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Photos: Abandoned brewery in Morris

Photos: Abandoned brewery in Morris

The chance to own a condo in this abandoned brewery might actually convince me to move back to my hometown Morris. After I posted a photo on the Strange Closets Facebook page, one of the community members revealed there were plans to develop the property back in the 70’s but they fell through, so there […]

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First look at a lakefront home?

First look at a lakefront home?

Several months ago I wrote about the Baugher’s, a Wilmette couple who bought the derelict old home on the primo lakefront lot next to their Sheridan Road home. Seeking development ideas, the Baugher’s enlisted the help of New Trier architecture teacher Josh Wood, whose 24 students competed to design an eco-friendly home incorporating universal design […]

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Photo Essay: Art Chicago

Photo Essay: Art Chicago

There’s nothing that makes me feel less creative (yet more inspired) than events like Art Chicago, part of last weekend’s Artopolis at the Merchandise Mart. While I didn’t have my good camera with me, I never seem to get tired of using the Hipstamatic application on my iPhone. Did you attend this year? If so, […]

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Daniel Overturf and Gary Mark’s ‘A River Through Illinois’

Daniel Overturf and Gary Mark’s ‘A River Through Illinois’

One of the oddest accessories in my home is an oblong stone a little smaller than the average bowling ball. With its pock marked surface and jagged edges, it leaves something to be desired aesthetically, but it has sentimental value and a good story: My grandma retrieved it from a debris field near the site […]

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Eighteen hours in Venice

Eighteen hours in Venice

Although I’d only booked one night in Venice, I was looking forward to finally seeing the legendary city and visiting the nearby island where factories produce the world’s sometimes gorgeous (although often gaudy) Murano glass. But my eighteen hour trip to the city of grand canals, narrow streets and stylish Italians, was one of misconceptions, […]

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Florence first impressions

Florence first impressions

There’s only so much you can do with an IPhone camera, but the light was too good, and I was too enthralled not to take a few photos when I finally logged off the computer and took a walk outside last night. As I strolled the streets of Florence near dusk, I was reminded that […]

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Knock-knock-ouch! (Vincenza, Italy)

Knock-knock-ouch! (Vincenza, Italy)

While these Renaissance-era homes near the Vicenza city square are stunningly beautiful, they also exhibit what was then cutting age technology, which belies the myth that the period was characterized by ideas, art and happiness. For example, today we take peepholes and even video surveillance systems for granted, but it must have been a terrific […]

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