I’ve heard a lot of people comment on Chicago’s great architecture, and from what I’d seen until this morning it was easy to agree with them. Then I took the architecture tour, and somehow the word ‘great’ just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. Amazing? Fantastic? Incredible? That’ll do.
There’s a lot of history and stunning design lining the streets of this city, but I think the thing that impresses me the most is the attention to detail. There are beautiful buildings, sure, but also bridges, curbs, the lakefront, the riverside – it’s all designed to make the city beautiful. One of the original planners of Chicago (the guide mentioned him today but I forget his name) had the then-crazy notion that if the city is a beautiful place, beautiful people (i.e. non-scumbags, not the Paris Hilton kind) will live in it. One direct consequence of this, for example, was the modelling of the riverside walks on the Seine in Paris.
I took a ton of pictures today, so click on the image below to view. You’ll have to forgive the lack of captions – there is far more to say here than I could ever do justice. I highly recommend you buy/borrow/steal a book on Chicago architecture and read it till it falls to bits (as I am going to do in amout 20 minutes).