Landmarks Visited: 21
Landmarks To-Date: 54
Landmarks Remaining: 299
On Sunday I took the bus to the north end of Michigan Avenue and started walking south. My goal was to see all of the landmarks on Michigan. I didn't make it all of the way, but I walked from 900 N Michigan to 2600 South, so it was a pretty good distance and I saw 21 landmarks. The northern end of Michigan Avenue is a high-end shopping district known as the Magnificent Mile.
As you head south you enter an area of more corporate offices near the Chicago River, and then farther south is part of the cultural district. I walked past the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cultural Center. Next comes a more residential area of the South Loop, and then the most vacant (at street level) Motor Row. I ended my walk just where Michigan Avenue crosses I-55 just south of the McCormick Place convention center.
The Palmolive Building is an art deco tower that was built as a headquarters for Colgate-Palmolive. Later it was home to Playboy, and now it's a luxury condo complex. The building has a spire on top that I've been told originally had a spot light on it. As taller buildings were built around it, apparently the neighbors started to complain and use of the light was discontinued.
The plaque describes this landmark better than I could.
The Allerton Hotel is probably most famous for the sign at the top of the hotel that says "Tip-Top-Tap".
Woman's Athletic Club
Fort Dearborn was the first permanent European presence in Chicago. Today there are simply markers in the sidewalk outlining the original fort walls.
This is one of my favorite buildings on Michigan. It has a facade of green stone and brass accents. The building also has a spire of dark green and brass. Today the building houses a Hard Rock Hotel.
London Guarantee Building
This area of Michigan is famous because the parks on the east side of the street offer beautiful views of the curtain wall of buildings on the west side of the street.
The Fine Arts Building holds a theatre, artists' studios and small offices. It's the only building on this trip that I walked inside to photograph the interior. This is also the only building in Chicago that I know of that still has elevator operators. There is also an outdoor atrium in the building on maybe the 4th floor with a fountain. But I've heard that it's no longer open due to safety issues with the building.
The Auditorium Building houses a pretty famous live performance space. I like the exterior of the building because it is so massive. The walls and the pillars are incredibly thick.
I think the Blackstone is famous because the term 'smoke-filled rooms' was coined there to describe meetings of the 'Chicago Democratic Machine' were held there. This would have been during the time when the Chicago machine influenced national as well as local elections.
Chess Records was a blues label, I think. Today the building houses a small museum.
There are a lot of photos of Motor Row, because it is a huge district. It runs from the 1400 block of S Michigan to 2600 South. It was the orginal home to car dealerships in Chicago. Today it looks like only one lonely Ford dealership is left. Many of the buildings look like they have been renovated, with condos or offices on the upper floors. But most of the street level spaces are vacant. I took one interior shot of a tile floor, because I thought it was pretty fancy for a car dealership.
Motor Row: Illinois Auto Club building
This building is part of the Motor Row District, but it really is worthy of a designation of its own. I first saw it when I went to the area to watch the Chicago marathon with my brother Kevin. I immediately liked the buidling. It was originally the headquarters of the Illinois Auto Club. Later it was home the the Chicago Defender, a major African American newspaper. The building is now abandoned, with boarded-up windows. But it does appear to be structurally sound.
Second Presbyterian Church