Architecture -- Ernest Wong

Landscape architect Ernie Wong stands in one of his projects, Mary Bartelme Park on Chicago's west side.  Chicago's pantheon of architects is revered around the globe, but despite the presence of Prairie School parks by the likes of <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PEHST002271" title="Jens Jensen" href="/topic/arts-culture/architecture/jens-jensen-PEHST002271.topic">Jens Jensen</a>, its landscape architects are often overlooked. Yet that situation has changed dramatically — as personified by the naming of two landscape architects, Peter Schaudt and Ernest Wong, as Chicagoans of the Year.
Wong, designer of Chinatown's lively riverfront Ping Tom Memorial Park, and Schaudt, whose credits include the lush new riverfront plaza at Trump International Hotel & Tower, have much in common. Both are modernists in their early 50s, were influenced by the space-shaping natural forms of the eminent landscape architect Dan Kiley and have thrived as a variety of Chicago clients embarked upon bold landscape designs under the leadership of Mayor <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PEPLT007475" title="Richard M. Daley" href="/topic/politics/government/richard-m.-daley-PEPLT007475.topic">Richard M. Daley</a>.
They also happen to like each other, despite the fact that they regularly compete for work.  -- Blair Kamin
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( Tribune photo by Alex Garcia / December 20, 2010 )

Landscape architect Ernie Wong stands in one of his projects, Mary Bartelme Park on Chicago's west side. Chicago's pantheon of architects is revered around the globe, but despite the presence of Prairie School parks by the likes of Jens Jensen, its landscape architects are often overlooked. Yet that situation has changed dramatically — as personified by the naming of two landscape architects, Peter Schaudt and Ernest Wong, as Chicagoans of the Year. Wong, designer of Chinatown's lively riverfront Ping Tom Memorial Park, and Schaudt, whose credits include the lush new riverfront plaza at Trump International Hotel & Tower, have much in common. Both are modernists in their early 50s, were influenced by the space-shaping natural forms of the eminent landscape architect Dan Kiley and have thrived as a variety of Chicago clients embarked upon bold landscape designs under the leadership of Mayor Richard M. Daley. They also happen to like each other, despite the fact that they regularly compete for work. -- Blair Kamin

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