Belt magazine, November 2014 — The critics were brutal. Headlines called it a “fizzle,” a “fiasco,” and “a total bust.” Some 30,000 people had gathered on the banks of the Chicago River in the city’s downtown on the night of October 4, waiting to see three floating houses set ablaze… Read my story in Belt magazine. Photo by… Continue reading Burn or fizzle? Public art, economic renewal, and the curious case of the Great Chicago Fire Festival
WBEZ’s Curious City, October 2014 — A thought experiment conducted by WBEZ’s Curious City, inspired by a question posed by Chicagoan Kevin Borgia. What if one of the most famous events in Chicago history — the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 — never happened? What would the city look like today? Read — and hear… Continue reading What if the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 never happened?
City marked 1871 fire with a party in 1903 — and it’s gearing up for another fest next year This article by Robert Loerzel was originally published in the Chicago Tribune on May 5, 2013. In a city where the history books are filled with calamities, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 is the most… Continue reading Hot time in the old town again