In my quest to smuggle sports news into About Last Night disguised as arts news, I get a little help from Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin this week. Living in the vicinity of several Frank Lloyd Wright houses (there’s one I pass daily on the way to work), I took interest in the recent discussion about the habitability of his homes, especially this vivid report from the front lines. But Wright and domestic architecture aren’t the ones getting buildings on the front page in Chicago these days.
It’s the stadium, stupid–and Pulitzer winner Kamin rightly damns the rebuilt Soldier Field, age-old home of Chicago’s pro football team, in an aesthetically incensed review, shot through with a healthy dose of populism. Aside from “visual carnage,” “a hideous compromise,” and “a horrific eyesore,” he finds it to be something like the opposite of a Wright house: hell on the outside observer, but comfy-cozy for the lucky few who get to sit inside. You can see it for yourself on the next installment of Monday Night Football, when the Bears will break in their controversial new digs against the Green Bay Packers. It will be interesting to try to determine how tight a muzzle the NFL will have put on the ABC commentators, who might not be able to recognize a blot on the landscape when they see one anyway.