Well, you can't say that Chicago has bland architecture! The 60-story 587-ft circular concrete towers of Marina City immediately caught my attention as I was finishing up with the other skyscrapers - I hadn't seen anything quite like them before. What was really strange was seeing all those cars parked in their lower level 'outdoor' parking stalls! The buildings had such a strange appearance that they almost started to look nice.
Completed in 1964, these two 60-story towers were an attempt by workers unions to create a sort of mini-utopia in the middle of downtown Chicago in an effort to stem the flow of workers out of the inner core of the city. These corn cob buildings would provide the tenants with both living and office space as well as the usual requirements of entertainment, banking, car parking and even a marina thanks to its Chicago River setting!
The architects made two unusual choices: a cylindrical shape to lessen the effects of winds blowing in off the lake and reinforced-concrete construction instead of steel and glass because of this unusual shape. It may not be an historic building but it is unique! A few nights later, I ended up inside one of its entertainment facilities when a group of us had a night out at the House of Blues (see my 'Nightlife' tip for that one).
Architect Bertram Goldberg spent 30 years thinking about and developing Marina City. He believed in the advantages of circular forms (superior aerodynamic qualities, potential offered by a central core, equal distance of units from the center for starts).
It was built in 1959 and cost 36,000,000 dollars. Believe it or not, it was built on only three acres of land in the heart of the Chicago Loop. It has twin sixty-story towers, and each tower had 450 apartments in its upper two-thirds; the lower third is a continuous parking ramp that spirals upward and accommodates 450 automobiles.
Can you imagine the magnificent views of the city enjoyed from every apartment since the towers are circular.
Marina City also has a 16-story office building; 1750 seat theater and a 700 seat auditorium; many stores, restaurants, a bowling alley, a gymnasium; swimming pool; skating rink; a marina for 700 small craft; a sculpture garden at the base of the towers. It all overlooks the Chicago River.
Today, most people see Marina City when they go to "The House of Blues" night spot which is a restaurant and place for live entertainment.
During the 1980's and early 1990's, the Marina City Towers were declining in appearance and appeal. Fortunately, in the last few years, it has been revitalized.
It's an Architectual Wonder as far as I'm concerned.
The two towers of Marina City, overlooking the Chicago River, remind me (and many others) of corn cobs. The two 60 story towers were completed in 1964, designed by Bertrand GoldBerg, a student of Mies van der Rohe.
Marina City was designed to be a "city within a city," in addition to the 450 apartments and parking structure, the towers also house office space, a theater (now the House of Blues), grocery store, restaurants, bowling alley, gymnasium, swimming pool, skating rink. There is also a marina for 700 small boats on the Chicago River.
Marina City was financed by unions who feared that the outflow of people from the cities in the early sixties would lead to a decrease in jobs. Marina City would give an alternative to the villages and small towns, offering everything in a small area.
Marina City may look familiar to Steve McQueen fans, it was featured in his last movie, "The Hunter", when he chases the villian up the spiral ramps of the parking garage and the villian drives his Grand Prix into the Chicago River.
Two circular towers containing apartments, parking garages and a boat marina were built on the Chicago River between 1959 & 1964. It was the architectural dream/invention of Bertram Goldberg that never really fulfilled its intentions. After a period of disrepair -- it has been renovated and considered a valuable landmark -- but it took a while for that to happen. Their nickname is "the corn cobs."
Marina City is a 61 storey building that occupies an entire city block, due to their unique shape, the towers are locally known as the 'corn cobs'. Designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg and built in 1964, the vision was a “city within a city”.
The complex is a mix of apartments, recreation facilities, offices, restaurants, banks, a theatre and 18 stories of parking space.
Marina City I and II make up some of the most interesting buildings in Chicago. They are 2 buildings that sit along the Chicago River at State St. They were both built in 1964 and are both 61 floors and stand 588 ft.
The buildings were originally built to provide "a city within a city", with a variety of amenities available, and converted to condos in 1977. It contains offices, banks, restaurants, and 18 stories of parking space. Next door is the House of Blues.
The architect was Bertrand Goldberg. He designed the building out of concrete to allow the rooms to be petal shaped. The shape was made cylindrical to lower the wind pressure on the building.
Overlooking the Chicago River are the towers which are affectionately referred to as the 'corn cobs'. These two towers form the residential part of the Marina City complex and where completed in 1964. Despite being constructed from concrete, the towers have an elegant and organic appearance since architect Bertrand Goldberg was rebelling against the robust straight lines mostly used in the style of architecture called Modernism.
Two towers of Marina City (populary called "corns") were opened in 1967. These twin circular towers function like a city, with apartments, offices, shops, parking, marina and even a bowling alley and skating rink. Just behind is famous Chicago House of Blues.
Marina City was build in the years of 1959 - 1964,with the height of 179 m and 61 floors
The building is a complex of two cylindrical towers near the Chicago River. Due to their unique shape, the towers are locally known as the 'corn cobs'.It is a lively complex of apartments, recreation facilities, offices, restaurants, banks, a theater and 18 stories of parking space.
Marina city was an alternative to the villages and small towns, offering everything in a small area.The Building reinforced the image of Chicago as a city on the forefront of modern urban architecture.
The round buildings on the side were built in 1967 and termed as the twin "corn cob" structures. Each of the towers an office building, apartments and a parking ramp that spirals upwards. The apartments are pie shaped to give great views.
Marina City is located on North State Street, towering high above the banks of the Chicago River. To the locals, the twin towers are known as the "corn cobs", because of their obvious resemblance to giant stocks of corn.
Construction on the towers were completed in 1964 by Bertrand GoldBerg. At that time, the two 60 story, concrete buildings were the tallest residential buildings in the world. Home to 18 stories of parking, a bowling alley, movie theatre, restaurants, 16 floors of office space, over 450 apartments, a gymnasium, banks, swimming pool and skating rink, and a marina for equipped for a modest 700 small boats.
The Marina towers are a sight to see, and just one of the countless examples of the modern architecture that liters Chicagos skyline.
Chicago page is still under construction. Soon I will add text to this tip.