“A group of three — an architect, real estate reporter and an architectural historian — have launched the James R. Thompson Center Historical Society “to encourage all to visit the building and contribute to the ongoing discussion of its past, present, and future in Chicago.” The building at 100 W. Randolph St. has long been a love-it-or-hate it part of Chicago history.
“But the historical society — formed by Elizabeth Blasius, Jonathan Solomon, and AJ LaTrace — has a deep appreciation for the building, no matter what ends up happening to it. LaTrace said the Thompson Center “was supposed to be a symbolic gesture.”
“It was supposed to be an optimistic building for the future. And it was a building that people could be proud of, and the state workers could be proud to work in,” LaTrace said. “And of course, we all know about the issues … but the reality is it’s an incredibly ambitious building, and we think it’s worthy of not only continuing the discussions but it’s up there with the other notable Chicago landmarks.”
“LaTrace — a blogger and real estate reporter — said the group simply wants Chicagoans to go see the building, which he said “belongs to the residents” as a state-owned property. “What we’re trying to do is invite the public in,” LaTrace said.
“The group makes its case on its website: “As a city known around the world for its contributions to architecture and design, Chicago also has an equally troubling history of discarding many of its most significant structures and public places. We ask a simple question: Do we dare squander Chicago’s great architectural heritage? Our city’s cultural heritage — and the Thompson Center itself — belongs to all Chicagoans.” (Sfondeles, 10/1/19)
Thompson Center Tours will be held
- Thursday, October 17 at Noon – Inaugural tour
- Thursday, October 24 at Noon – Partnering with Docomomo
- Thursday, October 31 at Noon – Bring your favorite ’80s outfit or costume
Thompson Center fan club opposes sale: ‘Do we dare squander Chicago’s great architectural heritage?’; The newly formed James R. Thompson Center Historical Society urges “all to visit the building and contribute to the ongoing discussion of its past, present, and future.” Tina Sfondeles, Chicago-Sun-Times, 10/1/19