On site at 188 Randolph, Chicago

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Randolph Tower in the Loop, Chicago, is undergoing the largest ever removal and replacement of terracotta. Mark Kuberski, Central Building and Preservation, the Contractors on this almighty project, was kind enough to give me the grand tour of this 45 storey skyscraper. With hard hats donned, we made our way to the site office, where … Continue reading

Extreme Window Cleaning

Walking across the Loop to get to a meeting I came across these fellows: Not a bad job! Two of my favourite things… abseilling and terracotta skyscrapers. They did look quite precarious as water splashed from their buckets. Below, a small section of the pavement was cordoned off with cones while the end of their … Continue reading

Re-Crowning Chicago

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I’ve had some great meetings this week so far and have come across the use of GFRC for replacement in place of terracotta a fair bit, particularly to reinstate large cornices. Mary Brush, Holabird and Root is working on repair of the exterior wall of 37 South Wabash. GFRC is being used for the first time at a … Continue reading

Travel: by train and toe

I’ve just boarded a double decker super shiny silver train to travel west of Chicago for a couple of meetings. This alone is pretty exciting. The upper deck has single rows of seating, even the luggage racks are amusing, ladder like racks hung over the galleys above the first floor layer of passengers. I of … Continue reading

Chicago’s Cloud Scrapers Rise

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I’m very happy to be in Chicago (it’s my kind of town). Architecturally I should start with the Art Institute building by Daniel Burnham with its typical Beaux Arts style so popular at this time. But as I am looking at the development of buildings technically, I would say this building is the key, the Monadnock Building by … Continue reading