A daily blog on architecture in Chicago, and other topics cultural, political and mineral.
Click on the COMMENTS link under each post to join the discussion.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Winter's Bleakness Lost in Memories of a Japanese Garden
Freezing should be for microwave dinners, not people. As it wears on, I'm sure I'll rediscover the satisfactions of winter, but as the first chill blasts descend, I find the prospect as depressing as the ever-earlier sunsets.
click on images for larger view
It's the unexpected discovery that makes the unpalatable endurable. Although there are good buildings, I find much of the Medical Center campus a fairly depressing environment. And then there's the unexpected. . .
In a district where the architecture often seems to be in a style called 1984 bureaucratic, it's refreshing to discover this building on Polk Street - currently an outpost facility for corporate behemoth United Health Care - steeped in an amiable modernist eccentricity. (Anyone have any information on the structure's history and architect?)
What's really unexpected, however, is coming across a serenely elegant Japanese garden.
To encounter the carefully sculpted foliage and lovingly tended flowers, humanizing the hard-edged architecture, is to be revitalized with delight. To remember that it was there for the finding little more than a month ago, and will return again if we just hang in for a few months more, makes phrases like "highs in the single digits", "gale force winds", and "blinding icestorms" almost bearable.