Fred Camper,

Two weeks ago in the Reader you wrote an art review [Now Showing, June 23] that the Hermann Hall (student union at the Illinois Institute of Technology, IIT) was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. That is incorrect; Hermann Hall, like the library building directly to its south, was designed in 1962 by Walter Netsch of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill when SOM was the master architect for the campus. Walter does not at all consider himself to be a “Miesian” disciple. And the true die-hard Miesian disciples/devotees do not consider the building to be truly Miesian, although on the surface to many it certainly does look like part of the Mies genre–“black is beautiful.” Though the roof is hung from massive transverse girders above the roof, like Crown Hall, the east and west facades of the building are cantilevered from the internal columns, which cannot be seen from the outside. And that, the “purists” say, is sacrilege.

Melvyn A. Skvarla


Fred Camper replies:

Thanks very much for the correction.