Obit of the Day: Designer of the Daley Center

The Richard J. Daley Center opened in 1965. The 648-foot glass-and-steel skyscraper, then known as the Chicago Civic Center, once again showed that the City of Big Shoulders took its architecture seriously. No sterile governmental buildings for Chicago instead Jacques Brownson designed a structure that some thought outdid his mentor, modernist legend Mies van der Rohe. The building, named for the first Mayor Daley in 1976, was constructed of Cor-ten steel which purposefully rusts into a uniform reddish color. The famed Picasso statue (which is the artist’s abstract take on an Afghan hound) is made of the same material.

Following his work on the Daley Center, Brownson worked at the University of Michigan, with Chicago Public Schools, and as the State of Colorado’s director of state buildings. He died at the age of 88.

(The image of the Daley Center and the Picasso statue - which the artist simply donated to the city in 1966 - is courtesy of www.theconnectedlawyer.com)