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?