A UFO atop an ancient temple?

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Soldier Field from Lake Shore Drive

The design of the 2003 renovation of Soldier Field, home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, was wildly controversial. The new plan seemed to endanger the solemnity of the only US stadium dedicated to veterans. Defending his bold plan, the architect, Dirk Lohan, insisted that the original 1924 stadium should not be revered but instead reworked to suit current users and a contemporary aesthetic. It “isn’t the Parthenon,” he told Chicago Magazine in 2007. The new design did, however, adapt key classical features of the old stadium at least as a facade visible when driving by on Lake Shore Drive or approaching by boat from Burnham Harbor, Lake Michigan. Read the Chicago Magazine article about the brouhaha over the design  here

Today, the controversy has died down and the new stadium is often affectionately described as a UFO sitting atop ancient ruins on the Lakefront.

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View of Soldier Field from Burnham Harbor

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View from inside the old stadium

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Columns are no longer visible from the interior of the new stadium

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