State Street & The Loop, Chicago
A Pablo Picasso sculpture was unveiled in Chicago on August 15, 1967 at Daley Plaza (then Civic Center Plaza). It is 50 ft. high and weighs 162 tons. The sculpture is made of steel fabricated by the US Steel Corp. in Gary, Indiana, and was assembled in Gary, disassembled, and reassembled at its present location.
Picasso was approached by Chicago architect William Hartmann in 1963 to produce a sculpture that would fit in with the Civic Center building. When a scale model was agreed upon, 3 charitable foundations paid for the fabrication. Hartmann took a check for $100,000 to Picasso who immediately refused it, saying, "This is my gift to the people of Chicago." Picasso never saw his finished sculpture in person.
The sculpture, which has no official name, was once controversial, but has become a well-known city landmark.
The Prudential Building is one of Chicago's most famous skyscrapers. It was built in 1955 and stands 41 storeys tall. At the time of completion, it had the world's fastest elevators. There was also a very popular observation deck which became obsolete as Chicago grew taller.
Behind One Prudential Plaza is the newer and taller Two Prudential Plaza, or 2 Pru. It was completed in 1990 and at the time of completion was the world's 2nd tallest reinforced concrete building. The top of the building features a pyramid-shaped peak with an 80 ft. spire. The building has 64 floors and stands 995 ft. It has won several awards for its design.
The Marshall Field's Building is home to one of the world's most famous and innovative department stores and Chicago's most famous store, Marshall Field's. It is a 13 story building completed in 1914 by Burnham & Co. The building is full of beautiful architecture inside and out, including fountains and mosaics. It was named a National Historic Monument in 1978.
A popular feature of the exterior are the clocks on the State St. corners of the building. They are made of steel and full of very elaborate details.
See my shopping tips for details on the actual Marshall Field's store.
The center of the Windy City is called the Loop because of the elevated railway (the L) that makes a loop around it. It is in the Loop that you’ll find most of the working offices, theatres, movies, hotels and restaurants and malls, on Michigan Avenue, along the Magnifiscent Mile for example.
This picture was taken from John Hancock Center's Observatory.
A great alternative to Michigan Ave. as far as shopping because it does get crowded on certain parts of Michigan Ave. It is alot quieter down here especially on the weekend. The Theatre District is here also.
Most people who visit NYC or London make sure to take in a live show. I'd highly recomend doing the same thing in Chicago!
The Goodman Theatre has a long history in the city, providing superb live plays featuring top notch actors.
If you haven't been to the Goodman in several years then you may be surprised to find out that it no longer resides behind the Art Institute. It had to move because refurbishment of the old theatre was just too expensive. So they built a new theatre in the heart of the loop - actually, one building that houses two theatres.
This huge mosaic is 70 feet long by 14 feet high by 10 feet wide. The artist is Marc Chagall. The mosaic has been in Chicago since 1974, Chagall was so overjoyed at the dedication that he kissed Mayor Richard J. Daley (father of the current mayor).
They changed the name of the plaza to Bank One plaza when First National Bank of Chicago merged with Bank One. Will they now be changing it to JP Morgan?
Originally called "The Sun, the Moon and One Star," Joan Miro's "Chicago" was unveiled on April 21, 1981. Since I am a concrete, not an abstract, thinker, my nickname for this sculpture is Fork Lady. :-)
This forty-foot tall sculpture of a woman with out-stretched arms sits in the Brunswick Plaza on Washington Street overlooking the Daley Center's Picasso. The Project cost $500,000, half of which was paid by the city.
When this was built in 1985, my first reaction to this Helmut Jahn creation was "The Martians have landed!" Although I'm still not wild about the blue and salmon colored panels on the exterior of the building (or the very ugly white sculpture outside), I think I'm actually starting to like it, at least the view of the south side of the building where it truly does resemble a spaceship that has landed. And be sure to go inside, it's a phenomonal waste of space (government's speciality) as there is very little office space housing the State of Illinois employees but the atrium is quite stunning.
In 1993, the building was renamed the James R. Thompson Center in honor of former Governor James R.Thompson. He's still alive so I think it's a little peculiar to have a building named after him. So I still call it the State of Illinois Building as do many other locals who were here when it was built.
There's a few retail stores on the main level, if you go down the escalators there is a food court with mostly fast food, I will occasionally stop by at Panda Express for their yummy orange chicken.
The first 3 weeks of December bring a slice of Alt-Deutschland to the plaza in front of the Daley Center. Booths serving mulled wine, warm pretzels and German specialties provide the fuel for shoppers to check out the displays of handmade tin, wood and glass ornaments. Sample the gingerbread from Nuremberg or the marzipan from Lubeck. Santa and a helper are on hand for photo ops and for taking special requests from good little girls and boys. Spend half an hour or half a day.
Harold Washington Library can be visited in the following opening hours:
. Monday - Thursday: 10.30am to 7pm
. Friday: 10.30am to 4.30pm
. Saturday: 9am to 4.30om
. Closes on Sundays
It is situated in 400 South State Street, which is near Michigan Avenue and Grant Park. The Harold Washington Library is the Central Library of Chicago's Public Libraries.
What I enjoyed the most about the Library was the neo-classical building itself - the colour and the roof with the sculpted figures - as it stands out in Chicago architecture. This building was inaugurated in 1991 and it figured in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest public library in the World.
"The Loop" refers to an area in downtown Chicago where all of the El Trains (metro) converge. The geographic area is literally a rectangular "loop" demarcated by the train tracks that are ELevated above street level.
If you're in downtown Chicago and need to get anywhere then you just need to walk to one of the many El Train stations and you can catch a train to most anywhere in the city.
Whether you go to Marshall Field's for the shopping or for the displays or for the magnificent interior, you should go. The shopping is probably higher priced than most department stores, but this is a very prestigious store!
Built between 1872-74 (architects Wheelock and Thomas) this Italianate-style building is one of the few Loop structures surviving from the massive rebuilding that followed the Fire of 1871.
For a few moments every morning, I feel like I'm in Paris :-)
"Boss" Richard J. Daley, the most powerful man in 20th century Chicago politics, the man who for many typified all that was Chicago (both good and bad) called this modest bungelow at 3536 S. Lowe Street home. This is where the current mayor, Richard M. Daley, grew up and where city matriach Eleanor "Sis" Daley lived her until her recent passing. Little known fact: Sis and Chicago shared the same birthdate: March 4.
This is talk of preserving the house as an historical landmark.