Making Mies Whole In Berlin After Six Years And $165 Million?
“The modernist maestro had carte blanche to build a great museum,” reports Oliver Wainwright at the Guardian of the restoration work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin by British architect David Chipperfield. “The result? A breathtaking icon hopeless for displaying art… After a process of forensic archival research and archaeological examination, 35,000 building components have been carefully dismantled, restored and returned to their precise positions in a meticulous refurbishment. Not that you’re supposed to notice. Unlike his celebrated work on Berlin’s Neues Museum, where modern additions were inserted into the bombed-out shell of the nineteenth-century building, Chipperfield’s task here was to disappear. ‘As much Mies as possible’ was the guiding principle and, comparing the 1960s photographs with today’s, you would be hard-pressed to spot the difference. The glass is clearer, the matte black steelwork more all-absorbing, the granite and timber crisper… ‘A window used to crack once or twice a year,’ says head of the gallery Joachim Jäger, standing beneath the five-meter-wide panes that enclose the main hall. ‘We could never find the same glass to replace them. And the doors were far too small to bring large artworks inside–Mies had no idea what the space would be used for.’ He lists a litany of practical problems with the vast hangar, from puddles of water forming in the gallery owing to the condensation to the lack of walls to display artwork. Not that any of this would have much bothered Mies.” More here.
Kirkland & Ellis Moving To Wolf Point Tower
“Law firm Kirkland & Ellis, in one of downtown’s largest office leases in years… will move to the Salesforce Tower Chicago under construction at Wolf Point,” reports David Roeder at the Sun-Times. “The sixty-story building is expected to open in 2023. Kirkland did not disclose how much space it is leasing, but industry sources believe it is about 600,000 square feet.” The firm will move from 300 North LaSalle.
Rumor Of Progress On Uptown Theater Restoration Floated
In an item otherwise about the shooting of Apple’s “Ripple Effect,” Uptown Update drops hints about possibly momentous developments but without confirmation: “We have heard that there is progress being made on the financing front, with new investors joining a group led by building owner JAM Productions… [L]ead financier Farpoint left the project in early 2021, and JAM has been wooing investors to replace Farpoint’s contribution to the renovation fund. The plan remains to ultimately revive and restore the beautiful theater. While Farpoint’s departure was a significant setback, we are hearing that, with the city contribution and tax credits remaining in place, the Uptown remains an attractive project for people with the funds to invest. We are hoping to have good news…”
Plan Commission Approves Mixed-Use Development At 741 North Wells
The Chicago Plan Commission has approved a mixed-use development at 741 North Wells, reports Chicago YIMBY. “The property currently consists of a historic masonry structure at 755 North Wells that will be retained, a one-story retail structure and a three-story masonry structure.” Designed by Antunovich Associates, the new construction would be a twenty-one-story mixed-use tower. “Rising 255 feet, the building will hold 9,400 square feet of retail space and 178 residential units. The apartment mix will comprise seventy studios, sixty-eight one-bedrooms, and forty two-bedroom residences.”
“The Warehouse Archipelago” Series Continues At Chicago Reporter
The Chicago Reporter continues John Lippert and Stephen Franklin’s series on “The Warehouse Archipelago,” which is in no way replacing Midwestern or American manufacturing. “’Focusing on Amazon is OK, but it distracts from the other warehouses… There are also the people who make Weber grills, who brew beer, who sell cosmetics. All of them need warehouses, and because of e-commerce, what’s doing inside them didn’t exist before.’ Nearly 1.5 million people work full-time in U.S. warehouses, a figure that’s more than doubled in the past ten years. But no one knows for sure how many temporary and even full-time workers should be added to this number, because they’re scattered in dozens of other occupational codes the government tracks for retail, packing, and manufacturing. [One observer] estimates the actual number is closer to four million. Despite all the job growth, inflation-adjusted earnings actually fell in the warehouse industry during the eighteen years ending in 2019…To this insult is added injury: Warehouse workers… are twice as likely as other workers to get injured on the job.”
DINING & DRINKING
City Solicits Restaurant Complaints About Third-Party Food Delivery
“The City of Chicago is seeking information from restaurants about your experiences with meal delivery companies, including but not limited to: DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, and their affiliates,” The Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection posted on Twitter. “If you have a concern or suggestion to improve the practices of one or more of these companies, we would like to hear from you.” The survey is here.
