Chicago has a fun feature called Ten Modern Masterpieces, their picks for the best new buildings in the city. Some of the choices are pretty obvious–the Pritzker Pavilion, Helmut Jahn’s State Street Village dorms, the terribly named Contemporaine. There are some surprising omissions, such as Aqua, perhaps because it’s not built yet, and Rem Koolhas’s fun, controversial IIT student center, an omission Reader architecture contributor Lynn Becker doesn’t appreciate. The biggest surprise was a Glencoe house I’d never heard of, the Shingle House; I’d like to see more pics of it before passing judgment, but it’s nice to see a residence, even if it’s a pie-in-the-sky one, among the usual public buildings.

My personal favorite on the list is the new Spertus expansion, a dynamic, crystalline addition to Michigan Avenue that’s kind of my idea of what a utopian city’s buildings would look like. Overall it’s a fine list, as Becker notes, though I’d hasten to add Cesar Pelli’s Ratner Center, the finest place to play hoops in Chicago, save for maybe the lakeside courts off 47th.

Also noteworthy: a piece on the construction of skyscrapers by Chicago treasure Blair Kamin.