Events / McCormick Place Activation: PORT Urbanism and Carlos Rolón

McCormick Place Activation: PORT Urbanism and Carlos Rolón


Since the 1930s McCormick Place has been known as a site of innovation and spectacle. Located on Lake Michigan and minutes from downtown, McCormick Place is a distinguished world-class exhibition center that hosts over 3 million visitors for hundreds of events each year. In partnership with the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, McCormick Place has invited artist, Carlos Rolon and public-realm design firm, PORT Urbanism to produce work that punctuates the campus and highlights histories to invite reflection and public engagement.

For the 2019 Biennial, PORT is debuting a prototype for a suite of custom McCormick Place interactive urban furnishings called Mini-McCormicks that aim to encourage public engagement through storytelling and conversation. The work (Location: Corner of Cermak and S. Indiana)

Artist Carlos Rolón has transformed the Façade of the Energy Center located on the McCormick Place Campus into a site for celebration and reflection through the use of Azulejo tile work that stems from Arabic roots and Caribbean flor. The work speak to histories of displacement and colonization. (Location: Calumet and Cermak)

Both works ask visitors to pause and reflect on the stories and histories embedded throughout the campus.

Image courtesy of PORT Urbanism