The “lost” Tigerman McCurry interview

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A conversation with Stanley Tigerman and Margaret McCurry about the past, present, and future of their impact on Chicago-area architecture.

The peak postmodern Self-Park parking garage by Stanley Tigerman, completed in 1986. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers

For the October 2018 issue of Chicago magazine, I worked on a roundup of homes for sale throughout the Chicago metro area designed by Stanley Tigerman and Margaret McCurry. The piece was published in print and online, but much of the interview portion remained unavailable until now.

To commemorate the recent passing of Stanley Tigerman, I believe that it’d be helpful to share the entirety of the discussion, particularly Tigerman reflecting on his own legacy and place in architectural history. From the conversation, it became evident to me that Stanley was not as interested in being remembered for his buildings so much as his reputation as a teacher, mentor, and critic of architecture and design — as a profession and a creative and philosophical endeavor.

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Open Elgin 2019

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Open Elgin flag in front of the Elgin Professional Building [Eric Allix Rogers/Chicago Patterns]

Inspired by the success of Open House Chicago, the Elgin Area Chamber and the Elgin Development Group launched Open Elgin in 2017. Open Elgin returns for its third installment on Saturday, April 27, 2019. The one-afternoon-only event is manageable in scale, featuring just 27 sites largely clustered around Elgin’s charming, historic, and walkable downtown.

The list of this year’s sites is available online. What follows are some highlights from last year’s event, all but one of which are featured again this year.

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Development and dystopia in Chicago


A wave of mega-developments represent billions of dollars of new investment in Chicago, but how much say does the public really have in these plans?

A screenshot from the opening sequence of the 1989 sci-fi anime AKIRA, which takes place in the dystopian “Neo Tokyo” of 2019.

The year: 2019. The city: Chicago.

A former industrial giant overshadowed by its coastal peers and emerging metropolises abroad. Mega-developers step up to the plate to clear entire swaths of the city and populate vast corridors with anonymous glass skyscrapers and attractions that symbolize Chicago’s metamorphosis from a waning post-industrial might to an idyllic 21st-century mega-metropolis.

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The Chicago Alderman Who Outlawed Tall Hats and Tried to Outlaw Football

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1930 N. Cleveland, once home to Alderman Plotke [John Morris/Chicago Patterns]

At 1930 N. Cleveland St, a white Italianate cottage (above) stands as an ornate link to Nathan Plotke, a mostly forgotten Chicago alderman and Illinois state legislator, who, in 1897 made national headlines with two articles of legislation.

He gained notoriety for his efforts to prohibit the wearing of tall hats in a theater, and later ridicule for his attempt to outlaw football in the city of Chicago. He was additionally remembered by his children for making an incorrect prediction about the Great Fire in 1871.

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