Saturday, October 14, 2006


The City of Chicago, in the midst of a full-court press to become home to the 2016 Summer Olympics, last week revealed the logo for its campaign. It features an abstraction of the city's skyline as the flame atop a green (for Chicago as America's greenest city) and blue torch.

It's pretty lame. The torch looks more like a golf tee, and the skyline making up the flame is so generic it could be anywhere. But then most Olympic logos look like they were designed by committee. The best of those pictured here is probably the one for Beijing, which got to cheat because they have a pictograph writing system that's a lot more inherently visual than the West's drastically more limited set of staid characters.

On this week's Hello, Beautiful, the Sunday arts program on WBEZ-FM (91.5 - 10:00 A.M.), host Edward Lifson will be talking to Ross Wimer, the rising new star at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the powerhouse architectural firm responsible for the Chicago Olympics master plan. Perhaps there'll also be time to talk about the internal changes at SOM which have seen long-time design partner Adrian Smith leave to set up his own firm with a still undetermined number of co-exiles.

Then on Monday, October 23rd, the Chicago Architectural Foundation is sponsoring a special free lunchtime lecture at 12:15 P.M. where SOM partner Thomas Kerwin will join Patrick Ryan, Executive Chairman of Aon Corporation and Chairman of the Chicago 2016 committee, to discuss how the city's plan for the games "integrate with the city’s downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods"

Also last week, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Frank Kreusi at his side, announced that he is suspending all mayoral elections through a newly scheduled special election in May of 2017. "It is essential," Daley said, "to keep partisan politics from getting in the way of this vital program that will so greatly benefit this city, its citizens and its contractors, as well as provide the rationale for everything I could possibly want during the next 10 ten years, from a new CTA Circle Line, to a privatized $1.5 billion express train system to O'Hare, and a summer 2016 program to kidnap and transport 300,000 downtown residents to undisclosed resorts in Michigan's upper peninsula to minimize congestion during the games." (Just kidding - I hope.)

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