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09/03/2015Blair Kamin: 10 Big Events on the Architecture Landscape for Fall

Sept. 03--Sipping her morning Starbucks -- it's how she keeps going amid the grind of 15-hour days -- the co-artistic director of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial dropped a few hints about what the big architectural exhibition has in store. A metal "hedge" designed by Chicago architect John Ronan will form a courtyard-like space outside the Chicago Cultural Center, where the biennial ...
09/03/2015L.A. Contemporary Art Expert Franklin Sirmans Named Director of Pérez Art Museum Miami

Sept. 03--Franklin Sirmans remembers visiting the Pérez Art Museum Miami when it opened in December of 2013 and feeling a sense of awe. "I was just like, 'Wow. You guys getting to make exhibitions in this building is going to be absolutely incredible,'" he recalled. Now Sirmans, the 46-year-old curator of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will be the one making exhibitions ...
09/04/2015Inga Saffron: Improving Safety and Protecting Vibrancy of Philadelphia's Washington Avenue

Sept. 04--Anyone traveling Washington Avenue these days had better have quick reflexes and nerves of steel. The right lane is nearly always blocked by something, and often the left one is as well, despite the street's role as a major connector between Columbus Boulevard and I-76. Trucks off-load crates of vegetables for the Italian Market. Cars line up to enter a popular Vietnamese shopping ...
09/01/2015Blair Kamin: Northerly Island Park Opens Friday on Chicago Lakefront

Sept. 01--Twelve years after former Mayor Richard M. Daley's "midnight raid" that shut down the small lakefront airstrip called Meigs Field, a new park will open Friday on the southern portion of what is now called Northerly Island, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday. Accompanied by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the mayor previewed the 40-acre, $9.7 million park, which features man-made hills, a ...
09/01/2015Blair Kamin: Renzo Piano, Helmut Jahn Among Architects Vying for Obama Library

Sept. 01--When Barack Obama's people announced last week that they are searching worldwide for an architect for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, they won no points for transparency. Martin Nesbitt, chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation, declined to identify the firms that were invited to submit qualifications for the center or to say how many were invited. He did reveal, though, ...
09/01/2015Vacant Herald Examiner Building in Downtown L.A. to Be Converted to Mixed Use

Sept. 01--The former offices of the Herald Examiner opened a century ago on Broadway with red-tiled roofs and prominent arches in the Mission Revival style inspired by California's past. Now the downtown Los Angeles landmark, vacant since the newspaper closed in 1989, will experience yet another sort of revival: conversion into creative offices and mixed use, the latest trend in commercial ...
08/31/2015LA Times Architecture News Roundup

Aug. 31--The idea that artists should make less money off sales of their work in galleries has some in the art world up in arms. Reviews on the new Broad museum are starting to trickle in. And Islamic State is at it again in Palmyra -- trying to destroy still more ancient heritage sites. Plus: A Los Angeles County Museum of Art throwdown, the death of the American lawn and merch inspired by ...
08/31/2015Architects Challenged to Reboot Los Angeles at A+D Museum

As the latest forecasts predict a “ Godzilla El Nino ” for southern California this winter, water, as always, is on the drought-stricken territory’s mind. The coming season is shaping up to be even wetter than the record-breaking winter of 1997, when rainfall was double the average. With such predictions come concerns that the Devil’s Gate Dam in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains ...
09/02/2015Nigerian Designer Demas Nwoko's Dominican Chapel in Ibadan

Dusk falls in Ibadan and the Dominican friars sing their evening prayers in reverberating harmony. The last rays of sun shine through the window of the chapel's tower, illuminating the crucifix on the wall behind the altar. One imagines it was the effect the chapel's Nigerian designer, Demas Nwoko, had in mind. After all, he designed each detail of the building - large and small - with ...
08/30/2015The Goods Line: a Welcome Green Corridor for Sydney

On Sunday, Sydney locals walked a key inner-city corridor for the first time since 1855. For 129 years the Goods Line carried some of Australia’s most important commodities: coal, shale, wheat and timber. By the time the train line was put to bed in the 1980s, gone was heavy industry and in its place were cultural institutions including the ABC studios, the Powerhouse museum and the University ...
08/30/2015Historic Upstate New York Chautauqua Amphitheater Headed for Demolition?

Aug. 30--The historic Chautauqua Amphitheater outlasted two world wars, the Great Depression and the Great Recession. But the National Historic Landmark -- the nation's highest preservation designation -- may have met its match at Saturday's vote by Chautauqua Institution's board of trustees. The majority of the 24 members paved the way for the demolition of the 122-year-old amphitheater by ...
08/30/2015Steve Lackmeyer: Keeping the craft of Vitrolite Installation Alive

Aug. 30--Vitrolite glass, once a signature material during the heyday of the Art Deco era, hasn't been manufactured since 1950. But two men have kept the craft of installing the glass alive and are playing a key role in the restoration of the Tower Theater in Uptown. The glass might be a familiar sight to some in Oklahoma City -- "cadet blue" Vitrolite tiles brightened the facade of the Union ...
08/29/2015Japan's Olympic Stadium Cost Capped at ¥155 Billion

