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Chicago Blog Posts

Colgate Palmolive Building

Few skyscrapers in the United States better defined the optimism 
of the 1920s and the progressive character of architecture than the 
Palmolive Building. It marked a watershed for modern commercial 
architecture in Chicago: with its streamlined, monumental form, 
highlighted by dramatic setbacks, the Palmolive heralded a decidedly 
new form for the design of skyscrapers. 

The Palmolive gained even further attention in 1930 when a two- 
billion-candlepower light was erected atop the building as a navigational aid for airline pilots. Mounted on a 150-foot, steel-and-aluminum tower on the Palmolive roof, the revolving carbon-arc beacon was a luminous wonder as it swept across the night sky every 30 seconds. 

Vince Vaughn's former crib. 
The penthouse takes up the top three floors of the historic Art Deco building, a space that housed the headquarters of Hugh Hefner's Playboy Enterprises from the mid-'60s to the late '80s.
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Dogs for the discerning

When the Four Seasons – a four star hotel – serves hot dogs, it’s time to take notice. The Chicago Eater produces a top-ten list every year and those dogs are over the top. However, I’m less interested in overpriced and over the top dogs. Instead, I like the dives all over the city that deliver dogs to the masses. Masses like me. The hot dog above is from my dog joint of choice. It’s right around the corner from where I work. Of course, there can be fine nuances, but my hot dog is fairly typical served with green relish, a flat slice of pickle, a slice of flavorful tomato, a couple of hot peppers and a dash of celery salt (no onions for this guy). For friends from out of town, there is a rule in Chicago, no ketchup on a hot dog, as in never. Some places won’t serve you if you ask for it. The Chicago Tribune does a pretty good job here explaining the ban on ketchup.

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Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago

In the beginning Holy Name was not a cathedral church. The history of Holy Name Cathedral Parish is as much the story of Catholic immigrants and their new city, Chicago, as it is the story of bishops and seminaries. The Chicago Fire, the Chicago Subway, and most importantly, the dynamic changes within the city’s population and the Church itself, all left their mark on the Holy Name community. From the Holy Name Website

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Poetry Foundation of Chicago (granted, a small piece of it)

A HOME FOR POETRY
The first space in Chicago dedicated solely to the art of poetry, the Poetry Foundation building realizes Harriet Monroe’s dream, set out in her very first editorial, that the magazine would help poets pursue their art, increase public interest in poetry, and raise poetry’s profile in our culture. It also is Poetry’s first permanent home in its 100-year history. Designed by the Chicago firm John Ronan Architects, the building helps the Foundation to carry out its mission: to discover and celebrate the best poetry and place it before the largest possible audience. This text taken from Poetry Foundation Website

More great photos and information.

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Butch McGuire's Irish Pub, Christmas Day, 2016

From McGuire’s website

By Bobby McGuire

I was raised the son of a Chicago Irish saloon keeper. I believed that everyone grew up the same way I did: always surrounded by a very large extended family… a traveling party if you will. Wonderful people were always around during holidays, birthdays, weekends, and vacations. As I grew older I realized I was not living the average life but a very unique one; one I wanted to carry on. I never dreamed of being anything but an Irish saloon keeper. I have always felt that it was my job in life to follow in my father’s footsteps and carry on his many wonderful traditions. Although, I think I will leave out the part where I fire my son at least a dozen times for crimes against humanity! All the firings and other traditional irish expressions of affection did not deter me; today I am my father’s son and living the legacy that is Butch McGuire’s. Butch taught me a great deal about this business and I often remember his words of advice. He also gave me the confidence to find my own way and that is the most valuable lesson of them all. To those of you have been coming here for the last 50+ years, I hope you find Butch McGuire’s as inviting as ever, and for those of you just discovering us, welcome to the world famous Butch McGuire’s, please come in and say hi. I am the big guy by the front door.

 

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Lake Michigan begins its transformation from water to ice

People from throughout the Midwest and beyond flock to Lake Michigan in the warm summer months. Although not quite as comfortable, exploring Lake Michigan during the winter is much more dramatic. Normally ice starts to cover the lake in January and begins its big thaw in March. The ice on the lake is getting a head start this year, which doesn’t mean much. Or it could mean it’s going to be the coldest damn winter in the history of Chicago. Near the lower third of my photograph you’ll see a flock of white birds. I have no idea what those are. For some mind-twisting photographs of ice on Lake Michigan, check out the work of photographer, Tom Gill.

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Trump Tower Chicago, Remarkable Architecture

The Trump Tower Chicago makes great use of its available space while creating another icon in the city’s skyline. Also important, its setbacks pay homage to the Art Deco-era skyscrapers that made Chicago a living architectural museum. And it manages to reach for the stars without stepping on the feet of other buildings in the area. To its neighbors, it appears as an equal. That’s because the first setback is at the same height as the cornice on the Wrigley Building, the second is the same height as Marina City, and the third is at the top of the former IBM Building across the street. Copy provided by Chicago Architecture. 

Quick Facts

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Chicago Water Cribs (zero degree day)

Water cribs “collect water from close to the bottom of a lake to supply a pumping station onshore.” They’re called “cribs” not because they’re swank MTV-style homes, but rather because, like a baby’s crib, they surround and protect the intake shaft from any outside pollution or contamination. The water is collected and then transported via pipes 200 feet below the lake’s surface to pumping stations (like the Chicago Avenue pumping station) at purification plants at the shores of the lake, and from there the water continues on its fabulous journey which ends when you fill up your Brita pitcher at your kitchen sink. Copy provided by the Chicagoist. 

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