Chicagoist Weekend Theater: Stanley Tigerman Uncensored

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 12, 2014 7:00PM

Stanley Tigerman is one of the most opinionated architects Chicago has ever produced. Arguably best known for designing The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Tigerman's frustration with the dominance of Miesian-era modernism in architectural programs and exhibitions led to the formation of the "Chicago Seven" in 1976. Tigerman, Larry Booth, Stuart Cohen, Ben Weese, James Ingo Freed, Tom Beeby and James L. Nagle (and later Helmut Jahn) ushered in Chicago's first generation of postmodern architects, drawing inspiration from a deep well of shapes, perspectives, history, color and curves in their work and shattered the glass, steel and boxy brutalist architectural mindset Chicago modernism became at that time.

But the "Chicago Seven" architects disagreed with each other as often as they did with the doctrinal application of modernism, as Tom Beeby noted in a 2005 reunion of the group; Tigerman did not participate in that reunion.

Tigerman was just as hard on himself as he was his peers and Miesian acolytes, as this raw footage from the television program "The 90s" shows. Tigerman, like many artists, constantly struggled with crises of confidence and how his theories on architecture were not accepted by academia.

"I consider myself a failure, but I'm also an outsider," Tigerman states. This video comes courtesy of the invaluable Media Burn Archive.