Jul, 14, 2011,
9:30 AM

E-Tour Thursdays

If you’re reading this blog, you might have an interest in getting inside Mies’ head. Online, you can only go so far, but if you come to the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Main Campus, you can actually walk inside his mouth.

We’re talking about the portrait of Mies van der Rohe featured on the McCormick Tribune Campus Center’s State Street entrance. 2x4 Graphics fashioned this re-creation of the famous Hedrich Blessing photograph of Mies standing behind his model of Crown Hall. In a nod to Mies’ policy of revealing a building’s structure through its ornamentation, the pixels are actually small icons of student activitiesindicating that the MTCC is a student center. The building itself, which opened in 2003, was designed by Rem Koolhaas.

See all this and more on our daily tour of IIT, offered at 10 a.m. (or by appointment for groups of 10 or more people). 

photo courtesy of Irena Hynes

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Jul, 7, 2011,
3:51 PM

E-Tour Thursdays

This is the first edition of “E-Tour Thursdays,” a look at fascinating finds from our daily tour of IIT’s campus. Tours are offered at 10 am (or by appointment for groups of 10+ people) and leave from the Campus Information Center in the McCormick Tribune Campus Center, 3201 S. State Street. 

The rock upon which we will build this series is “Yarn van der Rock,” pictured to the left. This is exactly what it sounds like: a yarn-covered boulder on our Mies-designed campus. Included in the picture is a group from the other architecture tour conducted on campus: Mies & Modernism, offered twice a month by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. We recommend it just as much as our own tour!

You can stumble upon Yarn van der Rock on State Street just outside of Crown Hall. The crafters responsible remain unknown, but we can only hope they’ll reach for even loftier architect name puns. Gem Spoolhaas? Shellmut Yarn? Share your own ideas—or your impassioned plea for the puns to stop—in the comments section below.

 

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Jul, 7, 2011,
12:11 PM

Desperately seeking organ donee!

One of the next big steps in the ongoing restoration of Carr Chapel is removing its organ—which is by all means a vestigial one. Not part of the original design, the instrument appeared a few years after Mies’ only religious building was finished in 1952. Legend has it that the organ was installed by students. Currently nonfunctional (perhaps the students forgot to include the keyboard and stop console?), it now only serves to block the natural light Mies intended to come in from the west. However, this Kilgen-brand contraption is definitely restorable, and at the very least valuable for its component parts. 

The organ needs to be removed as soon as possible to meet restoration deadlines, but we haven’t found a new home for it yet. We’d hate to throw it in the trash, so we’re offering it to anyone who’s willing to uninstall and transport the organ on their own, at no additional cost. If you’re the organ donee we’ve been hoping for, please contact the Mies Society! 

Photo credit to Noah Cahan. 

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