| May 7, 2014
| 2:21 PM
How many times has this happened to you? You're taking out-of-town visitors around the Loop or another popular neighborhood, and they point to a building you've seen thousands of times before and ask "What's that?" You hem and haw while your credibility...
| May 9, 2014
"The Chicago Literary Club is neither literary nor a club. Discuss."
So posits Bill Barnhart in a paper he prepared for presentation at the April 28 meeting of the club. The paper, titled "Clubbing," recounts the history of one of Chicago's august...
| Apr 5, 2014
| 10:00 PM
Survey modern Chicago — its abundant natural resources, its muscular skyline and powerhouse institutions — and you might conclude that the city was destined to rank among the world's elite.
Not necessarily. Chicago is an engine powered by...
| May 2, 2014
| 1:26 PM
Since October we've fielded more than 1,000 ideas from Tribune readers about how to build a better Chicago. The range of proposals is impressively diverse. But one luminous thread twists through essay after essay, as if many writers had secretly convened:...
| Feb 2, 2014
Chicago's heart-stopping lakefront, thrumming Loop and brawny riverfront did not happen by accident or sheer luck.
This city rose from swamp to global elite because people — including famed architect Daniel Burnham and a legion of politicians,...
| Jan 24, 2014
On the occasion of its 40 years in publishing, Chicago Review Press recently bought itself an anniversary present: Academy Chicago Publishers, one of the city's oldest independent publishers.
This piece first ran in Printers...
| Jan 12, 2014
| 10:28 AM
Imagine city leaders surveying Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871, a landscape of ash and ruin. Their task, as daunting as it must have been exhilarating: Build the city again, from the husk of what was. Build it better.
Thirty-eight years later,...
| Jun 25, 2014
| 4:48 PM
For more than a century, The Force -- as in the force of law -- has been with open space advocates as they battled to keep Chicago’s lakefront free of buildings.
In 1909, Aaron Montgomery Ward won a historic court fight that kept the Field...
| Jun 26, 2014
"(I)n no instance will further private development be permitted east of Lake Shore Drive."
— Lakefront Plan of Chicago
Chicago, already a huge draw for tourists, is the logical place for George Lucas to display his collection of art and movie...
| Jun 27, 2014
Five years after unveiling plans for a public memorial to the great Chicago architect and planner Daniel Burnham, the project's backers issued a revised concept Thursday that includes an interactive, 1.6-mile walking trail stretching from Millennium...
| Jun 15, 2014
A century ago civic architect Daniel Burnham mapped a physical future for this city. He had intended to design social remedies as well but didn't deliver. Today, with education failures, joblessness, crime and other intertwined challenges confronting...