Chicago – Illinois


Below I have listed different structures and places that I encountered during my visit to Chicago.


Is an installation at the south end of the Grant Park in Chicago. Designed by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz,

The 106 figures are 9 ft (2.7 m) tall and weigh approximately 1,800 lb (820 kg).

Abakanowicz,has said that her art draws on her fear of crowds, which she once described as “brainless organisms acting on command, worshiping on command and hating on command”.

Aqua Tower

Designed by a team led by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. Aqua Tower is the first downtown building to combine condos, apartments and a hotel

82-story mixed-use residential skyscraper . The construction started in 2007 and ended in 2009. When it was completed, the skyscraper was the world’s tallest building designed by a woman.

Marina City I and II

Marina City is a mixed-use residential-commercial building , designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg, the complex opened between 1963 and 1967.

When finished, the two towers were the tallest reinforced concrete structures in the world.

The Marina City apartments are unusual since it contains almost no interior right angles and they solely function on electricity.

Bathrooms and kitchens are located towards the inside of the building, the living areas occupy the outermost areas of each unit. The complex was built as a “city within a city”, featuring numerous on-site facilities including a theater, gym, swimming pool, ice rink, bowling alley, stores, restaurants, and a marina.

Thompson Center

The structure is a postmodern-style civic building designed by noted architect Helmut Jahn.

The color of the street-level panels were compared to tomato soup. At first the design had curved, insulated (double paned) glass panels, but these were were too expensive.

A solution was to use flat insulated panels, but was dismissed by Jahn.  Single-paned (non-insulated), curved glass panels were eventually used, and and that resulted in installing a more expensive  air conditioning system.

This system still is very costly to operate. It is insufficient on hot days; internal temperatures have reached as high as 90 °F  and during winter the space becauses uncomfortably cold.

Tribune Tower

In 1922 the Chicago Tribune hosted an international interior and exterior design competition for its new headquarters. The winner was a neo-Gothic design by New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood.

Prior to the building of the Tribune Tower, correspondents for the Chicago Tribune brought back rocks and bricks from a variety of historically important sites throughout the world at the request of Colonel McCormick.

There are 149 fragments in the building. Many of these fragments have been incorporated into the lowest levels of the building and are labeled with their location of origin.

Stones included in the wall are from such sites as the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Trondheim Cathedral, Taj Mahal, Clementine Hall, the Parthenon, Hagia Sophia, Corregidor Island, Palace of Westminster, petrified wood from the Redwood National and State Parks, the Great Pyramid, The Alamo, Notre Dame de Paris, Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb, the Great Wall of China, Independence Hall, Fort Santiago, Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Wawel Castle, Banteay Srei, and Rouen Cathedral Butter Tower.

Merchandise Mart

This Art Deci structure was builted by Marshall Field & Co in 1930. When it was opened was the largest building in the world, with 4 million square feet (372,000 m2) of floor space, but was surpassed by the Pentagon in 1943.


The Merchandise Mart is so large that it had its own ZIP Code. and now stands forty-fourth on the list of largest buildings in the world.

The Merchandise Mart was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst and White to be a “city within a city”

Chicago Picasso

Picasso’s unnamed sculpture was commissioned by the architects of the Richard J. Daley Center in 1963.

Picasso completed a maquette of the sculpture in 1965, and approved a final model of the sculpture in 1966. The cost of constructing the sculpture was $351,959.17 (equivalent to $2.7 million in 2018).

The story tells that an architect who worked on the Daley Center project, Richard Bennett, wrote Picasso a poem asking him to make the sculpture. Picasso accepted saying “You know I never accept commissions to do any sort of work, but in this case I am involved in projects for the two great gangster cities” (the other being Marseille, France).

Picasso was offered a $100,000 payment, but he refused considering his work a gift to the people of Chicago.

The sculpture was fabricated in Indiana by the ÄmericanBridge Company”later was disassemble and put together in Chicago.

Centennial Wheel

The Centennial Wheel is located at the Navy Pier.

The Pier located at the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

The pier was built by Charles Sumner Frost. In mid-1918, the pier was used as a jail for draft dodgers.

In 1941, during World War II, the pier became a training center for the United States Navy.

The City of Chicago had the Urban Land Institute (ULI) reimagine uses for the pier In 1989.

By 1995, Navy Pier was redesigned and introduced to the public as a mixed-use venue incorporating retail, dining, entertainment and cultural spaces.


Downtown is very dynamic. The sky line created by all the buildings was one of my favorite things to look at.

The downtown in itself (not counting the grand park) was very gray. There was not a lot vegetation even though there were many plazas and open spaces between the buildings.

One thing that I did not enjoy as much as I thought, was the use of public transportation.

I was very excited to  travel around the city using the raised metro system, but my excitement rapidly died when I was been suffocated by tobacco and marijuana smell. This was not a single experience.

The Italian Village Restaurant 

While walking I found this little restaurant embedded between two buildings.

This ended up being the oldest Italian Restaurant still standing in Chicago (1927).

The food and the wine were delicious.

The Exchequer

226 South Wabash Ave in Chicago has always been occupied by restaurants. The first one – The 226 Club – was established during the roaring 20s. Rumor has it that the restaurant was a speakeasy patronized by notorious gangster Al Capone.

The old architecture from the secret lounge, which was originally located upstairs, still remains above the ceiling of the Exchequer. The escape door that led to the basement also still remains in the middle of the dining room.

Russian Tea Room

A couple of blocks before arriving to the hotel I noticed restaurant completely empty at 6 – 7 pm.

Because of the current conflict with Russia many people are boycotting or are afraid to visit a business that is based on Russian culture.

On their window they had a small Ukraine flag, all the procede were going to organizations helping this country.

The people that work there are USA residents, citizens, it must hard for them to make a living.

Later we found out that the owner of the Russian tea room was interview in the news about the struggles and fears created by this war/invasion.

The tea was delicious and the pastries and sandwiches were very delicate and flavorful.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Simply delicious.




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