FILM & TELEVISION
“Rocky Horror” Final Film Of Season At Millennium Park
Presented by the Chicago Film Office and made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation, DCASE presents a third outdoor film in Millennium Park on its forty-foot LED screen: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” presented in collaboration with the Music Box Theatre and including a family-friendly live performance in front of the screen by Midnight Madness Shadowcast. Free. Tuesday, September 14, 6pm.
Reeling 39 Sets Vaccination Policy For Theater Screenings
Reeling 39 announces an updated vaccination policy: “To protect the health and safety of our audiences, volunteers, staff, our families and our community, we have updated our COVID-19 policy to require proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to attend all screenings and events at the Music Box or Landmark Theaters. Full vaccination means two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or single dose of Johnson & Johnson. Regardless of vaccination status, masks will be required to enter festival theaters and must remain on except when in your seat and actively eating or drinking. You will need one of the following items for admittance to Reeling 39 in-theater screenings: physical vaccination card; photo of vaccination card; digital vaccination card; negative COVID-19 PCR test result (within forty-eight hours of screening); A photo ID may be requested.” Ticketholders who show up without proof are not eligible for refunds.
Loss Of Movie Theaters Nationwide Not As Bad As Predicted?
At the Las Vegas CinemaCon, many things are on the minds of theater owners large and small, including the comment by National Association of Theater Owners president and CEO John Fithian in opening remarks, “We feared mass eradication.” Fithian, writes the Hollywood Reporter, said that “working with partners including the Motion Picture Association, the industry secured grants that ‘saved smaller cinemas’ and relief funds for businesses and workers. ‘We thought we were going to lose half [our screens] and we didn’t… We may lose a thousand. That’s a miracle.'” Also from CinemaCon, the Los Angeles Times’ Ryan Faughnder reports in the “Wide Shot” subscriber letter on “Wonder Woman 1984” director Patty Jenkins on preserving the theatrical experience: “It doesn’t make sense for studios that have billion-dollar industries to throw them in the garbage so they can roll the dice at competing with Netflix. It’s crazy to me. All I’m saying is that one studio should make a huge commitment to the theatrical experience and plant the flag and the filmmakers will go there as a result.”
Journalist Danny Fenster’s Imprisonment By Myanmar Regime Passes A Hundred Days
“Today marks the 100th day since my little brother Danny was wrongly detained in Myanmar apparently simply for doing his job as a journalist,” Bryan Fenster posts on Twitter. “Today, we call on Myanmar to release Danny on humanitarian grounds, and allow him to come home to us. Danny’s commitment to humanity and social justice first brought him to Myanmar in 2019, where he reported on the country and its culture until the military takeover. He has had only deep respect for the people and culture throughout his time there. Danny has done nothing wrong. He has not been charged with any crimes, and we believe his arrest was a mistake. His paper, Frontier Myanmar, is legally sanctioned and operates under a recognized publishing license. Our family, like many, share a history of hardships: our 95-year-old grandmother is a Holocaust survivor. We are confident Danny will persevere his current circumstances, and come home soon. He is deeply devoted to his spouse, family, friends, & especially to Myanmar. The COVID pandemic continues to worsen both in Myanmar and the prison where Danny is being held. He is not vaccinated, and we are worried for his safety. We cannot let this go on any further. We miss him terribly and his detention is taking a toll. It’s time for Danny to come home to us.”
“How The Media Helped R. Kelly”
A few weeks ago, the Columbia Journalism Review took a look at the history of U. S. media indifference regarding accusations leveled at R. Kelly, now on trial in federal court in New York City. It becomes more telling with each day of testimony against the disgraced musician. Alexandria Neason introduces questions she asks of cultural arbiters about the blind eye turned to Kelly: “As journalists, we often deceive ourselves into believing that it is not our place to make moral judgments, that we merely let the public decide how to feel. This tends to be particularly true of critics, who have historically seen their role as offering critiques of the art, not appraisals of the human beings behind it. But our editorial decisions—whose album gets attention, whose face appears on the cover—not only reflect but also form public opinion.”
