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Chicago Blog Posts

Chicago, too big for its britches?

Chicago is big for sure. It’s the third largest city in the U.S. And it probably could use a lesson in humility every once in a while. In September I had the opportunity to ride across the country with a friend. It was the second time for me, the first was in 1983. Just as I was back in 1983, the sheer size of the United States blew me away. The land is so vast, so rural, so filled with history. Of course, Chicago is the finest city in the United States. I love its size, it’s buildings, its food and its people. However, for as big as Chicago feels, it’s humbling to know this. Chicago occupies 238 square miles of land. The United States depending on how it’s measured is about 16.2 million square miles. The United States land holdings provide enough room for 3.8 million Chicagos. Two takeaways here, America is mind-boggling in size. Second, Chicago has room to grow.


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Aon Center, Architect Edward Durell Stone unsung hero in Architecture

Edward Durell Stone (March 9, 1902 – August 6, 1978) was a twentieth century American architect. An early proponent of modern architecture in the United States, he designed buildings throughout the world. Stone’s notable works include Radio City Music Hall and the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York City, the United States Embassy in New Delhi, India, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The Standard Oil Building was constructed as the new headquarters of the Standard Oil Company of Indiana, which had previously been housed at South Michigan Avenue and East 9th Street. When it was completed in 1973, it was the tallest building in Chicago and the fourth-tallest in the world, earning it the nickname “Big Stan”.[10] (A year later, the Sears Tower took the title as Chicago’s and world’s tallest.) The building employs a tubular steel-framed structural system with V-shaped perimeter columns to resist earthquakes, reduce sway, minimize column bending, and maximize column-free space. This construction method was also used for the former World Trade Center towers in New York City.

Copy taken from Wikipedia

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Trump International Hotel and Tower

Trump Tower Chicago Dominates views on the Chicago River.
Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago, topped out in 2009 and stands at 98 stories. At one point, the real estate developer planned to build the tallest building in the United States or perhaps the world at this site, but when terrorists took down the World Trade Towers in New York City, Trump decided he didn’t want his building to become a target. The Trump International Hotel and Tower shares something important with Chicago’s most iconic buildings, the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Center. All three buildings and developers used the world famous Chicago firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merill. To the chagrin of many, Trump International Hotel and Tower passed up the Hancock Building in terms of Height. However, that needs to be explained. When comparing rooftop to rooftop, the Hancock is significantly taller than the Trump building. However, the spire on the Trump, because it has no satellite dishes and other electronic equipment gets to be measured in the over the height of the building. It should also be pointed out that when comparing rooftop to rooftop, the Sears Tower towers over One World Trade in New York City but because the One World has a clean spire, it’s considered the taller of the two buildings never mind that when comparing rooftop to rooftop the Willis/Sears is ten stories taller. Chicago officials and architects never fought the measurement in of One World in New York because of its symbolic importance, but there’s a little nonsecret that swirls through architecture offices, One World most certainly is not taller nor was it harder or gutsier to build than the Sears. Here’s to humility and the Second City. Trump is not a widely loved figure in Chicago, but he developed a world-class skyscraper. Keeping only the building in mind, it’s impressive and an important part of Chicago skyline.


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Wrigley in 2012

This is Wrigley in 2012. Sure looks a lot older in this photo. Probably the b&w more than anything. Taken from the Red Line platform. Go Sox.

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