Street Smart Chicago

411: City Within a City

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Big Building, Big Issues
Three years ago, when photographer and software engineer Steven Dahlman moved to Chicago, he knew where he wanted to live: Marina City. “I was just mesmerized by the building,” he recalls. Since then the twin beehives have provided him with more than just shelter. The iconic complex is the subject of his upcoming book, “City Within a City,” as well as of his Web site, About a year ago, Dahlman’s friend and fellow Marina City resident Michael Michalak got involved in the site, which has become an independent voice often at odds with the Marina Towers Condominium Association. Sources of conflict have included the possible historic landmarking of the buildings, control of intellectual property rights and the choice of commercial tenants for the lower floors. “If it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have a Web site,” Dahlman laughs. “I didn’t want to be reporting lost kitties. Thanks to the homeowners association I have a lot to write about.”

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