Unearthed T.L. Barrett Tracks To Kick Off Gospel Music Heritage Month
Numero Group has unearthed two tracks from “the genre’s unsung hero,” Pastor T.L. Barrett, at the onset of Gospel Music Heritage Month. The long out-of-print 1985 single, “In The Old Time Way” b/w “My Country Tis Of Thee,” was the last of Barrett’s physical music output, Numero reports. “While most of Pastor Barrett’s catalog sees him backed by his forty-five-piece Youth For Christ Choir, these songs feature The Royal Voices of Life, a group he still sings with as he leads his congregation at South Side Chicago’s Life Center COGIC, known as the ‘Prayer Palace.'” Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood credits Barrett with creating “the most euphoric celebratory music that makes you want to jump around the house and explode with joy.” Both tracks appear on “I Shall Wear A Crown,” the five-album box set Numero will release on September 24, delivering the definitive tribute to the long-overlooked impact of the living gospel legend. “From high school dropout to the source of samples for Kanye West, DJ Khaled, T.I. and more, the fifty-year career of the fabled artist, preacher and civil rights activist is encompassed in four reissued LPs, twenty-four pages of liner notes and previously unpublished photographs, plus a bonus collection of singles and sermons.”
Singer Ruth Marx, 85, Sang Backup For Son Richard Marx And Jingles For Composer Husband Dick Marx
“Ruth Marx’s honeyed voice was heard on many of the TV commercial jingles her husband Dick Marx composed for products that also included Doublemint gum, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, Peter Pan peanut butter, Ken-L Ration dog food and Virginia Slims cigarettes,” reports Maureen O’Donnell at the Sun-Times. “Mrs. Marx went on the road with [her son Richard] and sang on his recordings, including the single ‘Streets of Pain.’ The backup singers were ‘just screaming the chorus,’ said Marx, who’d proudly tell people, ‘That’s my mom.’ … Growing up in a family of seven kids in East Liverpool, Ohio, ‘She knew her ticket out was her voice,’ her son said.”
Oh Hey, A Ye Nay
“The musical artist and entrepreneur’s tenth studio album is, like all things Kanye, a mess of contradictions that overstays its welcome,” Tirhakah Love writes at the Daily Beast. “And here we have the latest status update on the ubiquitous Chicago producer, rapper, and self-anointed God, seemingly humbled by life and divorce proceedings from his superstar ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, whilst carrying with him a seething loneliness ever since the death of his mother, whose absence is channeled through the edifice of his South Side childhood home while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with men who’ve shown nothing but disdain for the women in their lives. Kanye West… is a man whose contradictions have folded into themselves. He is a bird trapped in a cage of his own making. He is not suffering from a hint of cancel culturitis. He is, quite simply, a middle-aged man who once touched the hem of musical brilliance with nothing left to give. But he does have plenty to take…” At the Sun-Times, Fran Spielman and Mitch Dudek report that the city denied West a permit to transport his mother’s actual house onto Soldier Field. “The city’s Buildings Department explained it like this: ‘Moving a home in Chicago is a very technical process that requires structural engineer reports and multiple city permits. The request to move the house at 7815 South South Shore was denied last week because no permit application had been received to excavate and move the vacant property which is also in Demolition Court.'”
Trib Celebrates Return Of Lyric
“Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new musical director, Enrique Mazzola, gave his first major public performance in Millennium Park,” reports the Tribune. “Nothing yet is quotidian,” writes Chris Jones. “And thus, on a calm, warm evening with a rich sunset, it was possible to appreciate anew this city’s gorgeous central outdoor venue. Even the Frank Gehry pavilion seemed to have acquired a new pulse… a frisson of anticipation of what’s to come.”
Destinos, The Fourth Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, Arrives This Month
Tickets are on sale for select performances from “Destinos–4th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival,” returning with live and hybrid performances, September 23-October 17. Tickets and information on the wide range of forms, from theater to multimedia to radio work, here.
Shattered Globe Theatre Announces First Production Of Season
Shattered Globe Theatre, in association with Interrobang Theatre Project, welcomes audiences back with the Chicago premiere of Chloë Moss’ drama “This Wide Night,” directed by ITP artistic director Georgette Verdin, from October 8–November 13 at Theater Wit on Belmont. “This Wide Night “will feature Aila Ayilam Peck and Linda Reiter. A synopsis: “Lorraine, released from prison after twelve years inside, treks to her former cellmate Marie’s new flat. Marie, dodgy and ashamed of their shared past, hesitates to welcome Lorraine back into her life. But no one makes Marie laugh like Lorraine. Can two friends, uniquely bonded by their former circumstances, find belonging in each other once more?” Director Verdin says in a release, “I believe audiences will find this play even more resonant after living through a pandemic for over a year. We’ve been forced to reinvent our day-to-day, find new purpose and manage our anxiety as we navigate this strange new world. Much like Lorraine and Marie, we too have a whole new understanding of the devastating toll that loneliness and isolation take on one’s body and soul, as well as the light and laughter that can stem from any hardship.”
