Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trip 13: Two Northside Landmarks

Date: April 20, 2010
Trip: 13
Landmarks Visited: 2
Landmarks To-Date: 18
Landmarks Remaining: 335
On Monday after work I drove to two northside landmarks. First was the Milwaukee-Diversey-Kimball district. It's basically another of Chicago's six-way intersections. As far as I could tell, there are three buildings of note in the district. Probably the most interesting thing is that the three buildings are from different eras. The building with the Gap Outlet store has very ornate terra cotta details. The Footlocker building looks somewhat art deco. And the third building, which seems to be abandoned, is more of a minimalist office building. It also seems to be the exact same design as a building a little south at Milwaukee and North (in Wicker Park) that is also landmarked. But the Wicker Park building (called the Northwest Tower and more affectionately the Coyote Building) is taller and has a tower.
The second landmark of the trip was the Vasser Swiss Underwear Company building. It's pretty typical of factory buildings in neighborhoods around Chicago. It has a clock tower, but there is no longer a functional clock. I read somewhere that factories used to have clock towers because workers couldn't afford watches so they needed to know when to go to work. But it could also be that the clock towers actually hide water towers.
I also think that this building used to house a lamp factory after the underwear business left. It's currently being renovated into a "Green Exchange" which is sort of an incubator for green businesses. Almost all of the building's windows have been replaced which must have cost a fortune.

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