I took this picture earlier this month from the 94th floor of the John Hancock Observatory when visiting downtown Chicago with my parents. They have a great new audio guide, the Sky Tour, in which David Schwimmer tells you all about the sights on 16 stops around the observation deck.
Before the 36-storey Tribune Tower was completed in 1925, correspondents for the Chicago Tribune newspaper brought back rocks and bricks from all over the world. Many of these stones have been incorporated into the lowest levels on the outside of the building and are labeled with their location of origin. Stones included in the wall are from such sites as the Taj Mahal, Parthenon, Great Pyramid, Notre-Dame and the Great Wall of China. On our visit to downtown Chicago last week, we were surprised to also see a brick from Leiden, our former home town, embedded in the wall.
This 25-foot sculpture by J. Steward Johnson is called God Bless America and was installed on Pioneer Court in Chicago last December 2008. It is based on one of the most famous American paintings, American Gothic (1930) by Grant Wood, which is in the Art Institute of Chicago.
Cloud Gate, nicknamed ‘The Bean’ because of its bean-like shape, is a sculpture in Chicago by British artist Anish Kapoor. The highly polished 100-ton steel structure was unveiled in May 2006 and forms the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park. I’ve seen it several times and think it’s a really cool sculpture. Here are some photos from our visit last Saturday:
At the end of the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago last Saturday, they had three DeLorean cars! As a fan of the Back to the Future movies and someone who had never seen an actual DeLorean before, I thought this was very cool. Only approximately 9,000 of these gull-winged cars were made in 1981 and 1982 by the Delorean Motor Company in a factory in Northern Ireland, hence these Irish cars were in the parade. Only about 6,500 DeLorean DMC-12s are believed to still exist today.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!! Last Saturday we went to downtown Chicago to witness the Chicago River going green and after that we walked to Grant Park for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which started at noon. The parade lasted for about 3 hours, which was really too long, but it was still fun. Lots of groups gave out free stuff (like green hats, beads, candy, etc.) and it was a sport trying to get as much as you can (we didn’t get much though).
Today we traveled to Chicago by Metra train for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the dying of the Chicago River! We arrived at Union Station at 8:30 and walked around Millennium Park a bit before heading to the river, which was scheduled to be greenified at 10:45. The riverside east of Michigan Avenue Bridge was packed with thousands of people in green hats, green wigs, green t-shirts and green everything.
I saw on the news yesterday that the Sears Tower here in Chicago is being renamed to Willis Tower. A global insurance broker, Willis Group Holdings, has announced that it will place its name on the 110-story skyscraper and lease 140,000 square feet of office space in the building. Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world when it was built in 1973 and it still is the tallest building in the western hemisphere.
Chicago is the home of the first African-American President of the United States, but it is also home to many other firsts, such as the world’s first ferris wheel and the world’s first McDonald’s. Here’s a list of ten Chicagoland firsts that you may not know about.
Home Insurance Building by drs2online
Back when he was an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama made an appearance on WTTW Channel 11’s restaurant review program “Check, Please!” The show never aired… until tonight. Local viewers can check out the full episode on Channel 11 tonight at 8pm or the rerun on Tuesday (that’s Inauguration Day!!) at 4pm. Meanwhile, here are two clips from the shelved episode.