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By Matt Baker
The two buildings at 10 and 120 South Riverside Plaza sit beside the south branch of the Chicago River, near more traditionally attractive, art deco structures like 2 North Riverside Plaza and the Civic Opera House. These two Miesian boxes aren’t necessarily homely in comparison so much as emblematic of their era. Designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill and erected in 1965 and 1967, they exhibit the steel and glass aesthetic of mid-century modernism.
If it could, a leafhopper that sneaks through the roof of Joliet Junior College’s (JJC) new Greenhouse Facility this spring would gloat. Its lower-flying fellow pests cannot penetrate the structure: the near 16-foot walls are too high, and the passive ventilation system offers no vents or fans to slip through. But just as it prepares to dig into a chrysanthemum, that leafhopper gets sucked up and out of the facility.