Monday 9 June 2014

Cruising the Chicago River

Today Alfred, Craig, Kevin and I went for the Shoreline Cruise's Architectural Riverboat tour on the Chicago River.

Our expert guides will share an insider’s glimpse into the buildings, architecture, and engineering that made Chicago famous as the birthplace of the skyscraper and home of modern American architecture. Nothing is more impressive than this world-renowned architecture as seen from the Chicago River on an architecture tour! 

Discover hidden architectural gems as well the city’s most renowned landmarks along all three branches of the Chicago River while you relax with a drink from our cash bar.

It was nice warm day for a cruise on the river. Our guide (I forget his name) was an out-of-work actor who did a great job of explaining not only the architecture of Chicago but its history. Here he is explaining the history and possible future of the old Chicago Post Office which is massive!

To back up just a little, at the top of the river by the Michigan Ave Bridge, are old chairs from Wrigley Field that were removed when the stadium was refurbished. They are scattered all around.


Even the new buildings are very cool. These two buildings of Marina City are right by the river and because of the water table, underground parking cannot be dug. Notice how the first dozen or so floors are all parking!

I can't remember anything about this building except is was very old and cool! You may not learn a lot reading this post but you might learn a little.

This is Merchandise Mart. Construction started in 1923 and was not completed 'til 1931. It was the largest building in the world at the time, being 25 stories and taking up two city blocks. It even had its own zip code! The picture does not give the buildings size justice.

On the north branch of the river sits this building, now a condo.It was built almost a century ago as a frozen food warehouse. When the building was bought for renovation, it took a full year to defrost the inside of the building before windows could be knocked out and the inside redone. I found that amazing!


The river by the forks.

Left is the 110 story Willis Tower, which until 2009 was the Sears Tower, and is what most people still call it today.

This is a very busy river. I would not be in a kayak out here.

Designed to look like a champagne bottle, the top is plated with gold!

A nice spot to have lunch during a work day.

The view of Chicago from the mouth of the river.

The newly built Trump Tower. So new, the trump sign just says TRUM. Look at the building on the left of the second picture.

In the picture above, to the right, is my favorite building in Chicago, the Wrigley Building which was completed in 1925. I read an article that the Wrigley Building is home to the world's only chewing gum wrapper museum which is not open to the public. I could spend an hour or so just shooting the exterior of this building. Here are some more shots.


Here is the Chicago Tribune building. Right across the street from the Wrigley Building, again, I could spend an hour or more shooting this.

In June 1922, the Chicago Tribune announced its intention to construct a new headquarters that would be "the most beautiful office building in the world." To find its architect, the Tribune conceived a competition that was also a brilliant publicity campaign. With a $50,000 first prize (the equivalent today of about $690,000!), and $20,000 and $10,000 for second and third prize, the competition generated massive press coverage and attracted 263 entries from twenty-three countries.


Fragments from more than 120 structures, including the Great Wall of China, are embedded in the base. Many of the pieces were gifts to McCormick; some were brought back to Chicago by foreign correspondents.


It was a great cruise and the next time I'm in Chicago, yes, I will be coming back, I would do this same cruise again but maybe take notes. My final shot, Craig posing with Chicago!

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