acquired by concert promoter Jam Productions.

On Wednesday, Friends of the Uptown's Andy Pierce will pair up with Jam founder Jerry Mickelson to show the 26 minute documentary, and after it will discuss "discuss the theater’s history and its planned renovation." The free presentation is Wednesday, July 1st, 12:15 p.m., at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 South Michigan.

Under the Buckingham - today, Friday, June 26th, is the first of what is being touted as Fountain Fridays, half-hour tours of the operational underpinnings, including its underground pumping works, of Chicago's iconic Buckingham Fountain, which will be offered every Friday from July 10 through September 4, when the fountain will be closed for the first complete restoration since it's 1927 opening. The $50.00 cost of the tour ($30.00 for this Friday's preview) supports the Buckingham Fountain Restoration Project, which is funding essential repairs that range from plugging the leaks in the lower basim slab, securing crumbling Georgia marble, and replacing the corroded screws that keep the bronze seahorses from swimming off to New Zealand.

Make reservations via the Parkways Foundation at 312/742/5368 or at

Thursday, June 25, 2009

David Woodhouse makes a building disappear at DuSable Harbor

It's Where's Waldo, the architecture edition. Can you spot where the building is here? David Woodhouse Architects tames congestion and clutter at DuSable Harbor with a graceful unmatched set of the contemporary and the pastoral. Read all about it and see the pictures here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rare Showing: Lola Montès : Gene Siskel Film Center, Wednesday and Thursday

When we wrote about a rare showing of Max Orphuls' Lola Montes last year, we didn't think this intimate and epic - and painstakingly restored - 1955 film would be back so soon, but you have three more chances to see it, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 6:00 and 8:15 p.m., today, Wednesday, June 24th and 6:00 p.m. Thursday the 25th. It's on your way home from work; don't miss it. Courtesans and circuses, irresistible beauties, Bavarian kings, revolution and Franz Liszt - my take on this amazing, visually ravishing film - and the dramatic story behind it - here.
You can see another Orphuls masterpiece, The Earrings of Madame de . . , with Charles Boyer, Danielle Darrieux and Vittorio De Sica, Saturday, the 27th, at 3:00 p.m. and Thursday, July 2nd, at 6:00 p.m.

A film I haven't seen, but that is being called "a mesmerizing and eloquent essay" is Of Time and the City, from director Terence Davies, whose haunting, unforgettable The Long Day Closes knocked me on my ass in 1992. Of Time and the City is a return to the Liverpool of Closes and Davies' youth, "a love song and a eulogy" and his first documentary. "I wanted to cut it as if it were fiction," says Davies in an interview which you can view here. The film is also in its last two days at the Siskel, 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, 6:15 on Thursday.

The Gene Siskel Film Center is at 164 North State, 312/846.2600.

Great Advances in Elevator Design: Hell to Heaven in just 20 floors

Imagine leaving your swanky hotel room, entering the elevator and descending into hell. No, we're not talking about the trip down to the mall level at Illinois Center. It's actually an incredible installation, Civilization, created by video artist Marco Brambilla, working with Toronto's Studio Crush, that can be seen on an HD display through a viewing port in the elevators of André Balazs' swanky new hotel, The Standard New York, designed by Polshek Partnership Architects for a meatpacking district site straddling the newly opened High Line, from which views of guests having sex in the hotel's windows has apparently become a major competing attraction.

The 1920 x 7500 pixel video is composed of 500 clips from 400 sources - from stock, film (no doubt you'll recognize many of them) and original content - combined to form a spectacular tableau of six main sections: hell, lower purgatory, middle purgatory, upper purgatory, heaven and upper heave/lower hell. Yes, the damn thing loops, so you're constantly moving from the highest point of heaven, only to plunge right back to the depths of hell. Kind of like my average Friday night.
Brambilla and Crush Senior Artist Sean Cochrane discuss the project here.

View the entire video, and see photos of how it's mounted in the elevators, here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Park for People? No way. A Park for an Office Building? Here's $7 million

The irony is irresistible. Although a 2007 presentation by John Buck development head Greg Merdinger claimed they had offered the parcel on two separate occasions, the city refused to raise a finger to acquire the beautiful park adjacent to Kenzo Tange's AMA Building on State Street that Buck had spent millions to maintain over a decade and a half, despite the fact that it was the only real park space in the eastern half of River North, where residential population has exploded over the last decade with a building boom in condo, rental and hotel towers. Buck, whose original plan was always to have a companion structure next to the AMA, finally had enough. The park was destroyed, and a skyscraper hotel is now nearing completion on the site.

