Ahead of Stanley Cup Playoffs, Blair Kamin Starts an Architecture Rivalry Between Chicago and Philadelphia

If you’re not a hockey fan, you might be surprised to learn that there’s still professional hockey being played when it’s 90 degrees outside. If you are a fan, you’ll know that it’s the Philadelphia Flyers vs. our hometown heroes (and who this writer had the good fortune at one time to direct commercials for), the Chicago Blackhawks who will be battling it out for the Stanley Cup. And although sporting debates are usually best handled at bars, talk radio call-in shows, and mayors who make bets using stuff like their local cuisine as the prize, there’s still usually a little left at the end of the day for we artsy nerds. We saw that at the start of the year, ahead of the Super Bowl, as museum directors in Indianapolis and New Orleans started a friendly feud, and now we’re seeing it between architecture critics. On our side, the Chicago Tribune‘s powerful Blair Kamin, who refuses to brutally critique Philadelphia’s architecture into oblivion, but instead takes a more clever route by explaining how all of their city’s important buildings came from Chicago firms anyway (and it just doesn’t seem right to pick on ourselves). On their side, it’s the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s critic, Inga Saffron, who, well, pretty much agrees that her city’s buildings pale in comparison to our own. And so while it might not be the most vitriolic of sports-based debates, it’s fun to see this manly talk branch out a bit into our usually quiet little world.

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