House Theatre of Chicago Announces Twentieth Season
The House Theatre of Chicago has announced its twentieth anniversary season, “The House Reimagined” with live productions at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division, and all-new digital material presented online. The season features one world premiere, one North American premiere and a brand-new channel for virtual presentations, “combining a diverse slate of epic stories and stagecraft with new ways to engage with the theatrical community.” The season opens with a brand-new adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s winter fable “The Snow Queen,” written by artistic director Lanise Antoine Shelley, directed by Amber D. Montgomery, with magic by Dennis Watkins and puppets by Jesse Mooney-Bullock. “A story of magic, redemption and hope, ‘The Snow Queen’ is a heartfelt fantasy adventure with a host of vivid characters, heroes, and animals, in which the heroine must confront and undo mankind’s heartache that is ravaging the earth, and undo the pain that she has woven.” “The Snow Queen” plays from November 12 to January 2, 2022. As an extension of the live production, The House has created three animated short films that present the three puppet characters from the show. More here.
“Dance Your Style” Competition Returns
Global street dance competition Red Bull Dance Your Style debuts in Chicago on Friday, September 24 at Thalia Hall. “Bringing together the best in hip-hop, house, waacking, popping, krumping, locking, and more, Red Bull Dance Your Style will celebrate the local dance scene and the artists, movers and creators carving out Chicago’s legacy within street dance,” the event writes in a release. “The region’s top street dancers will go head-to-head, via bracket style tournament, performing against a spontaneous soundtrack. An audience of dance lovers will play judge, ultimately deciding which dancer will advance from each qualifier to the National Finals October 22-23 in Washington, D.C. With no panel of judges, no planned choreography, and no pre-chosen music, it’s all about embracing the moment, wowing the crowd, and moving to the beat. Celebrating the city’s impact on the scene and the local artists who are pushing street dance forward, among the competitors include self-proclaimed Queen of Jit, Queen Gabby, footwork aficionado Pause Eddie, and Chicago’s very own Nero. The evening will be hosted by BRAVEMONK, member of Chicago’s legendary and internationally recognized breaking crew Phaze II Crosstown Crew, and Chicago-based DJ King Marie will provide a spontaneous soundtrack.” Tickets and more details here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Trib Checks Into Illinois Weed Lounges
The Tribune checks in on the state of weed lounges: “Cannabis smoking lounges, slow to open in Illinois since marijuana was legalized last year, are starting to get off the ground, as two have opened and more are planned… In addition to bring-your-own marijuana consumption sites… in DeKalb and downstate Sesser, plans are in the works to open locations in West Peoria and Carbondale. Weed remains illegal to smoke in public, such as on the street or in parks, in public buildings, and on private property… where property owners prohibit it.” The lounges “can’t sell cannabis, so users bring their own. In West Peoria, investors hope to open a cannabis lounge by late fall. It would be called High Harbor, on the site of the former Sky Harbor Steak House. Organizers plan to offer comedy nights, music, educational and corporate events, and yoga classes, after renovations are complete.”
Chicago Zoological Society Shares Results Of Largest-ever Cetacean Welfare Study
The peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE has published findings from the Cetacean Welfare Study, the largest-ever groundbreaking, multi-institutional study of how physical habitat, environmental enrichment, and animal training affect the welfare of cetaceans in zoos and aquariums worldwide. The collection of nine manuscripts highlight tools and findings that can be employed for the continuous improvement of the care and welfare of cetaceans in professional care. The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which manages Brookfield Zoo, was the lead institution on this study along with the University of California–Irvine and the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. From Chicago to Singapore, data were collected across forty-six cetacean habitats at forty-three accredited facilities in seven countries. Over the course of the data collection phase of the study, which took place in 2018 and 2019, scientists gathered information regarding 216 common and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, thirteen beluga whales and eight Pacific white-sided dolphins. The manuscripts are here.
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