Now, however, the city is spending $7 million in TIF money to demolish three buildings and create a new 9,600 square foot park at Franklin and Randolph specifically to support John Buck's latest office tower right next door, with Buck kicking in the balance of the estimated $20 million price tag.

One can certainly understand why Buck would prefer to have something other than this . . .
at the end of the grand arcade of the Goettsch Partners designed, sleek new, 46 story 155 North Wacker.
So now the end structure on Franklin is undergoing demolition, the tiny 1870's Showmen's League Building,
which always seemed almost custom scaled for the diminutive Harry Heftman, who had been serving up hot dogs and snacks there since 1954. Heftman celebrated his 100th birthday in March, and Mayor Daley stopped by for a final hot dog and to extend his congratulations to the man whose business he was taking away in April.

The elephants that once graced the tympanums above the windows . . .
. . . have all been removed . . .
. . . and a century of history is being reduced to rubble. Harry, himself, has moved on to another gig, working for someone else for the first time in over sixty years.
In a recent newsletter, 42nd ward alderman Brendan Reilly published the site plan for the new green space, generically labeled the "Randolph Pocket Park," which will no doubt also benefit those residents of the handful of new developments in what remains an office-dominated district. If there's any justice in the world, it will quickly be renamed Harry Heftman Park. Maybe he'll even stop by for the dedication, with the mayor serving up hot dogs for everybody.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Zaha's Web, Ben's Incredible Ice Cream Suit - the Burnham Pavilions in Chicago's Millennium Park

Two Burnham Pavilions, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and UNStudio Ben van Berkel, were unveiled to the press Thursday morning just as the sun, breaking through the usually omnipresent clouds, set them both to brilliant shimmer. One of them is finished; the other is not. But even in its unfinished state, the Hadid pavilion had a delicate splendor. We were told it would soon be concealed from public view by a construction tarp, but we captured it in pictures before it disappeared under the covers.
Friday, June 19th, is the official opening. A photo essay, including videos of the architects explaining the origins of their designs and their relationship to Chicago and Daniel Burnham's 1909 plan, plus everything you need to know about this weekend's Burnham Centennial events, here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ellingsen tonight, cans and bricks this weekend, zoning later

Department of Goings-On - update edition:

Eric Ellingsen - tonight, Thursday, June 18th 6:00 p.m., at Archeworks, 625 N. Kingsbury at Ontario. A gallery talk on Ellingsen's exhibition SEA: Seeing Eye Architecture, a species of Architecture Service Animals, at the Extension Gallery at Archeworks through July 10th. SOS is described as "structured on the illogical leaps of open door collaboration, cultivated difference, the responsibility of risk, and the joy of the embodied imagination playing in space and matter."

Brickworld -
this weekend, Thursday through Sunday, a conference for adult Lego-maniacs, ($50.00 registration) with public days Saturday and Sunday, tickets sold at the door only $10.00 adults, $7.00 seniors, kids under 10 - kids under 3 free. Website site here. A great compendium of the amazing Lego structures that were seen at least year's event (it may be the only place you'll ever seen a completed Calatrava Spire) in photo's - including the one shown here - by the tireless Bob Johnson here.

Canstruction -
the annual event benefiting the Great Chicago Food Depository at the Apparel Center, 350 Mart Center Drive (or Franklin, just north of the river) in which sculptures are made out of 86,000 cans of food, to be donated to the Depository at the end of the show. A jury that included Alpana Singh, Jimmy Bannos, Craig Vespa and Zoka Zola this year awarded Juror's Favorite to Nagle Hartray's Can-tastic Voyage. You can check it out through June 28th, suggested donation at least one can of food. Ths photo here is also (inevitably?) from Bob Johnson, and I'm told on reliable authority that it's a dam.

