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Let's Hear It From The Pros

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We all know the University of Chicago is growing its footprint and its endowment (it gained nearly $1 billion in the last fiscal year). The school's latest ambitions have included the just-opened Logan Center for the Arts, slick new crossings for The Midway, the planned renovation of 5757 S. University, and the under-construction William Eckhardt Research Center. U of C cobbled together the out-of-town architects behind these projects for a little background perspective. Ann Beha, James Carpenter, Billie Tsien, and Tod Williams shared the lineage of their works with the public in a late-May panel discussion. In an impossible quest to placate students, faculty, and the general public, a lot of sensitive thinking went into the new designs and rehabs. For example, a liturgical building (5757 S. University) is to become the new Department of Economics: "Every joke that can be made has been made," quips Beha. Read on for the intimates of each architect's inspiration. [U of C Mag]