Archive for August, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

chicago architecture tour

Chicago's down­town is a stel­lar col­lec­tion of archi­tec­tural gems. And I can­not imag­ine any­one more famil­iar with these than the Chicago Archi­tec­ture Foun­da­tion. The CAF boat tour was eye-opening, and the docent was incred­i­bly knowl­edge­able. There was really too much infor­ma­tion too quickly to take it all in, but here are my per­sonal highlights:

My favorite, 333 West Wacker Drive, actu­ally curves to fol­low the river. I found the reflec­tions enchanting!

333 West Wacker Drive

No doubt the Trump Build­ing has it's detrac­tors, but I just love it. What can I say? I like exuberance!


The undu­lat­ing bal­conies, rem­i­nis­cent of the waves on Lake Michi­gan, add so much inter­est to this build­ing.

Aqua at Lakeshore East

It may be the most famil­iar build­ing in Chicago, for­merly known as the Sears Tower. Now the Willis Tower, I can't help but won­der why Willis decided to spend mar­ket­ing dol­lars to acquire the name. I'm guess­ing it will be gen­er­a­tions before any­one refers to it as some­thing other than the Sears Tower!

The tower for­merly known as Sears

Of more inter­est to me was this lit­tle num­ber off to the right of the Sears/Willis Tower. I don't know the name, but the bal­conies here remind me of Morse Code!

The build­ing prob­a­bly not named "Morse Code"

Another "for­merly known as", this is a par­tial view of an enor­mous build­ing which served as Mont­gomery Ward ware­hous­ing in a prior life. Today, it's under­go­ing a mixed-use renaissance.

For­merly ware­houses for Mont­gomery Ward

And finally, I laughed at myself when I saw this pic­ture on my cam­era. For­get that the Mer­chan­dise Mart build­ing is famous as one of the largest in the world, clearly I zoomed in to read the signs!  Luxe Home indeed!

Mer­chan­dise Mart

If you ever have the chance, be sure to take the CAF boat tour. It's a great way to view a great city's archi­tec­tural legacy.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chicago — merchandise mart heaven

I'm still not sure how my travel radar never focused on Chicago before! It's a truly lovely city, with great archi­tec­ture and a thriv­ing design scene.  I grabbed a few hours to myself and wan­dered through the Mer­chan­dise Mart — a design lover's Mecca. The build­ing itself is an archi­tec­tural trea­sure deserv­ing of a visit, and even LEED cer­ti­fied. But I only had eyes for showrooms!

A few things that caught my eye… Zebra was everywhere!

I really, really want one of these!

Yes, I clearly have a thing for chairs. Here's another one that I'd live hap­pily with, from Century's Oscar de la Renta collection.

(eye) candy apple leather comfort!

Oth­ers that intrigue with shape or scale or inter­est­ing uphol­stery, maybe all three…

Thomas O'Brien stretches tra­di­tional seat­ing to new heights

this chaise begs for a racy novel in one hand…

while this requires a racy drink in the other!

 Some­times I took my eyes off the fur­ni­ture and focused on lighting…

this won­der­ful chan­de­lier found a new home with an equally won­der­ful client!

organic light­ing from Odegard

another beauty

LOVE the steam­punk look of this fixture!

this long and lean sconce can fit almost anywhere

After zip­ping through the fur­ni­ture and light­ing areas, I prac­ti­cally raced through a few of my favorite fab­ric show­rooms. Then it was off to meet the fam­ily for a lit­tle more of the Chicago tourist whirlwind.