History of Chicago's Zoning Code and its Current Implementation - Mary Jo Graf of DeStefano + Partners will moderate a panel including 42nd ward alderman Brendan Reilly and the man who, literally, (co)wrote the book on Chicago zoning, Prof. Joseph P. Schwieterman. It's being put on at the Chicago Yacht Club June 24th - $50.00 members, $60.00 members - and if you don't make yourself a royal pain, they'll let you stay and watch the Wednesday fireworks show afterwards. Info here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grainy video from last Thursday's Lighting Crown Hall

Last Thursday, June 11th, artist Jim Tichy and students from IIT, SAIC, Bauhaus-Universitat Weimar, and Bezalel Academy Tel Aviv presented Lighting Crown Hall, turning it into "a massive light box, sending video projections and elaborate time-base lighting sequences through the glass windows." The project was a collaborative venture with the School of the Art Institute and the Mies van der Rohe Society, and the culmination of Bauhaus Labs' three week summer session "exploring the ideas of visionary artist and educator Laszlo Moholy-Nagy."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

SAIC Student Show: Making Modern - opening reception and panel with Gordon Gill, Kelly Costello today

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to take in a great show featuring the thesis work of AIADO graduate students of the SAIC (Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects of the School of the Art Institute to you). The work is enriched by the varied backgrounds of the students - artists, writers, etc. We'll be writing more about this, hopefully soon, but we wanted to remind you that there's an opening reception today, Tuesday, June 16th, at 6:00 p.m. in SAIC's Sullivan Galleries, on the 7th floor of the former Carson Pirie Scott building. (enter at 33 S. State.)

At 4:00 p.m., there'll be a panel that will include architect Gordon Gill of Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill Architecture, design consultant Kelly Costello of Doblin, SAIC professors Hennie Reynders and Ben Nicholson, graduate students, and - God save us all - me. More information here:

And here's a brief video featuring exhibition designers Odile Campagnon and Hannah Swart. The audio is absolutely abysmal (I'm still learning this whole video on the run thing) but they have some interesting things to say about the show and the work.

Get up to HALF off on all books at the Prairie Avenue Bookshop

This is the good stuff, the stuff you can't get on your Kindle. Through July 18th, one of Chicago's great treasures, the Prairie Avenue Bookshop, is having a remarkable sale that presents an irresistible temptation to bulk up your library.

Buy $10-49.00, take 20% off; $50-99, 35%, and once you hit $100.00 - which is, what, half a Phaidon? - you start paying half price. The books can be new or out of print. The fine print? Books have to be in stock, payment due at time of invoicing, discount calculated pre-tax, and can't be combined with other offers, all sales final.

Hours: 10 to 6 MtoF, 10 to 4 Saturday, closed Sunday. 418 S. Wabash. 312/922.8311. Website here

Bon appetit.

van Berkel pavilion unveiled!

why does it put me in mind of an egg salad sandwich? (I think I need to go to lunch.) again, thanks to Bob Johnson for the pic.

Zaha has landed

Blair Kamin was reporting last week that the Zaha Hadid designed Burnham Centennial pavilion in Millennium Park was weeks behind schedule, with only the skelton likely to be place for this Friday's official opening. That skeleton is now being mounted on site, as you can see in this photo from our indefatigible correspondent, Bob Johnson. The wraps are coming off the Ben van Berkel pavilion to its north, which is scheduled to open on Friday.

Update: just got an invitation from the Burnham Centennial Committee that seems to indicate both pavilions will be available for viewing by late this week. Could Zaha Hadid's actually be assembled by then??

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cecil Balmond and the Bonfire of the Vanities

This is an article I should have completed eight months ago. It concerns the most brilliant man I’ve yet to meet, the engineer, architect and polymath Cecil Balmond. A striking exhibition of his work, Cecil Balmond: Solid Void, is entering its final week at the Graham Foundation, 4 West Burton Place. Sorry for the short notice, but you will regret it if you miss it.

Is the new austerity the death of "star-chitecture"? And what caused eight months of writer's block? An article on architecture after the fall, the work, thought and relevance of Cecil Balmond, and a brief history of the Indian Rope Trick -all copiously illustrated with images and videos - here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Waiting for Zaha

Remember when I wrote back in April about the Burnham Pavilions slated to open in Millennium Park on June 19th:
Will the stararchitects be able to match Burnham's 1893 creation of a perfect city, on-time, by opening day? Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.
Well, if you put your money on built-from-scratch Ben van Berkel, collect your winnings. Bet the ranch on Zaha? Pre-fab or no, better luck next time. Blair Kamin reports that Hadid's pavilion won't be ready, possibly for weeks after this Friday's official opening.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Reminder: Preservation Chicago Pilsen benefit, 2nd Fridays Gallery walk tonight

A quick reminder that the grassroots group Preservation Chicago is holding its spring benefit tonight, Friday, June 12th, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at 1835 S. Halsted, the heart of the Pilsen Chicago Arts District. The $30.00 at-the-door price includes beer, wine and appetizers, as well as music by the muy caliente Latin band, Son Bel Viento and d.j. LiMbs. There'll also be an exhibition of art by the organization's members and local artists and photographers, which you'll be able to buy directly from the artists. Full information here.

