December 20, 2007

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    University architecture and landscaping recognized by American Institute of Architects

    By Laurie Davis
    News Office






    A group of architects has recognized the Gothic architecture and landscaping of the University Quadrangles as one of 150 great places in Illinois. The members of six Illinois chapters of the American Institute of Architects selected the sites, which are all public spaces, to celebrate the AIA’s 150th anniversary, notes the Web site http://illinoisgreatplaces.com.

    It also celebrates communities in Illinois by recognizing the work of many architects, town planners, and landscape and urban designers who conceived and built these public places—whether they are examples of great architecture or outdoor spaces.

    Also making the list of 150 Illinois Great Places is Lorado Taft’s Fountain of Time sculpture, which is located near Washington Park at Cottage Grove Avenue and the Midway Plaisance. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, at the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and 58th Street, also made the list.

    Richard Bumstead, University Planner, recently accepted an award from the Chicago AIA chapter for the designation given to the Quadrangles. Architect Henry Ives Cobb designed the original scheme for the Quadrangles and most of the modifications and additions built during the University’s first decade. Bumstead said that Cobb’s design was built on “the concept of a hierarchy of spaces and how they reflect the University.”

    Thirty-four buildings connect the Quadrangles, and the 18 buildings Cobb designed feature carved references to history, classical mythology, Christianity and folklore, as well as lancet windows, loggias, corbels, gargoyles and other Gothic-style elements.

    According to the online AIA citation: “The Quadrangles remain one of the country’s great expressions of the scholarly academic setting, which is remarkably cohesive despite more than a century of growth and change.”

    Other Chicago sites on the list include the LaSalle Street Financial Corridor, Millennium Park, the Water Tower and Pumping Station and the Old Town Triangle District. The AIA Illinois Web site provides images and historical information on every site chosen for the honor.