Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicago Architecture

I've always been interested in architecture and Chicago offers a paradise of views arguably unrivaled in the world. Growing up in western Oklahoma, the stunning site around downtown Chicago boggles the mind...

The Museum of Science and Industry in Jackson Park in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago is one of only two structures left from the World's Columbian Exposition or World's Fair of 1893. Originally it was know as the Palace of Fine Arts. I was very interested in seeing the area after reading the book "The Devil in the White City." The area is now heavily wooded with a Japanese garden as well. It was nice to walk around the area on a crips fall morning.

Historic Solider Field which was renovated in 2003 generating much controversy. Too bad I didn't have the opportunity to attend a Bears game. They lost to Seattle that weekend.

The Rookery Building completed in 1888 by John Root and Daniel Burnham of Burnham and Root was another building I had a special interest in seeing after reading the book "The Devil in the White City." I knew the building was on in the Loop on LaSalle Street but I was unsure about the exact location. Jason and I were lucky to literally run in to the building while touring the Loop area of Chicago. It is considered the oldest standing "skyscraper" in Chicago.

Trump Tower Chicago is a wonderful example of modern architecture. Very promenant in the skyline, which houses a hotel and condos, it is the second largest skyscraper in Chicago and the United States, second only to the Willis Tower. Moreover, the Terrace at Trump is one of my favorite locations to have visited on my recent trips to the city. The view from the terrace of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, and the surrounding area is superb. It's worth a 15 dollar vodka sodas!

The John Hancock Center, the black structure pictured on the left, was completed in 1970. Though to the average observer the building could be considered plain, I considered it probably my favorite building in all of Chicago. The skyscraper's distinctive X-bracing and angular facade has made it an architectural icon throughout the world. The observation deck and Signature Room restaurant show off a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan and the entire area both during the day and at night.

I could probably continue to list pictures and information about a dozen more buildings in Chicago; these are just a few of my favorites.

As grand a city as there ever was in my opinion. I look forward to another adventure in the "Windy City" in the near future to explore other architectural points of interest. Mostly, I think, I'll do what I normally do when I travel the streets of Chicago, walk with my head slightly tilted upward admiring everything I can take in!

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