Who would have the nerve to knock down a unique landmark building over the horrified protests of an international roster of top architects one year, then launch a global architectural forum courting the respect and participation of the same architects the very next year? Why, Chicago would! Ergo, the first-ever Chicago Architecture Biennial, anchored by events at the Chicago Cultural Center and scheduled for a three-month run starting October 3. Devised by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the Graham Foundation and intended to spotlight Chicago’s position as a hub of architectural history and innovation, it probably won’t include a tour of the Prentice Hospital site on the NU Chicago campus, where yet another glass high-rise is replacing Bertrand Goldberg’s floating concrete cylinders. The CAB is a promising idea, but this is chutzpah of a pretty high order. And we’re already famous for that.
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