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.