Friday, November 30, 2007

Driehaus Has Done it Again

Richard Driehaus, The Patron of Traditional Architecture has made another superb prize award for the 2008 Driehaus Prize. This time Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, the husband-and-wife team who lead the Miami firm Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ), have been named the recipients of the sixth annual Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture. They will receive $200,000 and a model of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates during ceremonies March 29 in Chicago.

Yes, you read that right, $200,000. Mr Driehaus has doubled the winnings from $100K to $200K. Mr. Driehaus, may your generousity be rewarded with a continuation of the Architectural Tradition of the Classics.

Three Cheers for DPZ and Richard Driehaus!

Also, Roger G. Kennedy, the National Park Service director under President Clinton for four years, will receive the $50,000 Henry Hope Reed Award.

Not shabby at all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Is Helmut Jahn the Worst Major Architect Practicing Today?

I am excluding Frank Gehry, who is more of an unbearable artist, but for unbuildable, unworkable architecture, Helmut Jahn is the bottom of the charts. A trip to the Thompson Center recently clinched it for me. The miserable predicament of the people working there is complimented by the miserable architecture...massive unknowable spaces, strange angles insulting the eye, and a genuine inhumanity built to annoy visitors and workers alike.

I don't think it is any secret that Jahn's works are notoriously hard to build, with the purpose of the building disguised behind a unpleasant architectural facade. You might argue that the State of Illinois is an unpleasant architectural facade, so the Thompson center is perfectly unpleasant. On the other hand, couldn't we use a bit more pleasant State, rather than continuing with the prison motif in our downtown buildings?

Well, if you thought you had enough Jahn in Chicago (and who hasn't?) the newly rich Salvation Army announced an astounding $220 Million Community Center planned for the Pullman neighborhood, to be designed by none other than...Helmut Jahn. Read more about it here at the Chicago Daily Observer

The Salvation of Helmut Jahn

Any thoughts out there on stopping this massive waste of resources for heretofore decent organization? Can we keep Jahnism out of Ecclesiology?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sacred Heart Re-Dedicates Chapel

The Society of the Sacred Heart, founded Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, has re-opened the Chapel at Sacred Heart School on Sheridan Road in Chicago.

The Tribune has a reasonable article here

The Sacred Heart Academy, founded in 1876 (on Dearborn) then moving at State and Chicago Avenue adjacent to Holy Name, also houses Hardy Prep, a boys school.

Congratulations to Sr. Maxwell on restoring the liturgical brilliance to the Sacred Heart Academy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Small Altar Glory

This is a small glorious altar from the Sacristy in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. I was privileged to tour the Cathedral last week.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Catholic Mass at First Congregational Church Evanston

Tallmadge and Watson's First Congregational Church of Evanston was site of a beautiful performance of Franz Schubert's Mass in G, featuring a Chancel Choir, Soloists, and a String Quartet.

All around it was very well done, though I note that Tallmadge and Watson are not exactly the Prairie Style Architects they are made out to be, rather they are great American Arts and Crafts Architects in the manner of Daniel Burnham and Joe McCarthy.

Still trying to explain how a religion that denies it has a creed can so beautifully celebrate Schubert's "Credo in G", but I will leave that for another day.