This fresh air at this pier can't be found in many places. It's like someone had managed to clean the air. It really awakens the child in you. It enjoyed it without thinking that the next day I would not be there. It's like opening your eyes and finding you're in a different world, perhaps somewhere more innocent.
The alternatives to enjoy the panorama of the Chicago skyline are Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center. I chose the latter for two reasons. One is that on the 95th floor at the Signature Room, you can dine on a balcony overlooking the city with views unlike anything you can imagine. And the second is that from the JHC one can also admire what was the former Sears Tower. The landscape is breathtaking. The view changes when it becomes dusk, and you can see thousands of small lights like stars, it is the most impressive skyline in Chicago. I highly recommended it.
Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit, every time I vacation there... It's an amazing experience. There's so many wonderful things to see and photograph! Here's some photos from my most recent trip.
Of the 38 bridges spanning the Chicago River as it passes through the city of the same name, the most famous is undoubtedly the Michigan Avenue bridge. Not only was it one of the technical marvels of its time, but its construction marked the historic moment when Chicago began to spread northward. The extension of Michigan Avenue across the bridge meant the birth of the legendary stretch of earth known as the Magnificent Mile. Like other bridges in Chicago, Michigan Avenue can be shut down, although it is difficult to agree on a good time for this because you have to temporarily cut off one of the main arteries of the city). In spring it's open to make way for the boats that spend the winter in inland lakes, and in the fall they do the opposite. The Michigan Avenue Bridge is considered to be a historical monument and is one of the four or five things you absolutely must visit while passing through Chicago.
For $ 35 you can take a guided tour by boat for 1 hour and 30 mins. It is absolutely essential to know all about the main skyscrapers and history. Bring a hat and suncream if you do it in summer. The guide in question told us that she was a teacher in college and did this voluntarily. Incredible! This gives you an idea of the pride that they have in their city. We were given the whole history of the area and the many skyscrapers. Afterwards, there is a bar where you can enjoy a drink.
On my first visit to the city, back in the late 80s, this was one of the edifices that most struck me. At that time, this large property was a part of a strong government push towards administrative renewal in the heart of the city (it is directly across from City Hall). When envisioned, its design attracted both supporters and detractors and fortunately the former won out. Externally there is a large building in a semi-circle, all glass and metal, with some shocking colors: sky blue and red desvahído. Modern, yes, nice, no. Inside follows the same aesthetics of Meccano, with one big difference: There is a huge atrium. Again, immense. When I first saw it, I was floored, since the outside dimensions would not lead you to believe it existed within. It is 17 stories high covered by a translucent roof. I hope the photos convey a feeling of vastness created whenever such a large space is viewed and, above all, the high ceiling. The building also houses an underground station and various shops.
Gleacher Center is a large conference center attached to the University of Chicago. It regularly organizes business and economic events. For tourists, the main interest is its architecture, especially on the side facing the river. The location is superb, right next to Michigan Avenue and directly across from NBC tower. Its not a skyscraper, for a change, and access is free in most of the facilities.
Located in south Chicago between Cermak and Wentworth Avenues, this area has nearly 100,000 Asian immigrants, the second largest community in the U.S. For a quick tour of the neighborhood, visit: 1.) Wentworth Avenue, the heart of the neighborhood, full of shops and restaurants. 2.) Chinatown Gate the typical gate of any Chinatown and a good place for a photograph to remember the visit. 3.) The Chinatown Mural, made with hand-painted tiles the history of Chinese immigrants in America. 4.) Chinatown Square, filled with sculptures of the Chinese calendar. 5.) Nine Dragon Wall, as you can imagine, a wall sculpture decorated with nine dragons.
One is left open-mouthed when you hear that, in the middle of the forest of skyscrapers of Chicago, one of the nicest calls itself "La Giralda" in honor, of course, of the masterpiece of Seville. Looking at the pictures you realize quickly why there is the comparison. It is also one of the most historic towers of Chicago, built in 1920.
The Tribune Tower, along with the Wrigley Building, stands at the beginning of the most famous avenue in Chicago. They are two of the most famous buildings in the city and, although they have been dwarfed by the skyscrapers that have sprung up around them, they are still popular with tourists. The Tribune Tower has a fascinating history, with its design selected as the winner of a competition organised by the city's leading newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, in the early 20's. The ornate neo-Gothic style was controversial at the time and generated a lot of public debate. One curious fact is that, when the tower was being built, stone was donated from monuments around the world and incorporated into the building's walls. Look out for pieces of stone from the Vatican, the Great Wall of China, and more. Inside, access is restricted to the lobby, as the building is still used by the Chicago Tribune, but the stunning architecture means that it is well worth a visit.
ArchiCenter is an exhibition related to architecture and the city. The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit institution that controls and manages activities that promote knowledge about Chicago architecture, on local and international levels. The facility also offers sightseeing and architecture-related tours. They have a souvenir shop where architects and lovers of skyscrapers can be enticed with books, posters, objects, games, and a last view.
I found this little fountain near the Water Tower by chance. As a bronze plaque explains, the Vienna fountain is a donation to the city of Chicago and the Viennese artist Hans Muhr. I'm not sure if it looks more like a fountain or a urinal, but I admit it looks very decadent and Viennese. The strange thing is that the author dedicated it "to the thirsty." One of those little gems you find without wanting to...
In homage to the urban plan of Chicago by Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett in 1909, the architects Zaha Hadid (London) and Ben van Berkel (UN Studios-Amsterdam) designed a temporary pavilion to be exposed in Millennium Park . The two structures were there in 2009, from summer until the first of November. The importance of the 1909 plan was that, for the first time, citizens had a say about their city and its projects, a management model that is now known in many cities as the citizen participation plan.
For adventurers who want to see the American heartland, Route 66 is without a doubt the best possible trip to take. You can see cities and towns withou relying on guidebooks, and really experience the people and the customs. If you're traveling to Chicago for a medium-long time, driving along part of this historical route should be mandatory. My advice is to start at the beginning of Route 66 in Chicago, where if you feel the itch for a road trip, you can rent a car for the day (for less than $30). 30 miles outside of Chicago, the landscape changes completely, and you'll see the typically American farms with porches and the national flag flying.
The Harold Washington Public Library is located on one of the main streets of the City Loop and is the second largest library in the world. The building is quite impressive, as is the view from the top floor, especially from an architectural point of view. The sculptures are a gem too. I love public libraries and the scent of the ink in the books. You won't regret walking through these halls. Definitely visit the top floor as well. The peace of the bright winter garden is amazing. Imagine the pleasure of sitting down to read or study in an area like this. The library is very busy until Sunday, which is the day I visited. One of the sections I liked most is where the papers are filed. It's really a wonderful place outside of the purely tourist circuit of Chicago.
As I already mentioned before, Millennium Park is an extraordinary place full of intriguing things. Its famous fountains are impressive both for their size and their creative design. A great place to stop for some afternoon tea.