About a week ago, we went to Chicago. It was amazing! We went on an arcitecture tour from a company called Inside Chicago Walking Tours. The tour guide and company owner is named Hillary, and she is awesome. Here’s a couple of things that make Inside Chicago Walking Tours unique:
1. Not only do you see the outside of tons of buildings, you get to see the interiors!
2. Hillary doesn’t give you long list of facts, like most tour guides do. Instead, she tells stories that you’ll remember.
3. The group is small (about ten people), so you can get to know everyone.
4. You’ll learn things about arcitecture that you can use in other cities, such as: Find out what this building is/was used for, then look for traces of that thing.
We hade tons of fun. It was honestly one of my favorite tours ever, and it made me absolutely love the city. I also like Chicago because it’s not quite so big as NYC. Sure, I like it there, but as I said in that post, it’s rather overwhelming. Chicago is sort of a happy medium.
My top three favorite buildings that we saw were as follows, from least to most:
311 South Wacker Drive Although just named for it’s address, this building is awesome. It’s pink granite, and it’s octangular. Plus, it has crazy lights on top that shine at night! (So it’s also known as the Birthday Cake Building.) On the inside, there’s a big fountain of a Greek water god and palm trees! It’s just an office building! Who would’ve thought?
The Rockery A rook is a kind of bird, so this building’s theme is: birds! There are birds carved on the outside, and in the inside there are birds on the walls, especially by the elevators. But although the outside look of the building is dark of fortress-like, once inside I felt like I was in a huge wedding cake! Frank Loyd Wright remodeled it in the 1980’s, and now it’s all white and gold, complete with a leak! (All of Frank Loyd Wright’s houses leaked, because his designs weren’t practicle.) Read about another F. L. Wright house we saw here.
Chicago Culteral Center Previously a library, now the Chicago Culteral Center sits dormant and doesn’t really do anything. Which is a shame, because in my opinion it’s the most beautiful building in the Chicago. It’s all green inside, with mosaics everywhere. There are quotes from famous writers all over, too. There is an arch with names of Greek and Roman authors, one for American authors, one for European authors, etc. It’s really just too beautiful for words. If you have the chance, please go see it.
And then, of course, there are the classic Chicago favorites: The Bean and Sears Tower (Technicly called Willis Tower). How could we not go to them?
I liked The Bean a lot. When your inside, and you look up, it’s like there’s no ceiling, just a deep, deep reflection. Someone threw a soccerball up when we were there and it went all the way to the top! Then the security gaurd threatened to beat him up.
Did you know Sears Tower is actually nine different towers, all gathered together and all ending at different hights? It’s really cool to see. Today, as we passed through Chicago, heading to Milwaukee, it looked like the top of Sears Tower was floating above the clouds.