Aug. 29--In the latest bid to ease frustrations over bloated construction costs for the new National Stadium, the government Friday decided on a new plan for the project, which will be the main venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. It set the upper limit of construction costs at Y155 billion, down 41.5 percent from the previously estimated Y265 billion. In its plan to reduce costs, the ...
08/29/2015Frank Gehry Faces Monumental Challenge in L.A. River Project

Aug. 29--Cutting through a region whose wildly different parts don't always seem to add up to a cohesive whole, the Los Angeles River reflects the neighborhoods through which it runs: Shaded and bucolic in the San Fernando Valley, a concrete gulch teeming with graffiti near the rail yards east of downtown. Architect Frank Gehry says that he wants to remake this largely derelict waterway with a ...
08/28/2015Private Miami Museum for Turrell, Serra Works Clears Zoning Hurdle

Aug. 28--Miami hedge-fund manager Bruce Berkowitz is happy to have survived the white-knuckle roller-coaster ride -- and we don't mean the wild stock-market swings of the past few days. After months of scrutiny and delay, Berkowitz said, Miami zoning officials on Friday cleared the way for him to build a starkly imposing private Biscayne Boulevard museum designed around a pair of monumental ...
08/28/2015A 'Linear Central Park': Frank Gehry's Plan for L.A. River Takes Shape

Aug. 28--Partners in the firm of renowned architect Frank Gehry publicly unveiled on Friday the first steps they have taken toward what appears to be a comprehensive redesign of the Los Angeles River. They said the project could include a reengineering of the river to improve water reclamation and an overarching scheme for parkland, real estate development and bicycle and pedestrian paths ...
08/28/2015Inga Saffron: It's What Makes Subaru a Tax Dodge

Aug. 28--Over the years, New Jersey officials have come up with one scheme after another to revive Camden, the state's poorest city. First, there was the entertainment zone along the Delaware waterfront. Now, there is the Gateway District off Admiral Wilson Boulevard, near Campbell Soup. All have involved oodles of tax breaks, acres of surface parking, and relatively few jobs for the ...
08/28/2015First Look at Gehry's Vision for L.A. River Makeover

Aug. 28--Reporters are being offered a first look Friday at the work renowned architect Frank Gehry has done in preparation for what officials are calling a "comprehensive vision" for redeveloping the Los Angeles River. Gehry, the L.A.-based architect behind such iconic structures as Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, has spent months on the groundwork for a ...
08/27/2015Japan Considers Capping Cost of Olympic Stadium at 155B Yen

The Japanese government plans to cap the cost of building the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at 155 billion yen ($1.29 billion), much lower than the 252 billion yen projected under a recently scrapped plan, government sources said Thursday. The cap will be part of a new National Stadium construction plan the government will finalize at a meeting of Cabinet ministers on Friday after ...
08/05/2015The City Applauds Seattle's Art Fair

Who knew Paul Allen cared this much about art? He has emerged as Seattle art's mega-patron. | By Jen Graves When the clock struck 6 p.m. on Sunday night and the loudspeaker announced, "Seattle Art Fair is now closed," the few hundred stragglers still standing inside CenturyLink Field Event Center clapped and cheered. They were exhausted, relieved, exhilarated, and already nostalgic. The fair ...
08/26/2015Blair Kamin & Dahleen Glanton: Worldwide Search to Select Obama Library Architect

Aug. 26--The foundation tasked with building the Barack Obama Presidential Center will cast a global net in its search for an architect, asking designers from the United States and overseas to compete for the prized Chicago commission, officials said Wednesday. The officials on Wednesday issued a request for qualifications to architects who may vie for the project. It asked them to submit ...
08/26/2015Terrain Biennial Shows Off Art—and Suburban Front Porches

Aug. 26--If you didn't make it to Venice this summer and won't get to Istanbul in the fall, don't despair. There's always Oak Park. Oak Park? Yes, Oak Park. Reachable by the Green and Blue lines, a handsome suburb famous for its cluster of Frank Lloyd Wright homes and, now, the city's funkiest and most ambitious biennial. The Terrain Biennial, presently in its second year, was founded by ...
08/26/20152020 Tokyo Olympics: IOC Demands Earlier Stadium Opening

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) demanded on Tuesday that Japan complete its new national stadium by January 2020, three months earlier than planned. "It won't be easy to shorten the construction schedule," said Olympics minister Toshiaki Endo after IOC vice-president John Coates pressed Japan to complete the stadium six months before the start of the summer Games. The commission ...
08/24/2015LA Times Architecture Roundup: Islamic State militants destroy World Heritage Site in Syria, sneak peek of the Broad exhibition, LA versus Bay Area tech architecture

Aug. 24--Islamic militants destroy a 2,000-year-old temple in Syria. A pair of L.A. architects defend a new design proposal for the L.A. County Museum of Art. And a prominent architect criticizes the decision to not build a Zaha Hadid-designed stadium in Tokyo. Plus: Banksy's take on Disneyland, tourists get freaky with a Nicki Minaj statue in Vegas and a photographer captures the treadmill ...
08/23/2015Inga Saffron: Germantown's Market Square

Aug. 23--As you rumble along the cobblestone avenue into the historic heart of Germantown, the street suddenly opens up to reveal a charming town common that looks more New England than Philadelphia. Known as Market Square, the half-acre park at Church Lane is bordered by an evocative mix of early American architecture. You can easily imagine Martha Washington haggling over produce brought in ...

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