Monday, December 26, 2011

Chicago architectural walking tour

What an amazing city to explore architecture, both old and new.  We wanted to take the architecture boat cruise but this time of year the schedules are a bit dodgy.

More photos will be up here shortly.

In the middle of a city known for its towers of glass and steel stands a tower made of stone that looks out of place. The Old Water Tower looks like an oversized set decoration from some Elizabethan play. But this isn't knights slaying dragons, this is the city slaking its thirst. Before electric water pumps were invented, the city's drinkig water came ashore from Lake Michigan thanks to inventions known as Corliss engines. These trapped water several miles offshore and moved the water into the city via an undersea tunnel. The system worked, but was not without its flaws. There were vast fluctuations in water pressure, and this immense tower was designed to regulate that. Behind the neo-gothic facade is a 138-foot-tall standpipe that helped control the city's water pressure. Electric water pumps have long since made the Corliss engines redundant, so now the tower regulates the city's flow of tourists. Since the 1970's it has served as a tourist information office.

Wrigley Building, Graham, Anderson, Probst & White
Built 1919-1925

When ground was broken for the Wrigley Building in 1920, there were no major office buildings north of the Chicago River and the Michigan Avenue Bridge, which spans the river just south of the building was still under construction. The land was selected by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. to headquarter his gum company. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White using the shape of the Giralda tower of Seville's Cathedral combined with French Renaissance details. The 425-foot (130 m) south tower was completed in April 1921 and the north tower in May 1924. Walkways between the towers were added at the ground level and the third floor. In 1931, another walkway was added at the fourteenth floor to connect to offices of a bank in accordance with a Chicago statute concerning bank branch offices. The two towers, not including the levels below Michigan Avenue, have a combined area of 453,433 square feet (42,125.3 m2).

The two towers are of differing heights, with the south tower rising to 30 stories and the north tower to 21 stories. On the south tower is a clock with faces pointing in all directions. Each face is 19 feet 7 inches (5.97 m) in diameter. The building is clad in glazed terra-cotta, which provides its gleaming white façade. On occasion, the entire building is hand washed to preserve the terra cotta. At night, the building is brightly lit with floodlights.
The Wrigley Building was Chicago’s first air-conditioned office building. If one walks through the center doors, they will find themselves in a secluded park area overlooking the Chicago River.

Lake Point Tower, Schipporeit-Heinrich Associates
Built 1965-1968

The architects for Lake Point Tower were John Heinrich and George Schipporeit, working under the firm name of Schipporeit and Heinrich; the two were students of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the best known architects of the Bauhaus movement and International Style school, who taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Lake Point Tower was completed in 1968, is approximately 645 feet (197 m) tall, and was the tallest apartment building in the world at that time. The project developer was William F. Hartnett, Jr., chairman and founder of Hartnett-Shaw Development Company, which was responsible for more than 260 residential and commercial real estate developments in the United States from 1961-1983.

On June 10, 1922, the Chicago Tribune hosted an international design competition for its new headquarters, and offered $100,000 in prize money with a $50,000 1st prize for "the most beautiful and distinctive office building in the world". The competition worked brilliantly for months as a publicity stunt, and the resulting entries still reveal a unique turning point in American architectural history. More than 260 entries were received.
The winner was a neo-Gothic design by New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, with buttresses near the top.

4th Presbyterian Church
A beautiful church.  

After nearly 40 years at that location, in 1912, the congregation decided to build a new building on Pine Street (now upper Michigan Avenue), which was then a fairly undeveloped part of the city.[1] The congregation employed architect Ralph Adams Cram to build them a Gothic Revival building. Cram, who also designed the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, was at work on both churches at the same time during 1912. Only Fourth Presbyterian was completed, however, and was dedicated in 1914.[1] In contrast, St. John the Divine is still officially unfinished and is considered a work in progress.
Cram designed and built the church for Fourth Presbyterian's congregation, but the parish house, cloister, manse, and garth were designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw.[2] The church building is the oldest structure on Michigan Avenue, with the exception of the Chicago Water Tower, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Marina City, Bertrand Goldberg Associates
Built 1959-1964

Marina City is a mixed-use residential/commercial building complex occupying an entire city block on State Street in Chicago, Illinois. It lies on the north bank of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, directly across from the Loop district. The complex consists of two high rise corncob-shaped 65-story towers (including five-story elevator and physical plant penthouse), at 587-foot (179 m) tall. It also includes a saddle-shaped auditorium building, and a mid-rise hotel building, all contained on a raised platform adjacent to the river. Beneath the raised platform at river level is a small marina for pleasure craft, giving the structures their name. 

