Day 290: Cruise Chicago architecture

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

If nothing else, summer break is a time to play tourist.

Largely responsible for the lucrative careers of greats from Daniel Burnham to Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago is a sort of Mecca of architecture. A fact that became all the more clear when we took an architectural cruise this afternoon.

The guide’s voice was as deep and slow as the polluted Chicago River on which we were floating. Luckily, with the help of an auxiliary open-bar package, I was able to focus my attention on some choice photographs, displayed below.

Carbide and Carbon Building, 1929 - Daniel Burnham

Leo Burnett Building, 1989 - Kevin Roche-John Dinkeloo

When built in 1989, was the 12th largest skyscraper in the world.

London Guarantee Building, 1923 - Alfred S. Alschuler

Marina City, 1959 - Bertrand Goldberg

Marina City consists of two 65-story honeycomb-shaped buildings standing over the river.Mather Tower, 1928 - Herbert Hugh Riddle

Mather Tower consisted of the only speakeasy in Chicago never busted by the police. It was located in the very top tower and only accessible by a single elevator. Whenever the cops showed up. the elevator was simply held at the top floor until they left.

Merchandise Mart, 1930 - Alfred Shaw

This gigantic building takes up two entire city blocks, and until 2008 it even had its own zip code (60654).

Tribune Tower, 1925 - John Mead Howells and and Raymond Hood

 In 1922, the Chicago Tribune hosted a contest for architects from all over the country to design their headquarters, offering a $100,000 prize. Howells and Hood of New York won.

Trump International Hotel and Tower, 2009 - Adrian Smith

Second highest building in Chicago, 10th highest in the world. Was supposed to be higher, but was scaled back after 9/11.

Wrigley Building, 1920 - Graham, Anderson, Probst & White

 Built by the chewing gum giant William Wrigley Jr., this was the first air-conditioned office building in Chicago.

Then for the second half of the cruise we free floated on Lake Michigan and drank beer. Clearly it was a really tough day.


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