Friday, February 18, 2011

Trip 92: Lathrop House

Date: February 16, 2011
Trip: 92
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 239
Landmarks Remaining: 114

On Wednesday I used my lunch hour to join two friends to tour the Charnley House on Astor Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood. The Charnley House is a landmark (designed by Louis Sullivan) that I previously visited during the summer. But this time I got to see the interior--I definitely recommend the tour which is offered by the Society of Architectural Historians.

On my way to the Charnley House, I swung by the Lathrop House, which is also located in the Gold Coast. The house is now home to the Fortnightly of Chicago, a women's social organization. The Lathrop House is considered Georgian Revival, which I think is relatively unusual for Chicago. There are definitely a number of more typical Chicago greystones on the same street.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trip 91: Sexton School

Date: February 15, 2011
Trip: 91
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 238
Landmarks Remaining: 115

On Monday afternoon I had a client meeting in Wicker Park. Luckily the days are already starting to get a little longer so I had enough daylight left to visit the Sexton School. According to the landmark plague it was one of the first high schools in Chicago and is one of the oldest surviving school buildings.

Trip 90: Valentine's Day on the South Side

Date: February 14, 2011
Trip: 90
Landmarks Visited: 5
Landmarks To-Date: 237
Landmarks Remaining: 116
On a sunny Valentine's Day afternoon I drove to the south side to see four landmarks on Michigan Avenue and one on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. The drive on South Michigan Avenue was a pleasant surprise because there are more of the original homes remaining than I expected. It wasn't always easy to look at a block and pick out the landmarked building.
1. Griffiths-Burroughs House

2. Eighth Church of Christ, Scientist

3. George Cleveland Hall Branch, Chicago Public Library

4. Pate-Comiskey House

This house is unique both because it combines elements of Prairie Style and traditional design, and because it was the home of a long time owner of the Chicago White Sox.

5. Main Building & Machinery Hall

I have seen these buildings a number of times from the Kennedy Expressway, but because the Illinois Institute of Technology is famous for its Modernist buildings, I wasn't sure if they were part of the campus. The first group of photos is of the Main Building. I'm pleased that I was able to get a shot of the stained glass windows through the front door of the building. I also tried to show the stripped stone that makes up the foundation of the building.

The second group of photos is of Machinery Hall, which is just across 33rd Street from the Main Building.

Machinery Hall

The following pics are of 'non-landmarked' buildings on the campus. I'm guessing that this building is named after the Armour family of meat packing fame.

These photos are of the new student union building. The most interesting aspect is that is was built directly under the L. A tube was built around the L tracks to reduce the noise in the building. The interior of the building utilizes a number of translucent walls. This had given me some ideas for my long-term renovation plan for my condo...

I'm guessing these buildings are dorms, but whatever their purpose, I like the design.

Trip 89: (Former) Engine Company 86

Date: February 12, 2011
Trip: 89
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 232
Landmarks Remaining: 121

On Saturday I drove to a friend's house for a pre-Valentine's Day martini. On the way I drove past the former Engine Company 86 building. The building looks to have been converted to a private home. But the most interesting feature is that it's a wooden structure.

This is the first wooden firehouse that I've seen in Chicago. It's located far enough north that it could pre-date the fire. Somehow I don't think any wooden firehouses were built in Chicago after the fire.

The large snow piles in the photos are the remnants of the Blizzard of 2011--better know as Snowmageddon.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Trip 88: A Quick Trip to the West Loop

Date: January 23, 2011
Trip: 88
Landmarks Visited: 3
Landmarks To-Date: 231
Landmarks Remaining: 122

On a cold but sunny Sunday I took the Red Line down to the Loop to see one landmark, and then took a short ride on the Green Line to see two more in the West Loop. We had a snow storm the night before so there were not many people out and about.

1. Page Brothers Building

The interesting thing about this building is that it has different facades facing north (Lake Street) and west (State Street). The landmark plague explains that the State Street side was updated when it became a more important commercial street than Lake.

Walking to another landmark I took the photo below. It's of a diner that I think my dad would appreciate. The outdoor seating area includes a railroad crossing gate and railroad car wheels.

2. Site of Haymarket Tragedy

This monument marks the approximate location of the spot where a bomb was thrown during a labor demonstration in May of 1886. A number of police and civilians died from the bomb and the confusion that followed. Many people believe this event is the origin of May Day as an international day for labor.
I actually thought of current events in Egypt when I visited this monument. No one could have foreseen the outcome of events at Haymarket Square that day, just like no one could have predicted that one man's death in Tunisia would lead to demonstrations across the Middle East.

The following pic is of Claes Oldenburg's Batcolumn sculpture. I walked past it on my way to the next landmark. I know that the Ferris Wheel was Chicago's actual response to the Eiffel Tower, but I've always thought of this sculpture as Chicago's Eiffel Tower. The steel frame construction is very reminiscent (in my opinion) of the tower.

3. Engine Company 5, Truck 2

This building is still an active fire station.

On my walk back to the train, I happened to look up at the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. I had heard about the new glass floor ledges on the observation floor, but had never actually seen them before. I definitely want to check it out in person at some point.
Look closely at the top few floors of the tower and you can see the glass areas that extended outward from the facade of the building.