Daily Archives: October 1, 2015

Frances Bronet

Frances Bronet arrived in Eugene ten years ago, as a candidate for dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, and we’ve been friends from the moment we met.  Perhaps it was the way that Greta took to her immediately, and was sitting on Frances’s lap within five minutes.  (We figured that anyone who could handle a shy three-year-old was the right person to run a design school.)  In her years as dean (and one year as interim provost), Frances was a leader, a visionary, an indefatigable schmoozer, and a great representative and advocate for our school.  She is the hardest working person I’ve ever known;  I recently surprised a university gathering by mentioning that I had once seen her take a few days off.  She accomplished all this without losing her perspective or her joie de vivre, and she left behind a school full of colleagues who regarded her as a friend and not just a boss.

the natural elements of Chicago: sky, water, and traffic

the natural elements of Chicago: sky, water, and traffic

Frances began her new job as provost at IIT this summer, and even breaking her collarbone hasn’t slowed her down there.  We spent the week staying in their fantastic apartment in a Mies building on Lake Shore Drive (to which Frances would return briefly to sleep when work allowed) which is furnished with two barstools, and an air mattress in every room – she hasn’t had any time to even think about furniture.  The contrast of the view was great:  leave the hustle and bustle of the big city, and return to your aerie where you see only the primal elements.

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Jeff arrived from Eugene while we were there, and it’s likely that with his final move to Chicago, their lives may return to a higher degree of domestic normalcy.  We will really miss Jeff and Frances and their children in Eugene, but it was satisfying to see them starting to settle into their new lives.

2018 update:  Frances has now moved on to being the president of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.  Our main concern was whether the president’s house had a driveway where we could park our trailer the next time we visit.

Chicago 2: strolling around the big city

A week in Chicago with superb tourist weather – moderate temperatures and blue skies, but a wind that blew around 30 mph off the Lake the whole time we were there (enough to give Greta pause about visiting in the winter).  The Grand Bargain was achieved – the correct balance between looking at science and animals in museums (the Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium) and architecture (snuck in mainly while walking to museums).  The last afternoon we went our separate ways, with Greta in the Aquarium, and me Mies-ing out at IIT.

Marina Towers top

Marina Towers top

Marina Towers bottom

Marina Towers bottom

The cupcake ATM: access to cupcakes at all hours

The cupcake ATM: access to cupcakes at all hours

Greta with the mascot for our trip.

Greta with the mascot for our trip.

The Field has a great NW collection. This house pole was owned by Charles Edenshaw, who was Boas's informant in the Haida cutlture.

The Field has a great NW collection. This house pole was owned by Charles Edenshaw, who was Boas’s informant in the Haida cutlture.

A peak moment for a dinosaur nerd, Greta meets Sue

A peak moment for a dinosaur nerd, Greta meets Sue

The Cloud / blob at its best.

The Cloud / blob at its best.

As the building size has increased, the importance of the early skyscrapers, such as the Gage group by Sullivan and Holabird & Roche, is sometimes overlooked.

As the building size has increased, the importance of the early skyscrapers, such as the Gage group by Sullivan and Holabird & Roche, is sometimes overlooked.

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In a city renowned for its tall buildings, I've aways loved this short palladian on Michigan Ave.

In a city renowned for its tall buildings, I’ve aways loved this short palladian on Michigan Ave.

Nightime view on lake Shore Drive.

Nightime view on lake Shore Drive.

Staying in a corner room in a Mies apartment building on Lake Shore Drive, the teenager will pull all the blinds so she can look at an iPad.

Staying in a corner room in a Mies apartment building on Lake Shore Drive, the teenager will pull all the blinds so she can look at an iPad.

The view from the Mies building on Lake Shore Drive, as the setting sun casts building shadows on the Lake.

The view from the Mies building on Lake Shore Drive, as the setting sun casts building shadows on the Lake.

If Minneapolis had the stadium-as-kaiju, Chicago has the Helmut-Jahn-builds-a-Death_Star building.

If Minneapolis had the stadium-as-kaiju, Chicago has the Helmut-Jahn-building-as-Death-Star-under-construction..

The Death Star from the exterior. It's a crazy, anti-ruban building some ways, but it's probably my favorite Helmut Jahn building. At least it's fun.

The Death Star from the exterior. It’s a crazy, anti-urban building in some ways, but it’s probably my favorite Helmut Jahn building. At least it’s fun.

Someone clearly beat me to the idea of urban camping.

Someone clearly beat me to the idea of urban camping.

At the Museum of Science and Industry.

At the Museum of Science and Industry.

Our only question is where is the El that Batman has to destroy before it plows into Wayne Enterprises?

Our only question is where is the El that Batman has to destroy before it plows into Wayne Enterprises?

We had to drive 2700 miles to see this?

We had to drive 2700 miles to see this?

Greta waves to her cousin Audrey, who had to get ready for a meeting, and so couldn't come out to play. The life of an management consultant.

Greta waves to her cousin Audrey, who had to get ready for a meeting, and so couldn’t come out to play. The life of a management consultant.

Mariano Park: having spent most of my Chicago visits in the Loop, I wasn't aware that these great little squares / parks existed.

Mariano Park: having spent most of my Chicago visits in the Loop, I wasn’t aware that these great little squares / parks existed.

Sunrise over Lake Michigan

Sunrise over Lake Michigan