Chicago 35th street station is Donkey Kong

There has been some debate whether or not a Mies van der Rohe designed structure should be destroyed and replaced with a new Metra station. Chicago architecture crit, Blair Kamin, thinks it should come down. It’s a dumpy “mediocre” building that has no significance other than having van der Rohe’s name attached to it.

Chicago architecture writer, Lynn Becker, feels differently: “The view down Federal Street is the only one that puts the industrial aesthetic of Mies’s IIT buildings, not in a park-like landscape to help the medicine go down, but directly within the industrial context of a gritty city street running parallel to a set of railroad tracks”.

I see both sides of the argument and I have side with Kamin. Tear down the Mies building. Ugh. I can’t believe I just wrote that. I’ve always been a big fan of infrastructure investments in roads, highways and public transportation. The lack of civic planning in the Chicago suburbs is a pet peeve of mine. So building up Chicago’s public transit has my full support.

However, I can sympathize with Becker. The new Metra station looks a bit trivial. I commented on his blog post that it looks a lot like the original Donkey Kong game. $11.7 million for Donkey Kong? Am I missing something here?

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Matt Maldre
15 years ago

Will there be a gorilla hanging out at the 35th Street Metra Station? If there isn’t. I’m gonna buy a stuffed animal gorilla and stick one over there.

I also suggest that they put barrels as decorative items there. To make them look nice, it would be acceptable to make the barrels into flower pots.

15 years ago

I’ll dress up as Mario if someone else dresses up as a giant gorilla.

Man this font is hard to read!

Geoff Sebesta
15 years ago

You know, it ain’t easy putting a ramp on a building. They often become the dominant feature. The ADA says one foot of horizontal for every inch of vertical. As you can see, that’s a whole lotta ramp. You’re going to see a lot more big ramp buildings.

Matt Maldre