Chicago Loop

20 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© unsplash.com - frank mckenna

© unsplash.com – frank mckenna

The Loop, one of Chicago‘s 77 designated community areas, is the central business district of the city and is the main section of Downtown Chicago. Home to Chicago’s commercial core, it is the second largest commercial business district in North America and contains the headquarters and regional offices of several global and national businesses, retail establishments, restaurants, hotels, and theaters, as well as many of Chicago’s most famous attractions. It is home to Chicago’s City Hall, the seat of Cook County, and numerous offices of other levels of government and consulates of foreign nations. In it at the intersection of State Street and Madison Street is the origin of Chicago’s street grid addresses, established in 1909. Most of Grant Park‘s 319 acres (1.29 km²) are in the eastern section of the community area. The Loop community area is bounded on the north and west by the Chicago River, on the east by Lake Michigan, and on the south by Roosevelt Road, although the commercial core has greatly expanded into adjacent community areas.   read more…

Grant Park in Chicago

27 July 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Spirit of Music Garden © Alanscottwalker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Spirit of Music Garden © Alanscottwalker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Grant Park is a large urban park (319 acres or 1.29 km²) in the Loop community area of Chicago. Located in Chicago’s central business district, the park’s most notable features are Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. Originally known as Lake Park, and dating from the city’s founding, it was renamed in 1901 to honor Ulysses S. Grant.   read more…

Willis Tower in Chicago

12 May 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General

© Potro/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Potro/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Willis Tower, built as and still commonly referred to as Sears Tower, is a 108-story, 1,450-foot (442.1 m) skyscraper in Chicago. At completion in 1973, it surpassed the World Trade Center towers in New York to become the tallest building in the world, a title it held for nearly 25 years. The Willis Tower is the second-tallest building in the United States and the 14th-tallest in the world. More than one million people visit its observation deck each year, making it one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destinations. The structure was renamed in 2009 by the Willis Group as part of its lease on a portion of the tower’s space. The building’s official address is 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606. In 1969, Sears, Roebuck & Co. was the largest retailer in the world, with about 350,000 employees. Sears executives decided to consolidate the thousands of employees in offices distributed throughout the Chicago area into one building on the western edge of Chicago’s Loop. Sears asked its outside counsel, Arnstein, Gluck, Weitzenfeld & Minow (now known as Arnstein & Lehr, LLP) to suggest a location. The firm consulted with local and federal authorities and the applicable law, then offered Sears two options: an area known as Goose Island and a two-block area bounded by Franklin Street on the east, Jackson Boulevard on the south, Wacker Drive on the west and Adams Street on the north, with Quincy Street running through the middle from east to west. Sears, which needed 3,000,000 square feet (280,000 m2) of office space for its planned consolidation and predicted that growth would require yet more, commissioned architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to produce a structure to be one of the largest office buildings in the world. Their team of architect Bruce Graham and structural engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan designed the building as nine square “tubes” (each essentially a separate building), clustered in a 3×3 matrix forming a square base with 225-foot (69 m) sides. All nine tubes would rise up to the 50th floor of the building. At the 50th floor, the northwest and southeast tubes end, and the remaining seven continue up. At the 66th floor, the northeast and the southwest tubes end. At the 90th floor, the north, east, and south tubes end. The remaining west and center tubes continue up to the 108th floor. Black bands appear on the tower around the 29th–32nd, 64th–65th, 88th–89th, and 104th–108th floors. These are louvres that allow ventilation for service equipment and obscure the structure’s belt trusses. Even though regulations did not require a fire sprinkler system, the building was equipped with one from the beginning. There are around 40,000 sprinkler heads in the building, installed at a cost of $4 million.   read more…

Chicago Board of Trade Building

3 April 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General

© Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Chicago Board of Trade Building is a skyscraper located in Chicago. It stands at 141 W. Jackson Boulevard at the foot of the LaSalle Street canyon, in the Loop community area in Cook County. Built in 1930 and first designated a Chicago Landmark on May 4, 1977, the building was listed as a National Historic Landmark on June 2, 1978. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 16, 1978. Originally built for the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), it is now the primary trading venue for the derivatives exchange, the CME Group, formed in 2007 by the merger of the CBOT and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In 2012, the CME Group sold the CBOT Building to a consortium of real estate investors, including GlenStar Properties LLC and USAA Real Estate Company. The 141 W. Jackson address hosted the former tallest building in Chicago designed by William W. Boyington before the current Holabird & Root structure, which held the same title for over 35 years until being surpassed in 1965 by the Richard J. Daley Center. The current structure is known for its art deco architecture, sculptures and large-scale stone carving, as well as large trading floors. An aluminum, three-story art deco statue of Ceres, goddess of agriculture (particularly grain), caps the building. The building is a popular sightseeing attraction and location for shooting movies, and its owners and management have won awards for efforts to preserve the building and for office management. Interest groups such as the Chicago Architecture Foundation provide scheduled tours showcasing the architecture and selected portions of the trading operations.   read more…

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