Monday, February 7, 2011

Wanted: Unique, Visionary Ideas for McCormick Place East

McCormick place seems to always be a controversial subject in Chicago (especially the East building which sits on some high value land right on lake Michigan). There have been endless discussions and rumors about what to do with the building. Should it be torn down and turned into parkland for people to enjoy? Should it be converted into a space for a different purpose (ie Casino)?

The “McCormick Place REDUX” competition seeks to launch a debate about the
future of this significant piece of architecture, this lakefront site that was effectively removed from the public realm, and the powerful pull of a collective and public claim on the lakefront. This iconic building is caught in the crossfire of a strong, principled, and stirring debate. So the question posed by the competition is quite simple: what would you do with this massive facility? What alternate role might the building play in Chicago should it be decommissioned as a convention hall? And if the building were to go away, how might the site be utilized? What might you do with a million square feet of space on Chicago’s lakefront (along with 4,200 seat Arie Crown theatre)?

Clearly outmoded for its original use, sited on a spectacular stretch of lake-front, and undoubtedly of very significant architectural quality - what visions are there for a resolution?

Should be interesting see what comes of the competition. We love ideas and there is bound to be some unique ones.

But don't get to excited. In a Tribune post by architecture expert Blair Kamin, a trustee from the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (who runs the McCormick Place campus) said it's highly unlikely that this building is going to be demolished.

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