Chicago has many iconic buildings, but perhaps none as instantly recognizable as Bertrand Goldberg's Marina City. Occupying an entire city block--number 1 of the original town of Chicago--the mixed-use riverside complex consists of two cylindrical sixty-five-story residential towers, a saddle-shaped auditorium, a midrise office building, and a rectangular podium comprising an open plaza with a variety of services. Each tower contains more than four hundred apartments and a continuous, upward-spiraling ramp of parking spaces. Built between 1960 and 1967 at a time when Chicagoans were fleeing to the suburbs, the hugely ambitious project was architect Goldberg's collaborative attempt at urban revitalization---as he called it, "a city within a city."
Authors Igor Marjanovic and Katerina Ruedi Ray here present the first published history of this architectural landmark. Featuring newly available archival texts, photographs, and drawings, this unique building's biography explores not only its architectural achievements, but also the ingenious marketing campaign and complex network of political partnerships necessary to realize Goldberg's urban vision. As the architect's beautifully designed brochures detailed, Marina City offered residents a self-contained world that included a theater, restaurant, bowling alley, health club, ice-skating rink, grocery store, a bank, and much more. It is no wonder that before it was finished 2,500 applications had been submitted to rent 896 apartments. From financing to the structural engineering, this one-of-a-kind volume fills in missing chapters of modern architecture, urban politics, and labor history.
Chicago Architecture Today:
"Authors Igor Marjanovic and Katerina Ruedi Ray have managed to construct such an informative and insightful work on one of Chicago's and also the profession's most pivotal project that it would be worthwhile for any aficionado of architecture. From financing to the structural engineering, this one-of-a-kind volume fills missing chapters of modern architecture, urban politics and labor history."
Architectural Record :
"Lively essays and black and white images describe the buildings design achievements and the political maneuvers that made the buildings possible."
Daily Dose of Architecture :
"For those seriously interested in how Marina City was developed, built, and used the media to become what it is today, this is a must-have. Marina City is a project that deserves a well-researched, academic case study, and this heavily illustrated one does it beautifully."
"Appearing while a local movement to landmark Marina City is under way, Marjanovi and Rays book helps build the case for saving Goldbergs crowning achievement."
"All of the information for this article came from reading Igor Marjanovic and Katerina Ruedi Rays fantastic new book entitled, Marina City: Bertrand Goldbergs Urban Vision. Their book goes into far more detail than this post, covering everything from the politics surrounding Marina Citys construction to the Towers portrayal in contemporary culture . . . and goes highly recommended."