Monday, September 23, 2013

Architectural Tour Around Chicago - Part Two

We continue with the architectural tour of Chicago by boat.....

This building with the funny octagonal shape on top started out being called Mather Tower. Then in was listed as the Lincoln Tower in the Michigan-Wacker Historic Roster, and now it is just called by it's address: 75 E. Wacker Drive. Some Chicagoans refer to it as the "inverted spyglass" due to its design. The 21 octagonal stories sit atop 20 stories of the rectangular building. It is Chicago's most slender high-rise, at 100 x 65 at the base, and the very top is only 9 feet across. The building was completely restored in 2002.

This curved building in the middle is pretty cool looking. It is 333 Wacker Drive. I love the reflections from the buildings across the river. This is an office building, and was featured in the movie, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" as where Ferris Bueller's father worked. It is 489 feet tall and has 36 floors.

This is the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers that is shaped like a riverboat or paddle wheel boat. (It looks more like it at the other angle, but I wasn't fast enough with my camera!)

This is the old post office building. Nothing too significant here EXCEPT

When I zoomed in, I spotted the Chicago Blackhawks' flag, which put a smile on my face. Our hockey team won the Stanley Cup this year. So that building may be old, dilapidated, and most of the windows broken, but somebody sneaked in there and hung that flag! Go Blackhawks!

This is the Civic Opera Building, or Lyric Opera House. It is built to look like a large chair/throne. The story goes that a young woman tried to make it in New York, but they turned her down, saying her voice wasn't good enough. So her rich husband built his wife her OWN stage in Chicago - the Civic Opera Building. The back of the chair faces New York - snubbing THEM. The opera house has 3,563 seats, making it the second largest opera auditorium in North America.

source: Wikipedia

We passed a group of kayakers. Don't know if they belonged to a club, if they were taking an architectural tour via a kayak, or what!

This is River City. They are condos on top of a marina, right on the Chicago River.

River City on the right looking back towards the skyline; Sear's Tower (tall black building) in background. (It is now called Willis Tower, but it will forever in my mind be called SEARS Tower!)

Speaking of ahem, Sears Tower, here is a river view of those skydeck windows

Here is another view:  If you want to see what it looks like from up there, go to my post here.

Lake Point Tower - This was the highest reinforced concrete building in the world at the time it was built in 1968. It held the record for tallest residential-only building in Chicago until 2004. Contrary to popular belief, that is NOT a revolving restaurant on top.

This building is called 311 South Wacker Driver. It is 958 ft tall and has 65 floors. There are two distinguishing features on this building. 1) The color - the building is made with concrete, Texas red granite, and glass. The windows have a bright blue tint on them. 2) the interesting "wedding cake" structure, or crown,  on the roof. "It is a 105-foot tall translucent cylinder, surrounded by four small cylinders.....This makes it one of the most visible Chicago skyscrapers at night as the crown is brightly illuminated. The five cylinders on top are lit at night by 1,852 fluorescent tubes and a lantern at the top changes colors for various holidays and special events." Wikipedia

Our tour guide told us that the lights were so bright that it changed the flight pattern of some birds; they were getting confused as to days and nights. The building had to dim the lights a little after that!

This fountain looks pretty innocuous, BUT

EVERY hour on the hour, it sprays across the river and you COULD get wet. Our boat missed it by 10 minutes, although we would have enjoyed getting wet because it turned out to be a hot day!

Here we are, looking back at the fountain.

A view of the skyline with the water taxi in the foreground.

Another view of the beautiful city of Chicago.

I hope you enjoyed the tour. Be careful disembarking from the boat!

(Again, I relied on Wikipedia a LOT for info, and a little on tour guide information!)


Gail said...

Beautiful places.

I am more afraid of the city than you are of snakes and spiders.

Liz A. said...

Pretty big buildings.

JoJo said...

Beautiful tour!!!

Country Gal said...

Nice photos . I still prefer my country side to a concrete jungle lol ! Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Lucky lucky you .

Christine said...

I've been to Chicago a few times, and even went on an architectural tour, but didn't see/hear about any of these buildings. I especially like the look of/story behind the throne.

Adam said...

a wonderful city

Danica Bridges-Martin said...

Chicago is such a beautiful city! :) Dancia

Valerie said...

Architects must have a great time trying to design a building that's even more unusual than the others. I wouldn't like to live close to so many buildings but that doesn't stop me admiring them. My visit to the States was a revelation.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That's one thing I've never done in Chicago--go on the river tour. I should.

Carletta said...

Thanks for the tour Pat!
I went back and read the previous post. I think my favorite is the Tribune Tower in that one. Kinda made me think of Middle Earth in the middle of the windy city. :)

Anonymous said...

Great tour, one I would never take because I don't do water of any kind, so I am sure glad you shared all the sights. The buildings are fabulous. Makes me want to come see Chicago.

Steven Anthony said...

You bring the city to life with your pics. It is an amazing place. I am going in Nov to see wicked cant wait. thanks for the tour :)