Response Crafting

When architecture fails: River City, Chicago

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The River City development was designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg, whose most famous work was Marina City (“the corn cobs.”) Despite a similar design and methodology, River City, completed over two decades after Marina (1986 and 1964, respectively) never saw the success of its predecessor. On the contrary, it is quite a failed project.

River City was originally intended to be a series of four towers 85-stories tall; the building as it stands today was meant to be a base to support behemoths that were never finished. In addition, there are thousands of square feet of empty retail space on the first floor; slabs of cement that have stood waiting since 1986.

River City

River City, Chicago

I recently went inside the property. I was shocked at how haphazard the design was. Within moments of entering the building, I was overcome with how “wrong” it felt. Below are the photos I took during this visit. (Apologies on quality; all I had was my phone.) 


One thought on “When architecture fails: River City, Chicago

  1. anybody know if river city is tunnel form construction?–I remember
    a listing mentioning concrete walls–

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