By: Editorial Staff
SEVENTY-ONE YEARS after sponsoring the international contest to design its famed Tribune Tower, the Chicago Tribune is opening another architectural contest ? this one to build safe, livable public housing.
The competition will be dedicated to the memory of Dantrell Davis, the 7-year-old boy who lived his short, unhappy life in the Cabrini-Green project in Chicago.
Dantrell was shot to death last October by a sniper who fired from a Cabrini-Green building while the boy was walking to school with his mother.
The Tribune said the public housing design contest was inspired by the killing and by the Chicago Housing Authority’s proposal to transform Cabrini-Green from a complex of high-rise buildings housing only the poor into a livable mixed-income development.
“We seek to focus the nation’s attention on a problem it has ignored too long: the design of decent and humane public housing,” said Tribune editor Jack Fuller.
The competition ? open to anyone, professional architect or not ? asks contestants to redesign housing for the 6,935 low-income Cabrini-Green residents. Entries will be judged by a seven-member jury that includes Chicago Housing Authority chairman Vincent Lane.
Winners will be announced June 10 ? the 146th anniversary of the opening of the Tribune and the 71st anniversary of the announcement of the competition that designed the Tribune Tower.
That 1922 competition drew 263 entries from 100 countries.
The winning design, by New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, became the fabled 36-story Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue, a Gothic cathedral-like building which was recognized as an immediate American architectural classic.
“In the world of architecture, the words Chicago Tribune Competition are synonymous with design excellence. We recognized that architecture is only part of the problem, but we believe better design can lead to better living conditions,” Fuller said.
This competition will have few strictures, the Tribune said.
Designers may retain or eliminate existing buildings or propose new ones. However, if a design does not accommodate all current residents, contestants “will be required to explain where the residents would be relocated,” the Tribune said.
Contestants must register for the competition by March 22 by sending a letter with name, address and telephone number to Tribune Competition, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60611.