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Chicago Civic Center: Perspective View of Plaza

A drawing from street level of a busy plaza, a multistory black glass building rising above it, flanked at the left by a light-colored building with many columns and at right by other city buildings.

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  • A drawing from street level of a busy plaza, a multistory black glass building rising above it, flanked at the left by a light-colored building with many columns and at right by other city buildings.

Date:

1963

Artist:

Chicago Civic Center Architects
C.F. Murphy, supervising architects
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, associated architects
Loebl, Schlossman, Bennett & Dart, associated architects
Jacques C. Brownson, designer
Al Francik, delineator

About this artwork

The Chicago Civic Center was the first of several important new public buildings constructed in Chicago from the late 1950s to the 1980s as part of Mayor Richard J. Daley’s consolidation of spaces for municipal government. The building was designed by a consortium of architectural firms led by designer Jacques Brownson of C.F. Murphy Associates. Because the building was intended to hold over 100 courtrooms in addition to office space, an unprecedented structural system was designed for the building that allowed for exceptionally wide spans between perimeter columns and 18-foot, floor-to-floor heights. Perhaps the most important aspect of this new building, however, was its plaza, described by Brownson as a modern agora. In this early presentation drawing, the plaza is shown as an open space framed by flagpoles and a rather unassuming sculpture by Henry Moore. The dramatic figure of Pablo Picasso’s monumental sculpture joined the project slightly later, after William Hartmann of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill spent many months courting the Spanish artist. Since its unveiling in 1967, the Richard J. Daley Center Sculpture, often referred to simply as the Chicago Picasso, has become a symbol of the city and one of the most popular works of public art in the world.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Architecture and Design

Artist

Chicago Civic Center Architects (Architect)

Title

Chicago Civic Center: Perspective View of Plaza

Place

Richard J. Daley Plaza (Place depicted)

Date

1963

Medium

Watercolor and gouache on board

Dimensions

106.7 × 213.5 cm (42 × 84 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Helmut Jahn

Reference Number

1982.1083

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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