Friday, August 5, 2011

Photo of the Week: Goethe Sees the Light

Goethe enjoys his evening of "frozen music" (JJB, 2011)

She who must be obeyed and I were heading west on Diversey a couple weeks ago, talking with friends on our way to the Basil Leaf for dinner.  It had been a strange day . . . two or three blocks from the lake the sun shone brightly with temperatures in the upper 80’s.  Next to the lake, though, everything was shrouded in fog, and the temperature was lower by a good ten degrees.

As we approached the corner of Diversey and Sheridan, we came upon a sight unlike anything I have seen before.  We were in the zone between fog and sunlight when, looking south, the top half of Lucien Lagrange’s brand new 2520 Lincoln Park seemed to explode in sunlight. 

The building was topped out at the beginning of the summer, but as of yet only about the lower half of the building’s 39 floors have had windows installed. So as we walked past on that day a couple weeks ago, the setting sun burst through the open spaces where the building was still wide open on the upper floors.  From there the light exploded through the fog.

It was a site so extraordinary that even Herman Hahn’s 25-foot statue of Wolfgang von Goethe seemed to take notice.

Referring to Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling’s 1805 Philosophy of Art, Goethe said, “I call architecture frozen music.”  On that evening a couple weeks ago the brand new building on Lakeview was playing its song in a higher key.

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