Thompson Middle: Contest seeks concepts for saving the Loop constructing

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For anybody who passionately believes that Chicago’s James R. Thompson Middle needs to be saved, right here’s your likelihood: a contest for one of the best concepts to protect it.

It’s the 2021 Chicago Prize, provided by the Chicago Structure Middle, which promotes the town’s design, and the Chicago Architectural Membership.

The competition requires critical proposals for reusing the constructing at 100 W. Randolph St. It has been the house of state authorities in Chicago since 1985, however years of neglect have taken a toll. State officers are decided to promote the constructing to a developer, which might imply its demolition.

For a lot of, preserving the constructing within the coronary heart of the Loop gained urgency with the demise in Might of its creator, Helmut Jahn. A Chicago-based architect of world renown, Jahn died in a crash whereas driving his bicycle. He was 81.

The competitors temporary for the prize stated, “The Thompson Middle has been pivotal to Chicago as a transit hub, a revolutionary civic heart that opened itself to the town, and an architectural milestone that symbolized a daring transition and regarded towards a brand new way forward for structure. Can our strategy to renewal be one which doesn’t lead to erasure however that builds upon the foundations of the previous?”

The temporary acknowledges that opinions in regards to the constructing run the gamut. Some name it ugly, others a postmodern masterpiece. However the contest focuses on Jahn’s design as a reinterpretation of presidency structure, with a hovering glass atrium that modernizes the classical rotunda. The 17-story constructing symbolizes openness in authorities and was an try to deliver it nearer to individuals, with a big house indoors and open air for public occasions.

Preservation teams have put it on their annual lists of most endangered historic or distinguished buildings for a number of years operating. The constructing is a connection to 6 CTA L Traces, which state officers need maintained in any renovation or new development.

Contest supplies say it’s open to anybody, however it’s meant for professionals or college students of structure or associated disciplines. Submissions are due July 19 and winners will probably be introduced in August, the structure membership stated.

The primary prize winner will get $1,500. Second and third prizes earn $1,000 and $500, respectively. The Chicago Structure Middle, 111 E. Wacker Drive, plans an exhibit showcasing the entries this fall.

Entrants should register and pay a payment. The registration deadline is July 2. Additional data is accessible at

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