Monday, January 23, 2006

Another Chicago Miniature Modernist Gem Bites the Dust

Episcopal Center of Chicago statueNot that long along, there was a 60's era mid-rise office building just off Michigan Avenue, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill that, although largely unheralded, was one that firm's more graceful creations. It's lithe frame was not of steel, but of a rusticated poured concrete, and on the lobby floor there was a broad wall of handsome onyx set in bronze frames, so bright and rich that it looked almost eccentric, seeming to pop out like an effect in a 3-D movie beyond the austere visual framework of the building. The structure was demolished, without protest, for the 2004's 56 story 55 East Erie Condo tower.

Now, just a block north, another graceful piece of modernism, 1969's Episcopal Church Center, behind the historic St. James Cathedral, is about to meet a similar fate. Read about it, and see the pictures here.

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