Lucien Lagrange said he has felt like an outsider for decades. The still-active 80-year-old architect made his mark mostly in Chicago, a city with a skyline shaped by the modern style of Mies van der Rohe and his many devotees.
But early in life, Lagrange, the French-born son of a mason, fell in love with an older Chicago, the pre-World War II city of Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham and the many graceful apartment buildings that stretched north of downtown on Lake Shore Drive. He appreciates well-done modernist architecture but decided to create buildings with touches of decoration, style and the classical grace he often saw in his beloved Paris.
“I prefer something with depth and warmth to it,” he said.
Although Lagrange works all over the U.S. and overseas, his best-known projects, and the ones he is most passionate about, are high-end residential skyscrapers in Chicago.“I think it’s true that he’s something of an outsider in Chicago, given the importance of the modernist ethos there, but I think that can…
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