What Is the True Value of a Vacant or Abandoned Building?

Bronzeville Abandoned Building

The building above may look nondescript, but is actually in a highly favorable location across the street from Shops and Lofts on 47 in the Bronzeville area of Chicago’s Near South Side. Photo Credit: Audrey F. Henderson, all rights reserved.

Any real estate agent or Realtor can tell you that the three most important factors in determining the potential value of a particular parcel of real estate are, in order: location, location, location. Location can trump other aspects of a structure, including whether it is occupied and its state of (dis)repair. In fact, location plays a large role in determining whether a decrepit building is worthy of the financial investment necessary to reclaim it for productive use, assuming of course that it is structurally sound.

Read the rest of this entry »


Facades+ Lands in Chicago July 24 and 25

Inland Steel Building North Elevation

The Inland Steel building, completed in 1958, is one Chicago’s most iconic Modernist buildings. Its stainlesss steel facade, although beautiful, presents challenges for environmentally-efficient retrofitting, due in large part to its landmark status.  Photo Credit: Audrey F. Henderson, all rights reserved.

Over two days, Thursday July 24 and Friday July 25, thought leaders from architecture, design and engineering will come together in the heart of downtown for the 2014 Façades+ Chicago Conference to share their insights on the exteriors that shape our first impressions of buildings. The 2014 Chicago conference was organized by The Architect’s Newspaper and Enclos, with YKK-AP serving as the 2014 Conference chair. Luke Smith of Enclos and Edward Peck of Thornton Tomasetti are serving as co-chairs for the Chicago conference, the eighth in the series.

Since 2012, the Façades+ Conference has established itself as the premier conference on high performance building enclosures. Making its launch in New York City, the Façades+ conference has since added Chicago to its lineup. In October 2014 Façades+ will add Dallas to its roster; Los Angeles will join the list of Façades+ sites in 2015.

Read the rest of this entry »


Is Google Glass Ready for Prime Time?

Paul Cheung and Google Glass

Asian American Journalists Association National President Paul Cheung adjusts his Google Glass while making a presentation during the Media Access Workshop held in Chicago on 26 April, 2014. There is no evidence that Mr. Cheung is a “Glasshole”. Photo Credit: Audrey F. Henderson, All Rights Reserved.

 

Angry Internet discussion board posts describe violent actions that the writers pledge to take against anyone they witness wearing them. Restaurant proprietors and other business owners have requested (or ordered) people sporting the hardware to leave their establishments. Said wearers have retaliated with derogatory reviews on rating sites and in social media. Meanwhile, the product is still in development, but presently carries a $1,500 price tag nonetheless.

Ready or Not, Google Glass Is a Real Thing

“It” is Google Glass, and ready or not, the wearable technology is out in the wild. If you have not yet encountered someone sporting Glass, wait. You will.

Read the rest of this entry »


Dear Subway Sandwich Fairy: Thank You for Paying It Forward

The Subway Sandwich Fairy was here!

“Random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” in the form of a tray of sandwiches half-submerged in snow. Photo Credit: Audrey F. Henderson — All Rights Reserved

Dear Subway Sandwich Fairy:

I hope you don’t mind that I’ve given you this nickname. It seems fitting given the tray of fifteen Subway sandwiches in a sealed container that you left on a bench at Chase Plaza in the middle of downtown Chicago. I have no idea who you really are, but I know one important thing about you: you are a kind, caring person who wishes to preserve the privacy and dignity of those hungry people who happen to consume one or more of those sandwiches.

Read the rest of this entry »


An Open Letter to Santa: Please Stop Putting Lumps of Coal in Stockings

Santa Sees You

Santa sees us whether we’ve been bad or good. But he could help us to be better world citizens by leading by example. Photo credit: Audrey F. Henderson, All Rights Reserved

Dear Santa,

I know that you see us when we’re sleeping and when we are awake. I also know that you are famous for depositing lumps of coal into the stockings of people on your Naughty list. May I make a gentle suggestion, dear Santa, that you stop doing that?
Read the rest of this entry »


Benefits of High-Speed Rail

America’s Love Affair — with Its Cars

It’s a well known fact that Americans love their cars.  However, with continued fluctuation in gasoline prices and increasingly congested highways, many Americans are becoming more receptive to giving up their cars – or at least trading the daily commute to and from work – for a trip where someone else does the driving. One possible solution that addresses both high gas prices and clogged roadways is high-speed rail.

Highway Traffic

America’s love affair with the automobile routinely results in clogged highway traffic, making the term “rush hour” an ironic misnomer. Photo credit: Audrey F. Henderson, all rights reserved.

In Europe and Asia, where high-speed rail is well established, countries and individual riders alike have enjoyed far ranging benefits as a result  – economic, social, environmental and in added convenience. High-speed rail has also begun to gain traction in the United States. The Obama administration has been especially enthusiastic about high-speed rail, allocating millions of dollars to its expansion. Read the rest of this entry »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 340 other followers