The Marina City complex was designed in 1959 by architect Bertrand Goldberg and completed in 1964 at a cost of $36 million financed to a large extent by the union of building janitors and elevator operators, who sought to reverse the pattern of white flight from the city's downtown area. When finished, the two towers were both the tallest residential buildings and the tallest reinforced concrete structures in the world. The complex was billed as a city within a city, featuring numerous on-site facilities including a theatre, gym, swimming pool, ice rink, bowling alley, several stores and restaurants, and of course, a marina.
Marina City was built by general contractor James McHugh Construction Co. which subsequently built Water Tower Place in 1976 and Trump Tower in 2009, both also tallest reinforced concrete structures in the world at the time.

Carbide and Carbon Building
Burnham Brothers, Built 1928-1929

The Carbide & Carbon Building is a Chicago landmark located at 230 N. Michigan Avenue. The building, which was built in 1929, is an example of Art Deco architecture designed by Daniel and Hubert Burnham, sons of architect Daniel Burnham, and was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 9, 1996. Originally built as a high-rise office tower, the Carbide & Carbon Building was converted in 2004 to the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. The building has 37 floors and is 503 feet (153 m) tall.
The exterior of the building is covered in polished black granite, and the tower is dark green terra cotta with gold leaf accents. According to popular legend, architects Daniel and Hubert Burnham designed the building to resemble a dark green champagne bottle with gold foil.[citation needed] Beginning on November 16, 2007, the gold-leaf tower was permanently illuminated at night.[1] The design of the building has been compared to the American Radiator Building in New York City.[2]
The ground floor was originally designed to display products of the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation's subsidiaries whose offices were in the building. The lobby features art deco bronzework and black Belgian Marble.
The top of the building was the filming location for an opening shooting scene in the 2008 film Wanted starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie

330 N. Wabash - Mies Van Der Rohe, 1971

330 North Wabash (formerly IBM Plaza also known as IBM Building and to be renamed AMA Plaza) is a skyscraper in downtown Chicago, Illinois, United States, at 330 N. Wabash Avenue, designed by famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (who died in 1969 before construction began). A small bust of the architect by sculptor Marino Marini is displayed in the lobby. The 52-story building is situated on a plaza overlooking the Chicago River. At 695 feet (211,8 meters), 330 North Wabash is the second-tallest building by Mies van der Rohe, the tallest being the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower at Toronto-Dominion Centre. It was his last American building.[2]
The building's corporate namesake no longer owns nor has offices in the building. IBM sold Plaza IBM to the Blackstone Group in 1996. IBM all but completed its move out of IBM Plaza as of early 2006, taking up space in the new Hyatt Center building closer to Union Station. Law firm Jenner & Block is vacating ten prime top floors of the building in spring of 2010.
IBM Plaza has several design features that are rare in an office building but understandable given its original owner. The building's electrical system, environmental system, floor strength, and ceiling height (on certain floors) can support large "raised floor" computing centers. Also, the "banked" intelligent elevator system is a model of efficiency and rarely keeps anyone waiting for service. IBM Plaza stayed dry during the 1992 Chicago Flood.
Notable tenants as of 2006 include the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Perkins and Will's founding/largest office,[3] the international architectural firm DeStefano Partners, and several smaller law firms. Prime Group Realty Trust, a subsidiary of The Lightstone Group, the building's current owner considered partially converting it to condominiums in 2006.[4] Those plans were soon abandoned. In 2007, plans were announced to convert floors two through fourteen of the fifty-two story building into a high-end hotel. The Langham, Chicago is expected to open in 2013, occupying floors two through thirteen. The building was declared a Chicago Landmark on February 6, 2008 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 26, 2010. It is also the newest building in Chicago in terms of age on both lists.

Pritzker Pavillion, Frank Gehry

The Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry, is the new home for Chicago's Grant Park Symphony, which for nearly seventy years has been providing free summer concerts in downtown Chicago. The name of the bandshell refers to Chicago's Pritzker family, owners of Hyatt Hotels and the Marmon Group. Cindy Pritzker was instrumental in insisting that Gehry be brought to Chicago to design the new bandshell, the architect's first building in the city.
The bandshell, built atop a sublevel muncipal parking garage, is the centerpiece of the city's new $475,000,000 Millennium Park, which was itself constructed partially on the site of an older park that had fallen into massive disrepair, and partially over tracks that were originally built by the Illinois Central Railroad in the early 19th century and that had remained, until Millennium Park's creation, an open trench that separated Michigan Avenue from the city's lakefront.
The bandshell has seating for 4,000, with room for another 7,000 people on the broad lawn behind the fixed seating. The site of the old band shell, which remains the location for the city's fourth of July concert and numerous pop music festivals, was in most places little more than clumps of grass isolated in great expanses of dirt - a heavy rain and it was Woodstock redux. At least for now, the great lawn of the Pritzker pavilion is a thick uninterrupted carpet of newly laid sod.

1 comment:

  1. I am really exciting for architect who have designed tons of wonderful designs. I love the most last two designs. I am curious to see more pictures of these designs. Hope i will get it as soon.
    Precast Concrete