Tonight is also this month's 2nd Friday's Gallery Night, with 35 galleries, representing the work of over 100 artists, open from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. You can download a printable map here.

A rainless evening, a good cause, and a gallery walk in one of Chicago's most historic neighborhoods - what's not to like?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mr. Kamin Protests: Mr. Becker Apologizes - to a degree

Pulitzer Prize-winning Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune is among the nation's most respected architecture critics and, truth be hold, a very nice man. So when, he bitches and moans about being misrepresented you eventually have to listen.

The point of contention was a paragraph I wrote in my post about the travails of the old Chicago Post Office:
Of course, all of the city's dutifully sober critics at the time, most prominently Blair Kamin , dismissed the concept as a morbid caprice not even worth discussing. The big idea on their platter? Condo's. Carving condo's out of floorplates as big as two square blocks and actually suckering people into buying them. Yeah, right. Remind me again, which of those ideas was the big fantasy?
Almost immediately after the post hit the web, there was a comment posted by Mr. Kamin disputing the construction that inferred that he was among those proposing condo's for the site. So I added my own comment reprinting his actual words, and a sentence to the original post: "[Mr. Kamin takes exception: see comments]". This was apparently not enough, as Blair soon thereafter left a message on my home answering machine (unfortunately I was at work all day - sorry) again expressing his displeasure, which he indicated was shared by others posting comments on my site. (Actually, there was one.)

So I've included a revised paragraph on that post that I hope will remove any ambiguity about Mr. Kamin's position. He never proposed condo's for the Post Office, and I apologize if the paragraph in question inferred that he did.

The condo reference, however, was a secondary issue, a sideshow to the larger point that only a radical rethinking of the city may be enough to save it. Befitting his position as the critic of what remains, even in today's troubled state, one of the most powerful publications in America, Blair is kind of the pope of architectural criticsm, codifying the conventional wisdom of the moment. He is, in short, a supremely cautious man. He has many interesting things to say, but has he ever written anything that startled or surprised you?

Blair has a hard-won reputation to maintain. It is reasonable that he be cautious, even if not always useful.

I, on the other hand, have no reputation to speak of - other than, perhaps, that of the guy sitting alone at the far end of the bar spouting his opinions to the air - and am free to speak incautiously. And I say this: quibbling over the condo's reference is a pettifoggery diversion from the real issue: is the future of Chicago to be found catering to what "every business leader wants" when many of the most powerful of their number, traveling in a herd, have left us with a revised cityscape of staggering, generic mediocrity, or is that future to be found in a vision like John Ronan's for the old post office, and similar, muscular rethinkings of urban life that could actually lead to the city's salvation?

Got 12 cents a square foot? Take our Post Office - Please!

That's right, friends. Just 12 cents, a measly 12 cents per square foot, could make you the proud new owner of Chicago's largest antique: the 1932 former post office! Straddler of expressways, repeller of investors, threatening bankruptcy to any demolition company who dares to destroy it - it can all be yours!

That 12 cents comes from dividing the building's 2.5 million square feet (the Merchandise Mart has 4), into the suggested opening bid of $300,000 for an August 27th auction of the property. As reported by, among others, the Sun-Times David Roeder, Walton Street Capital has walked away from a $300 development plan that would have seen the razing of a large part of the building that crosses over the Eisenhower Expressway. The deal collapsed even though Walton was in line for a $51 million subsidy from the local TIF slush fund, and would have gotten back $9 million of the $10 million it was going to pay the postal service for the acquisition.

