Starship Chicago II: What Gives a Building a Soul? A film by Nathan Eddy


Starship Chicago II
World premiere of Starship Chicago II, a film produced and directed by Nathan Eddy.

“Chicago’s postmodern people’s palace, the seventeenth-floor James R. Thompson Center, has been spared the wrecking ball.

“As the controversial icon is radically transformed from a public office building into Google’s downtown headquarters, some of the building’s most notable features, including the perennially controversial color scheme, will be replaced. The central atrium will remain open to the public but will cease to be a publicly owned space.

“The project raises fundamental questions about the urban environment: What is the future of public space in the city? How does a change in aesthetics impact architectural integrity? To whom does the city belong?

“Through interviews with the key architects, developers, city officials, and preservationists involved in this ongoing saga, an existential question emerges: What gives a building soul?

Featuring interviews with
  • Elizabeth Blasius, Architectural Historian, Preservation Futures
  • Ben Capp, President (Retired) Wolverine Stone Company
  • Phil Castillo, Managing Director, Jahn/
  • Maurice Cox, Commissioner, Department of Planning and Development
  • Stewart Hicks, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Illinois Chicago
  • Evan Jahn, President, Jahn/
  • Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO, Landmarks Illinois
  • Mike Reschke, Chairman & CEO, The Prime Group
  • Ward Miller, Executive Director, Preservation Chicago

“Between June 1 and June 18, 2023, MAS Context will host the digital screening of Starship Chicago II, a film produced and directed by Nathan Eddy. The film had its world premiere in Chicago on May 25, 2023, hosted by MAS Context and the Chicago Architecture Center”

“Nathan Eddy is an award-winning American filmmaker and journalist specializing in architecture and urban planning issues. His first two films, The Absent Column and Starship Chicago, document the struggle to protect Chicago’s architectural heritage. In 2017, Eddy organized and led the successful protest movement to landmark New York City’s epochal postmodern skyscraper, Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s AT&T Building. Since then, he has directed the films Battleship Berlin, Helmut Jahn: In a Flash, and Starship Chicago II.”


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