Your thoughts on tearing down part of Mies's IIT campus


    I give you some of the emails I got after writing about the issue here (scroll down), advising Chicago to not demolish part of the Mies van der Rohe campus at the Illinois Institute of Technology - namely, much of the left side of the above photograph, up to the big power plant.
    Hi Edward,.... I know the building at IIT will more than likely become a memory, but your efforts don't go unnoticed.

    Would you get rid of a "the" in a Hemingway sentence, to save ink ?

    True Architecture is a rare occurrence - whereas, buildings are as common as pebbles, and unfortunately, not many can or will see the difference. I went to IIT some 28 years ago, and still find new things in Mies's work. On a somber evening I strolled through (I live close by ) Pearlstein Hall, had to use the washroom, and while drying my hands beheld the door details - the millwork...it had the nobility of the Ninth symphony !!

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    Edward, Who is taking responsibility at IIT for the land sale/giveaway? Is IIT taking any heat? It is certainly ironic that SOM once again trumps the gentle giant Mies and his vision for the university.
    ~~~
    I appreciate your writing on the Mies building at IIT, although personally I am ambivalent about tearing it down. However, I am amused at your surprise that SOM would consider tearing it down, given how much they owe Mies; that is nothing compared to the monstrous piles of the library and Hermann Hall buildings they designed.
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    Edward,

    I have been visiting IIT a lot the last week and park very close to the Mies building under arrest by the city, it is in sad shape but I just for the life of me wonder why that space it THE space for a train station???

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    In terms of the little Mies box, well it is very sad shape, I am sure the outer chorus of yellow bricks needs reconstruction. That being said I think a totally new structure on one of the campus corners is just bad design. Design after all is suppose to be a solution to a problem, not the generator of a problem. The fact that there is open land across the street or on the same side but on the other side of the tracks kinda makes me think something is a-miss. SOM's once again is flexing its mussels on Mies Campus. If it has to be on that corner I would integrate the Mies building into a new building. Seems pretty logical which has no place in Chicago city planning.

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    Edward,

    The problem is similar to maintaining the great landscapes designed by Jensen and Olmstead - people don't "see" them. ... Times change, what was ground breaking at one time, is invisible decades later.

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    Edward, Send your piece on Mies to Barack Obama - he supports the common man.
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    What say you? I'll publish all reasonable opinions. The powerbrokers tell me they read this. It's not too late, yet.

    Send your thoughts and opinions to EdwardLifson@gmail.com .

    More on saving the Mies van der Rohe Test Cell here.


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