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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

BY ZACH MORTICE

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High-curbed planters break up the flow of traffic on Argyle Street. Photo by Zach Mortice.

Argyle Street, on Chicago’s Far North Side, is a sort of small-town main street in the big city. It’s the hub of Chicago’s Southeast Asian community, which has built one of the city’s most welcoming and intimate ethnic enclaves. Vietnamese grocery stores, exuberant murals, gift shops, and community nonprofits abound; pho soup restaurants make the entire street smell like lemongrass. It’s also the first (more…)

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BY CAROL BECKER

Hoerr Schaudt's Michigan Avenue plantings in Chicago return the investment near and far.

Hoerr Schaudt’s Michigan Avenue plantings in Chicago return the investment near and far.

From the September 2016 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

You might be in Xanadu, having lunch in an outdoor café on Michigan Avenue. You are steps from noisy traffic, but flower baskets surround every café, parkways are lush with flower beds, and every available space along the sidewalk, both public and private, is given over to gardens, urns full of flowers, statuary, and well-kept trees. A garden grows in the middle of the six-lane avenue. Twenty-five years ago, Chicago’s main downtown thoroughfare was little different from many others—you shopped or ate or saw sites or worked and lived along city streets with young trees under tree grates, with not much else that was living to separate people from constant high-speed traffic and the railroad yards.

Today it’s all different, owing to the Michigan Avenue Streetscape project, recipient of the 2016 ASLA Landmark Award, given to works of landscape architecture between 15 and 50 years old that have kept their design integrity and contribute to the public realm. The project has proved its worth for tourism, real estate, retail shopping, dining, and quality of life for the millions of people who find themselves on the avenue every year. Michigan Avenue has become a destination in itself. The Streetscape (which includes only the median plantings and not the many other streetside plantings that have followed) guides (more…)

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BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER

In Chicago, an urban farm muscles in on an award-winning landscape.

In Chicago, an urban farm muscles in on an award-winning landscape.

From the May 2016 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Not long after the landscape went in, the farm began encroaching. The black-eyed Susans were replaced by herbs. The shining sumac and Indiangrass were dug up to make way for chickens. And a copse of Skyrocket oaks, which screened the residential building’s parking lot from a traffic-choked section of Chicago’s Ogden Avenue, was next on the chopping block.

Mimi McKay, ASLA, the landscape architect for the project, known as Harvest Commons, got a call from Dave Snyder, the staff gardener. “Dave said that he was gonna build a chicken run and that he was gonna remove the oak trees to do it, and I had an absolute cow,” McKay recalls. “I said, ‘You absolutely cannot remove them—and you don’t have to remove them.’”

McKay, the principal at McKay Landscape Architects in Chicago, saved the oaks, but other landscape elements—elements that played a significant role in (more…)

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A new film focuses on Jens Jensen.

From the April 2015 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Jens Jensen didn’t care much for the White City. According to the new documentary Jens Jensen: The Living Green, he, along with the architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, rejected the European influence of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and embraced the prairie and its ecology as the American landscape idiom. Today, many of his pioneering ideas about the use of native plants and landscape conservation have new currency. Jensen, who was born in Denmark but is closely associated with Chicago’s urban parks and midwestern landscape preservation, will be the subject of an Earth Day observance at the New York Botanical Garden. A screening of the documentary will be followed by a panel discussion with Darrel Morrison, FASLA; Robert Grese, ASLA; the filmmaker Carey Lundin; and Jensen’s great-granddaughter, Jensen Wheeler Wolfe.

Jens Jensen: The Living Green Film Screening and Panel Discussion at the National Building Museum, April 14, 2016, 7:00–8:30 p.m.

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Credit: Iain Thompson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Find the LAM staff out and about in March and April:

March 23–26

2016 Conference of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, Salt Lake City

April 26–28

Lightfair International, San Diego

You can also find Landscape Architecture Magazine this spring at the following shows:

April 18–20

Coverings, Chicago

April 26–28

Lightfair International, San Diego

And as always, at more than 200 Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.

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BY SONJA DÜMPELMANN

Street tree plant-ins in New York City.

Street tree plant-ins in New York City.

From the December 2015 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

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White characters in What Are We Going to Do, Michael? (1973) tell the story of African American activist Hattie Carthan’s fight to save a southern magnolia tree.

In the 1973 children’s story What Are We Going to Do, Michael? 10-year-old Michael, together with his neighbor Mrs. Jacobson, helps to save an 80-year-old southern magnolia tree that is threatened with being cut down to make way for an urban renewal project in their neighborhood. Nellie Burchardt’s story is based upon true facts and events that occurred in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Yet, the way in which Burchardt portrays Michael and Mrs. Jacobson belies parts of the true story. In the children’s book, the two protagonists appear as white residents of a run-down, racially diverse neighborhood. In reality, Mrs. Jacobson was Hattie Carthan, an African American woman in her 70s living on a deteriorating neighborhood block in Bedford-Stuyvesant. By 1970, Bedford-Stuyvesant had become one of the largest African American communities in the United States, and, as Harold X. Connolly wrote in 1977, “a code word…for America’s unresolved urban and race problems.” It is unclear whether Burchardt’s choice to change the race of her protagonists had anything to do with the sales or readership aspirations for the book, or with the more idealist educational and egalitarian aspirations to cultivate white children’s empathy and awareness of nature in the city and of its ethnically and racially diverse citizenry, or, in turn, even with an unabashed racism. In any case the choice of the story itself as well as the changes made to its principal characters reflect (more…)

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The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.

Slide Crater at Maggie Daley Park features multiple slide options for children 5 to 12 years old. Credit: Alex MacLean.

Slide Crater at Maggie Daley Park features multiple slide options for children 5 to 12 years old. Credit: Alex MacLean.

From “We Got Fun. And Foam.” by Timothy A. Schuler, in the November 2015 issue, featuring Maggie Daley Park, Chicago’s newest addition to lakeside Grant Park.

“Maggie Daley Park is like a fantasyland of colors and shapes. It’s like staring into an aquarium!”

—Chris McGee, LAM Art Director

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 200 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

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