My passion for architecture was kindled in a distinctly Chicago way: fire.
In 1970, 99 years after the Great Fire incinerated most of downtown Chicago, a Christmas Eve blaze destroyed the editorial and business offices of the now-defunct newspaper, The Daily Register, that my father, Arthur Kamin, edited in the Jersey Shore town of Red Bank. I was 13 at the time.
With building a replacement a top priority, our family spent much of the next year touring state-of-the-art newspaper offices and printing plants, as they were known in those days. The one that made the biggest impression on my father (and me) was The Republic in Columbus, Ind., a dazzling Miesian pavilion designed by Myron Goldsmith, a partner in the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, that opened in 1971.