Future of Oak Park modernist Village Hall in question, Pritzker’s mission in the UK and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is about an eight-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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Oak Park’s village hall was designed by noted Chicago architect Harry Weese.

Owen Ziliak/Sun-Times

Good afternoon, Chicago. ✶

Chicago is well known for its architecture.

Places like the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower are tourist hot spots. I fell in love with the Carbon & Carbide Building after briefly working in an office building across the street on Michigan Avenue.

But downtown’s Gothic and Art Deco towers aren’t the only examples of notable architecture here.

Take Oak Park’s modernist village hall, for example. Architecture critic Lee Bey describes it as “architecturally daring.” It was built in 1975 by a noted Chicago architect and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It’s easy to miss some of these landmarks and their stories. Although I was immediately enamored with the Carbon & Carbide building, it took me longer to appreciate the nearby buildings and the influence of architect Mies van der Rohe on the towers of Michigan Plaza.

Today’s newsletter might not be an architectural marvel, but it is full of interesting news and information.

⏱️: A 7-minute read

— Ellery Jones, audience engagement specialist (@elleryrjones)


Will Oak Park’s modernist and National Register-listed Village Hall be razed?

Reporting by Lee Bey

Demolition planned: Oak Park’s Village Hall — an architecturally daring 1970s building designed by noted Chicago architect Harry Weese and listed on the National Register of Historic Places — could be demolished under a vote taken last week by the town’s trustees, architecture critic Lee Bey writes.

An aging building: The village’s board voted 5-2 in favor of seeking demolition for the angular modernist brick complex. The decision allows consultants FGM Architects to create schematic designs for a larger $140 million Village Hall and police headquarters to be built on the site of the current one. Trustees and architects from FGM cited the age of both the building and its mechanical systems as reasons to seek demolition.

Unique design: Built in 1975 for $4.5 million, the Oak Park Village Hall was once nationally hailed as a symbol of government transparency. With its sculpted, square-jawed brick exterior and the use of wood, metal and glass on the exterior, the building — especially in winter — looks as if it would be as much at home in Finland as it does in a western suburb.




Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at the Old Post Office June 28

Owen Ziliak/Sun-Times file



Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, and Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu in Season 2 of “The Bear.”

Chuck Hodes/FX

Reporting by Katie Anthony

FX’s hit Chicago-based show “The Bear” tells the story of a fictional Chicago restaurant and its scrappy, lovable crew of chefs — but Season 2, episode 3 of the series, titled “Sundae” features some very real Chicago spots.

In looking for inspiration for the restaurant’s new, more elevated, menu, chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) goes on a foodie marathon. She hits some of the city’s up-and-coming spots, as well as Chicago classics.

Here are some of the restaurants we caught in the montage:


Sydney’s first stop is Kasama, a Michelin-starred modern Filipino bakery and restaurant in Ukrainian Village. Chefs/owners Tim Flores and Genie Kwon recently took home the James Beard award for best chef Great Lakes region.


Sydney spends a good amount of time at Avec, a Michelin Guide Mediterranean spot in the West Loop. While she’s there she talks with Donnie Madia, the real-life Chicago restaurateur of One Off Hospitality Group — which is responsible for Chicago spots including Avec and Publican Quality Meats.

Publican Quality Meats

Sydney gets a butchering lesson from actual chef Rob Levitt at Publican Quality Meats in Fulton Market. The spot doubles as a butcher shop and café, serving up soups, salads and sandwiches.

📍 Find the rest of the list, locations and featured dishes here.




Chef Jason Hammel inside Marisol Restaurant & Bar, his tony eatery at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Culinary collaboration with MCA’s Marisol restaurant offers artistic outlet for Chicago chefs

Reporting by Lisa Shames | For the Sun-Times

As Chicago restaurants go, few can claim the fan loyalty of Lula Cafe. The popularity of this neighborhood gem, located in Logan Square long before the neighborhood became the hip haven it is today, goes beyond the food it serves, delicious as it may be. Both a destination and a retreat, Lula is celebrated as a gathering place.

“First and foremost, Lula is an arts community,” says Jason Hammel, who founded the restaurant with his wife, Amalea Tshilds, in 1999. “Part of our mission is to be a supportive place for people who are creative and the makers and doers of the world, and provide a space for them to share their work.”

An artistic attitude can also be found at Hammel’s second restaurant, Marisol, located in — and in partnership with — the Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

“Marisol is very connected to the life of the museum in the way that it’s constantly changing and bringing in new energy,” says Hammel. Rather than parrot the MCA’s exhibitions, Marisol’s creative seasonal cuisine finds inspiration in the reinvention that the art generates.

With its new Chef Collaboration series, Marisol further embraces change and the city it calls home. Launched in May, the ongoing program aims to uplift local culinary talent by showcasing chefs’ signature dishes on Marisol’s lunch menu.

“The idea for this was to collaborate with and support our industry friends and spotlight their restaurants,” says Hammel. “It also challenges us here to do dishes we normally wouldn’t do.”



What’s your favorite example of modern architecture in Chicago?

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Editor: Satchel Price

Newsletter reporter: Ellery Jones

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