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History – The Babuk Report

Category: History

  • Canadian Architects of the Chicago School 1880 – 1935

    A striking feature of Chicago that amazes visitors and newcomers alike is the ability of taxi-cab drivers to identify city landmarks by their architect.  The Thompson Center? – why that’s Helmut Jahn.  The Loop Post Office? – it’s Mies van der Rohe.  The Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park – Frank Gehry! The part of the […]

  • The North Avenue Architecture Photo Party

    North Avenue, the border between the north side of Oak Park and the Galewood neighborhood of Chicago, is relatively newer than many surrounding neighborhoods. While the buildings along North Avenue post date Frank Lloyd Wright, he golfed here with friends and clients. Many used the area as a place to get away and hide from […]

  • Lessons Learned From Both of the Post-war Development Periods

    The changing economy and its effects on the retail streetscape may be best studied in the pre-war and post-war streetscape: pre and post First World War. This particular timeframe holds fascination as it depicts a landscape before and after the automobile’s influence. Oak Park offers another excellent set of examples: it has both types of […]

  • Canadians in the Chicago School 1884 – 1935 Presentation

    The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada holds a national convention every year, entitled the “Festival of Architecture”.  This year, the Festival is being held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and its theme will be “Sounds Like Architecture”. Proudly, I will be delivering a talk “Canadians of the Chicago School 1884 – 1935” at this year’s Festival, on June […]

  • Mechanized Bridges in Portland

    The American Institute of Steel Construction published a story I wrote for their monthly newsletter’s ” Bridge of  the Month” feature.  The story follows: Waddell & Harrington, Consulting Engineers of Kansas City, built many of their patented bridges at many locations throughout the U.S. One example is the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, OR, spanning the […]

  • More Poetry

    In response to a recent musing about William McGonagall, friends from Vancouver have since brought to my attention Sarah Binks, the Sweet Songstress of Saskatchewan.  A regular feature on a CBC Radio broadcast, her works included poetry like this: “My Garden” A little blade of grass I see Its banner waving wild and free And […]

  • Visions of Winter, Melted Away…

    A recent presentation to the Scottish-American History Club about the Firth of Forth Rail Bridge would not have been complete in historical context without mention of the Firth of Tay Bridge Disaster.  One in the audience chuckled, and mentioned a poem composed about the disaster written by William McGonagall. “…On the last Sabbath day of […]

  • Happy New Decade!

    Happy New Year.  It’s surprising to see that we’re already a decade into the new century. Previous posts have spoken about vacant storefronts and even vacant buildings, all from the aftermath of the latest economic turn.  There is so much vacant space out there that based on current absorption rates, some markets have several years […]

  • Departing Chicago?

    A recent editorial cartoon depicted Illinois as an airport. In the departures gate were the 2016 Olympic Games, a variety of major trade shows that recently announced leaving Chicago, and Oprah Winfrey.    In the arrivals gate were prisoners being transferred from Gitmo.  Much of this is directed at Chicago specifically:  the “departures” noted are all […]

  • One Final Note about the Hanna Roundhouse

    The “Roundhouses of the World” exhibit that has been on display at the Hanna Public Library is closing this week.  In a way, it still lives on. The Oak Park Architectural League is having its Bi-Annual Members Show this month at the Oak Park Public Library in Oak Park, Illinois.  Being a member, my contribution […]