Saturday, May 14, 2011

Trip 103: The Most Remote Landmark

Date: May 7, 2011
Trip: 103
Landmarks Visited: 2
Landmarks To-Date: 287
Landmarks Remaining: 66

1. Illinois-Indiana State Line Boundary Marker

On a rainy Saturday morning I was driving to Toledo for a Mother's Day visit. I stopped by what I think is probably the most remote (or at least the most difficult to find) landmark in Chicago. It's the border marker between Illinois and Indiana. It's located at the entrance to the State Line Generating Plant, which itself it wedged between the Skyway toll road and Lake Michigan. You have to drive through a residential neighborhood and then down a one lane road along railroad tracks to get to it. When you find it, you definitely have the feeling that you're trespassing on private property.

The marker was moved to it's current location--I'm guessing due to the construction of the Skyway. It's not a lot to look at, but it is one of the oldest surviving structures in Chicago. 


2. Drake Fountain

On the way to the boundary marker, I also stopped by Drake Fountain. The interesting thing is that it doesn't appear to be a fountain at all. According to the city's website, it was originally an "ice water fountain" donated by John Drake and the Italian government. I'd never heard this term before, and oddly wasn't able to find a good definition on the web. I'm assuming that blocks of ice were put there in the summertime to provide cool water for residents, but it's not obvious how that would have worked with the structure that remains there today at least.

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