• Creative Endeavors

    Film, developing

    David Alexander, a Chicago-based freelance-one-stop-shop filmmaker and videographer, has a background in everything from architecture and music videos to documentaries. Alexander has captured numerous high-income residential properties in the Windy City, including spaces like Lake Point Tower—a high-rise that houses condominiums overlooking Navy Pier and the rest of the cityscape—among others. It was about 10 years ago when Alexander was working as a car salesman, part of an industrial rock band, and renting out rooms in his house, when his passion for filmmaking sparked when a tenant-and-friend happened to show him a college project. “I was doing fine at Mercedes for six years, but I was desperate to get out…

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    Fine design

    In November 2017, Prime + Proper, a luxurious steakhouse experience, opened in Detroit, and quickly garnered attention for its elaborate interior design and approach to fine dining. Less than two years later in June 2019, McIntosh Poris Associates, the firm behind Prime + Proper’s distinctive style and preserved historic details, received a pair of Restaurant Design Awards from the AIA’s Los Angeles chapter—the only Midwest-based firm to do so during the 2019 award program. The People’s Choice: Restaurant award and Citation: Restaurant award, were supported by a jury verdict that cites Prime + Proper’s “opulence and decadence” as winning factors in the restaurant’s downtown Detroit setting. For Michael Poris, founder…

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    Restoration icon

    Since its establishment in 1889, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago’s Grant Park neighborhood has been an integral piece of the area’s architectural record and community engagement efforts. Many know the theatre for its distinctive original architecture by one of Chicago’s most influential design pair, Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, but it is also known for an extensive restorative effort that began in the 1960s and continues today. In July 2019, the League of Historic American Theatres recognized the Auditorium Theatre for its restorative and programmatic achievements thus far, presenting it with the award for 2019 Outstanding Historic Theatre at the LHAT’s National Conference in Philadelphia. “The historic Auditorium stood out…

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    Wisconsin’s Highland

    At just 20-years-old, young entrepreneur Elle Kaderabek made the move to become a business owner with the purchase and renovation of what was previously known as Kessler’s Old World Guesthouse in Cleveland, Wisconsin. Renamed by Kaderabek after the highlander cow, Highland Lodge is a rustic-modern, eight-room hotel with plans for additional expansion. The hotel, originally opened in 2002, was previously owned by Frank Kessler and Kay Kessler and was designed to authentically represent German-style buildings. The couple, who frequently visited Germany, decorated the inn with memorabilia from their trips, according to Kaderabek. “When [Kessler] left, he left all his German art, memorabilia, and beds in the hotel. It was a…

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    Embodied carbon

    In May 2019, the overall value of construction work done in the United States totaled more than $1.29 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Value of Construction Put in Place Survey. In the same month, Michigan’s second largest city, Grand Rapids, spent $13 million on new construction alone and has undergone some measures to ensure a sustainable future in tandem with its continuing developmental upswing. It is one district among a network of urban areas participating in the 2030 Challenge for Planning, which is a national initiative focused on carbon-neutrality, and cutting water usage and transportation emissions in half by 2030. To continue the effort, the United States Green…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Orchestral light

    For architectural lighting designer Gwen Grossman, LC, IALD, and IES, lighting is the design element that can finish an entire experience. Within any setting, it can shape and highlight details, create cohesion, and even alter mood. This, combined with the collaborative nature of designing with light, makes the process similar to theatrical production, which is foundational in Grossman’s background with time spent designing theatrical lighting.  “What drives me is the collaboration and creating something with the architect and our team that provides a space—whether it’s for students or restaurants, or corporate interiors—with a total experience,” said Grossman, principal and founder of Gwen Grossman Lighting Design in Chicago, Illinois. Gwen Grossman…

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    La Crême

    Charming and fresh, stepping into La Crême café is not unlike walking into a French crêperie, where serving thin, pancake-like crêpes is a defining characteristic. Located in Zeeland, Michigan, the Parisian-style creamery and crêpe shop was started by Scott and Kim De Young after they were inspired by warm spaces with specialized menus on the west coast of Oregon. As their kids got older, they decided to make the dream come alive, and brought it with them to West Michigan. Before La Crême was the inviting breakfast and lunch spot that it is now, Scott and Kim De Young owned a frozen yogurt shop, called Fuzzy Peach, in the same…

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    Varied in form

    It was a home economics textbook that led Chicago-based fashion designer Masha Titievsky to discover the career opportunities in the field. Then, a high school student with an interest in figure drawing—and a path carved in business—she set out to merge the two tracks; later studying fashion and entrepreneurship at institutions like Parsons School of Design in New York City, Bocconi University in Milan, and Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business. Titievsky’s journey in the formation of her current label, VARYFORM, is rich in research. An artist from the start, her studies and interest in art history and the artistic process have continually influenced her crafted garments and current…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Print Edition

    Sophy serenade

    In the early decades of the 1900s, Hyde Park, Chicago hospitality was illustrated by its hotels of grand, architectural statement. The Sherry, The Flamingo, The Shoreland, and Del Prado had reputations for not only welcoming local residents and visitors alike, but also for hosting renowned figures such as Duke Ellington, Amelia Earhart, Elvis Presley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, and Yogi Berra to imbibe in the cultural, artistic, and intellectual tour-de-force social epicenter along the shores of Lake Michigan. It was—and remains—a South Side Chicago neighborhood whose soul is deeply rooted in diversity and a celebration for arts, music, literature, science, and knowledge. Its landscape is a rich fabric…