It's been years in the making: Gov. JB Pritzker officially put the Thompson Center for sale, citing costly structural problems and maintenance. The 17-story glass government office, erected in 1985 and named after then–Gov. James R. Thompson, has long been controversial.

Some architecture aficionados praise the Helmut Jahn–designed building as a postmodern masterpiece, while critics consider it an expensive eyesore. 

But Elizabeth Blasius, architecture historian and James R. Thompson Center Historical Society co-founder, argues the site is worthy of preservation for other reasons: It's been a place for Chicagoans to organize for decades (e.g., protests against South African apartheid in 1986, the McCormick Place expansion in 1991, the stay-at-home order in 2020). 

Now, the building is on Landmarks Illinois' endangered places list for a fourth straight year. 

Pritzker is accepting bids until Aug. 16. Whether it's restored or demolished, who knows what will become of the building that spans three acres in the Loop? [Architect's Newspaper; WBEZ; Chicago Tribune]
A protest against COVID-19 restrictions at the Thompson Center on May 1, 2020. (Photo by Jim Vondruska via NurPhoto/Getty Images)
🌦️ While we wait out more 50-degree spring showers, start planning your summer fits! Open-toed shoes season is almost here 🙌

—Sidney Madden (@sidney_madden_)

📝 A day of resignations at the county, city levels
State's Attorney Kim Foxx's No. 2 was forced to resign Wednesday after a subordinate mischaracterized the video of police killing 13-year-old Adam Toledo. Later on Wednesday, the head of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, or COPA, resigned. Sydney Roberts has faced criticism for how her agency has responded to wrongful CPD raids, most famously in the Anjanette Young case. [WBEZ; CBS Chicago]

🎶 City announces more summer events 
Taste of Chicago To-Go, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and Chinatown Summer Fair are some of a long list of events happening this summer, as part of the city's "Open Culture" reopening phase. The city is also launching a music concert series for people who are fully vaccinated. Mayor Lori Lightfoot previously said the city is expected to fully reopen by Fourth of July. [ABC Chicago]

🚲 Reap the rewards of the Divvy Bike Angels program
You know how some of the city's bike-sharing stations are more crowded than others? Through the Bike Angels program, you can now earn backpacks, water bottles, and ride credits if you take your bike over to a less-crowded station. Earn easy points through your Divvy-connected Lyft app. [Streetsblog Chicago]
👉 What you can do: Sign up to be a Bike Angel in the Divvy app.

🏀 The making of Michael Jordan's "The Last Dance" 
It was only a year ago when we all ate up the 10-part docuseries about MJ's career with the Bulls. From convincing Jordan to agree to the series to the storyboarding process, director Jason Hehir shared the behind the scenes of the years-long project. [Chicago Tribune]
Being a new teacher is already a tough job. It gets even tougher during a pandemic. That's why the state created a mentorship program for first-year teachers. City Cast Chicago talks to a new teacher and a program coordinator about navigating this unusual school year. 

🍎 And it's Teacher Appreciation Week! Who's your favorite teacher, and why? Email us — we might shout out your teacher on the pod.

+ TODAY: Commercial Avenue developer presentations
As part of the INVEST South/West initiative, the city is asking for community input today at 6 p.m. for developer proposals in South Chicago.

+ TODAY: "In Search of The Color Purple"

The New York Times' Salamishah Tillet discusses her new book about the award-winning "The Color Purple" with WBEZ's Natalie Moore today at 7 p.m.

+ SATURDAY: DIS- art exhibit opening
A Lincoln Square exhibit that opens this weekend showcases the advocacy work of artists with disabilities. 


Who else spent more time outside this past year? I've trekked to Kickapoo near Danville and Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. But you don't have to go far to get your hike on. Starting and ending in Grant Park, the 200-mile Outerbelt Route takes you to Libertyville and Tinley Park. [Chicago Magazine
👉 What you can do: Pick and customize your routes. Or visit other nearby hiking destinations outside the city. Happy hiking! 
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