10 spots to look  


Found in the Loop



Found in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor


1. Rookery Building (& Lobby)
209 S. LaSalle Street
1886, Burnham & Root
1905, Frank Lloyd Wright (Lobby renovation)
This must-see architectural treasure is a reminder of the first decade of the Chicago School's golden era. Visitors come from all over the world to take in its square central light court lobby which was remodeled in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright.


1. View from the Ashland Green Line El stop
Winter 2004

2. Federal Center
200 block, South Dearborn Street
1964, 1975, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; Schmidt, Garden & Erikson; C.F. Murphy Assoc.; A. Epstein & Sons
Sculpture: Alexander Calder, "Flamingo"
Mies' first commission in downtown Chicago and his first urban mixed-use land plan comprise three buildings that embody all key elements of Mies' architectural philosophy and are in accordance with his view that "less is more." The Federal Plaza has been described as a study in geometric perfection.


2. Under the Green Line El
All the way west
Driving fast or slow, daytime or nightime, there's no other street quite like it. Well, ok, except for lower Wacker.

3. Monadnock Building (North)
53 W. Jackson Boulevard
1891, Burnham and Root
A supreme achievement of modern commercial architecture, this was one of the world's first skyscrapers and one of the last of the tall buildings erected in the ancient style of masonry construction with load-bearing walls.


3. The ass painting
Lake St. and Wolcott
Destroyed by the city of Chicago who turned the lot into a parking lot in the fall of 2004.

4. Auditorium Building
403 S. Michigan Avenue
1889, Adler & Sullivan
This multiuse building marked Chicago as a cultural center and thanks to Dankmar Adler's skill, is one of the most acoustically perfect Theaters in the world.


4. Under the Kinzie St. Bridge at Damen
Things I have seen uinder the bridge:
A couch with "Otto" painted on it
Abandoned ladders
Abandoned shopping carts
A guy with his dog in his shopping cart waiting out the rain
Various clothing items
Some nice suburban ladies looking for Oprah's studio. (yes they were in a car.)


5. Marquette Building
140 S. Dearborn Street
1894, Holabird & Roche
This early steel-frame commercial building depicts the Chicago School of Architecture probably better than any other building in the city. Its interior lobby, a memorial rotunda in honor of Pere Marquette and Louis Joliet, cannot be overlooked.


5. The walk to downtown on the Metra tracks
This is particularily beautiful at night.

6. Inland Steel Building
30 W. Monroe Street
1957, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
This is truly a building of "firsts" in downtown Chicago. This was the first modern-style office building and the first Loop office skyscraper of the 2nd Chicago School, the first major office building with columns on the exterior, allowing column-free office space, the first fully air-conditioned building, the first office building with below-grade parking, and the first to use stainless steel as cladding.


6. The weird protrubance on the building next to my house.

7. Carson Pirie Scott Building
One S. State Street
1903, Louis H. Sullivan
The ornate cast-ironwork entrance corner of the landmark department store displays the artistic genius of Louis H. Sullivan.


7. Kinzie
Sometimes a street, sometimes an alley.
The farther west you go you might find it has been taken over by the adjacent business and blocked off.
This is the wall running from Ashland to Wood.
There are some nice paintings on it a bit farther east.

8. Carbide and Carbon Building (Hard Rock Hotel Chicago)
230 N. Michigan Ave.
1929, Burnham Brothers
Designed by the sons of Daniel H. Burnham this is one of the most-distinctive Art Deco skyscrapers in Chicago.


8. Odd electrical appendages abound throughout the area.
On very quiet nights below large groupings of wires you can here them hum.

9. 120 North LaSalle (a.k.a. Savings of America Tower)
120 N. LaSalle Street
1991, Murphy/Jahn
This is an excellent example of Helmut Jahn's skill and ingenuity demonstrated as a result of significant design challenges.


9. The Kinzie Industraial Corridar has recently had a revival but you can still find abandoned buildings and whats even nicer are the very odd large cement objects that are scattered about foor no obvious reason.

10. Sears Tower
233 S. Wacker Drive
1974, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
This 110-story glass and aluminum tower is a city unto itself and even has its own zip code.


10. Smokestack?