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As the week winds up, here’s a news round-up of stories thatcaught our eye.  A new park plan for Chicago, the challenges for a new kind of Vegas casino anda rebirth of sorts for a community of freed slaves in Brooklyn.

This first story has a Dallas Architecture Forum feeling toit.  Jeanne Gang was a recent speaker forthe Forum and Blair Kamin is on the schedule for 2011.  (Kamin’s one of our favorites…wonder if we cankidnap him and keep him here.  Dallas deserves afull-time architecture/design critic and columnist.)  Anyway…he has thestory here of the dream plans for a peninsula of land at the edge of Lake Michigan.

We head west (young man) for this story on the VegasCityCenter complex.  We’ve reportedbefore on the problems with reflected sunlight at Rafael Vinoly’s Vdara and theproblems with Norman Foster’s Mandarin Oriental.  Turns out that the Cesar Pelli-designed Ariahotel and casino isn’t getting the foot traffic that the MGM Grand folks want.  Here’sthe scoop. (Having stayed there, I have to agree that it has a strange andconvoluted relationship with the Strip.)

Last but not least, a story with serendipity.  We were over at St. Paul’sin the Arts District this morning for the launch of a new brochure by the TexasHistorical Commission on the African-American experience in Texas.  Afterwards, we helped lead a mini-tour on the buildingsleft in what was a vibrant Freedman’s Town.  It was fun to get back to the computer and runacross thisarticle on the rebirth of the site of the country’s first community of freeAfrican-Americans.

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