Now the postal service, spending $2 million a year just to keep the building shuttered, is reduced to playing the role of desperately motivated seller. "Whatever we can get from a sale," a spokesman told Roeder, "every penny counts." So that $300,000 could be the opening of a Dutch auction; not a floor, but a ceiling from which bids descend on a steep incline towards zero. If you're enough of a gambler, you might be able to win the behemoth on Harrison for not even the change in your pocket, just the lint.
The old Main Post Office was once a proud symbol of civic achievement, of American power and affluence. It's block long lobby was one of the most spectacular - if chilly - interiors in Chicago. Now it's garbage.
So we're back to square one. We could do a lot worse than to return to architect John Ronan's brilliant vision of turning the Post Office into a Municipal Mausoleum, a Pantheon for both Chicago's greatest and its common men and women, an incredible spectacle of urban drama that boldly re-imagined the expression of urban life - and death - through architecture.
Of course, all of the city's dutifully sober critics at the time, most prominently dismissed the concept as a morbid caprice not even worth discussing. The big idea on their platter? (Except for Blair Kamin. Blair Kamin never proposed condo's) Condo's. Carving condo's out of floorplates as big as two square blocks and actually suckering people into buying them. Yeah, right. Remind me again, which of those ideas was the big fantasy?
Read what I wrote about Ronan's proposal here - with illustrations - and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Recover from your Workday in just one graceful half hour: Rush Hour Concerts at the Cathedral of St. James

So here's the deal . . . Leave the office at 5:00 after a hard day, 5:15, have some Argo tea, snack's from Trader Joe's, perhaps even a little wine. 5:45, hear a chamber concert in one of Chicago's finest spaces, in one of its most historic churches. 6:15, applaud generously. Horrors of workday past now only a distant memory, head out, relaxed, refreshed, and primed to enjoy the rest of your evening.

That's the great concept behind the Rush Hour Concert series sponsored by the Cathedral of St. James. "Great music for busy lives," they call it, and with a reception and a 30 minute concert early every Tuesday evening through August 25th, and a superb roster of musicians that draws heavily from the ranks of Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera players, who's to argue?

St. James, itself, is a civic treasure, one of Chicago's oldest houses of worship. It was founded in 1834, just one year after the city's incorporation, the same year John Kinzie settled here. Along with another Chicago pioneer, Gurdon S. Hubbard and Margaret Helm he was considered the parish's founder, and early services were held in rented quarters in a wood building at State and Kinzie streets which he furnished. Kinzie would later donate the land at Wabash and Illinois where in 1837 a new brick church, costing $14,000, was dedicated. Pews were sold at auction, netting $13,862.

In 1856, at a time when most of Chicago's earliest churches were moving to south Wabash Avenue from present homes centered around the public square that's now the site of City/County building, St. James moved even farther north, to its present location a block south of Holy Name Cathedral, into a $100,000 edifice by architect Edward Burling, who would later bring a young, pre-Sullivan Dankmar Adler into partnership in his firm.

Just after the dedication of a new organ, the Great Fire of 1871 hit. As one eyewitness described it, "I saw the beautiful Episcopal Church of St James in flames. They came on all sides, licking the marble buttresses, one by one, and leaving charred or blackened masses. But the most wonderful sight of all was the white shining church tower, from which, as I looked, burst tongues of fire." That bell tower, along with portions of the facade, were among the few structures left standing in a city reduced to rubble.

As Chicago boomed in the last part of 19th century, St. James' congregation grew wealthy and elite. As quickly as the 1920's, however, the tide turned. The wealthy had moved on; their former mansions cut up into apartments as the neighborhood veered toward skid-row.

Now, of course, the neighborhood, renamed by developers "The Cathedral District" to help move the pricey condo's, is again thriving. A multi-million dollar 1980's restoration brought most of the St. James back to the Arts and Crafts, Victorian Gothic design of the 1890's.

The Rush Hour Concerts series kicked off June 2nd. Next Tuesday's event on the 16th features no fewer than eight cellists from the CSO and Lyric, along with soprano Maire O'Brien and conductor Michael Mulcahy. The programs are extremely varied and creative: Gershwin and Ives on the 23rd, a brass transcription of Shostakovich's String Quarter No. 12 on the 30th, Couperin for Bastille Day on July 14th, Poulenc on the 21st. On the 4th of August, there's CSO principal oboe Eugene Izotov with cellist Katinka Kleijn and organist David Schrader: 11 more concerts in all from now through the end of summer. Check out the full details here. St. James Cathedral is at Wabash at Huron.