Southern Boy in ChiTown

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Wabash at the Chicago River

The first couple of weeks I was in Chicago I walked down Michigan to work every day. But the week before I moved into the apartment, I moved into a different hotel and started walking past the new Trump Tower jobsite and crossing the river on Wabash, which gave me a much different perspective on that part of the city (as well as being a much more relaxed walk). Friday evening I finally had a chance to walk back down with the camera (I realized that as part of the "protective coloration" mentioned in the previous post, I'm limiting my photography for the most part to Friday evening through Sunday evening, a period where almost everyone on the street is a tourist of some sort).

The top photo is the best one I've been able to get of Bertand Goldberg's Marina City, built in the early 60's. It wasn't until I'd walked that way that I realized the bottom 20 floors or so is for parking - those are some hell river views those cars have! Just to the right you can see the corner of the IBM building designed by Mies van der Rohe in the early 70's, one of the last buildings to come out of his office before his death and the tallest of his in the US.

The second photo is really the reason I love the walk - the cool mix of architecture that you can see all in one shot. The stark, square Aon Center and the modern 2 Prudential almost hidden by the very Deco Carbide and Carbon Building (now the Hard Rock Hotel) with the funky round Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist in the foreground. Oh, and the world famous Morton's Steakhouse for you carnivores and the oh-so-hip Hotel Monaco peeking in from the right.

The bottom shot is 35 East Wacker (formerly the Jewellers Building), which I like for the Baroque domes and cornices - cleaner than the Gothic Trib Tower but still very cool. What I didn't know before reading a local architecture book is that 22 stories (my photo doesn't really show the bottom 25 stories or so) were originally an elevator-driven parking garage, all done without someone behind the wheel of the car.


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