Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s tombstone

Graceland Cemetery, 4001 N. Clark

This flat slab of black granite, nestled next to the small lake at Graceland, bears nothing but the pioneering modern architect’s name, in all caps, and lifetime, 1886-1969. In that, it comes off as the reductio ad absurdum of International Style, so much so that it’s impossible to tell if the designer, Mies’s grandson Dirk Lohan, is paying homage to the architectural genre or making sport of it. Hey, there’s an element of pointed ambiguity to all great humor. —Ted Cox