I Could Live Here: The ChicagoAuthor:Erin Feher
Tomorrow I leave for Chicago, and turns out I’m not the only Californian with my eye on the windy city. San Francisco starchitect Stanley Saitowitz of Natoma Architects just released some shiny renderings for The Chicago, a 64-story residential tower on a long-vacant site at Roosevelt and Michigan. Ok, I throw that intersection around like I have some clue to its importance, when the truth is I’ve only been to Chicago once, when I was 10, and I probably didn’t see much beyond the Hard Rock Cafe (my bucket list looked very different before puberty).
I’m headed there to give a lecture at the Dreihaus Museum on the architectural history of San Francisco, and so I was thinking this trip was more business than pleasure. But every time I mentioned my destination to co-workers, they swooned: “Chicago?! I looooooove Chicago,” like I had told them I was off to Paris or something. So I started poking around and now I can’t wait to explore…the city of the big shoulders? Yeah, that’s one of its nicknames. I’ve heard a few theories: One is because unlike New York where the iconic buildings of the skyline tend to taper at the top, Chicago buildings are wide on top. The other is all those big backed railroad workers. Eitherway, poet Carl Sandberg coined it in 1916 in his poem Chicago.
Saitowitz’s design supports theory one, as it’s not only wide, but bulging with extruded blocks of glass. Mini floating parks even dot the exterior. It’s definitely the kind of place I could picture myself in if I ever made the monumental decision to move back to the midwest. I would love to see the interiors of the units, but apparently the developers are still in a major dreaming phase. According to Curbed Chicago, a rep from Saitowitz’s office emphasized: “This was purely a conceptual exercise and in no way represents what may or may not be built.”