In news broke by Blair Kamin, the Architecture Critic of the Chicago Tribune, DeStefano Partners, a major force in the city’s design community is calling it quits. Once employing 150 at its peak years and well known as the local partner for Calatrava’s now cancelled Chicago Spire, DeStafano Partners will reform as two separate entities, one focused on international work and one on domestic commissions.
Avarm Lothan, a long time partner with firm, which now employs 25, attributes the break up to the collapse of the development market. Lothan also blamed the firm’s troubles on the Chicago Public Building Commission, an agency that owes it nearly $1m in outstanding design fees. Going forward, one of the new firms will be known as Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Architecture. DeStefano will no longer be an owner but rather an employee of the new firm. The other firm will continue DeStefano Partner’s work oversees.