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Poetry Foundation

John Ronan Architects

America settentrionale | Chicago

If Chicago is the quintessential American city - the city that most clearly represents American values of democracy, hard work and optimism - Chicago has also been, at least until the arrival of Postmodernism now almost four decades ago, the crucible and showplace for some of America’s greatest architectural talents: Louis H. Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Between this no-nonsense yet open everyday reality and the ideal of Chicago as an incubator of radical architectural thinking, streams of expertise emerged, resources of knowledge to be applied to building big, building tall, building in extreme climatic conditions. At some point, such aspects of civilization, of the pragmatic and the rational, become cultural phenomena. They rise to some more abstract plane, infecting culture both in the sense of High Art and as social practice. In contemporary ...

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