How can you open up a space for dialogue around architecture? On a trip to Chicago last year, I came across a site which seemed to do a good job.
With entries for over a thousand of Chicago’s buildings, chicagoarchitecture.info provides an informative description for each building it features, which may include details of its design, history, various uses etc.
This is followed by a section where members of the public can add their tuppence worth – personal memories, observations etc. (and, of course, they can rate the building on the Praise / Raze scale).
It’s not the finest looking site on the web, but the content was fascinating. My favourite was the Jewelers Building built in the 1920s… “to reduce the chances that its tenants would be mugged walking between their cars and their offices, the building featured a central auto elevator that could lift cars as high as the 22nd floor”.