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The Magnificent Mile in Chicago is a grand wide boulevard with exclusive shops, museums, restaurants and ritzy hotels. It is located in the northern part of Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River and Lake Shore Drive. It is Chicago’s version of Champs-Elysees in Paris.

According to this article, “All the big names in shopping are present here, from Disney and Niketown to Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue. The wide sidewalks, often adorned with well-maintained flowerbeds are always crowded. The areas around the Magnificent Mile are some of Chicago’s wealthiest.”

The Magnificent mile was named in 1947. By that time North Michigan Avenue already had become Chicago’s most fashionable street, so real estate developer Arthur Rubloff dubbed North Michigan Avenue ‘Magnificent Mile’. The name stuck and in 2001 it was even trademarked.

The oldest building on the mile is the Chicago Water Tower. It sits in the middle of the shopping area in the northern end of Michigan Ave. The Water Tower is perfect because it reminds the city of the history of the Chicago fire, while at the same time is surrounded by some of the biggest buildings in the world. It reminds people how far Chicago has come. Therefore the Magnificent Mile is a unique street that shouldn’t missed if your visiting the city.

– Jeremy


The Wrigley Building is one of the most famous buildings in all of Chicago. It sets on the edge of the Chicago river, in a very prominant location. According to this article, “The Wrigley building serves as the headquarters of the Wrigley (chewing gum) company and was built in 1920 by the company’s founder, William Wrigley Jr.” It was the first building in the southern end of the magnificient mile. This building stands out with incredible architecture with its white terra cotta cladding.

The article explains the Wrigley building consists of 2 sections: the tallest, 30 story southern building has a 121 meter high tower and was completed in 1921. The largest, 21 story northern section was completed in 1924. The two structures are connected by an open walkway on street level and two elevated walkways on the 3rd and 14th story. Between the two structures is the small Wrigley plaza.

This is another older style building that adds so much art to the city. With building such as the Trump tower going up next to it, the Wrigley building helps keep the old Chicago flavor alive while the new high tech architecture is going up all over the city.

– Jeremy

North Avenue Beach is a hot spot in Chicago. It has great views of the John Hancock buildings, and the chicago skyline. Many people go there to play volleyball, swim and relax. While today the beach is seen as a great asset to Chicago, it used to be just a swampy land.

North Avenue Beach is a classic example of a beach engineered to retain sand. This beach was created in part of the Burnham Plan. This article explains that, this beach is known as a “perched beach” because it is raised above the level of most beaches undergoing erosion. Approximately 100 feet offshore there is a submerged steel wall above the level of the lake bottom.  The wall helps contain sand on the beach that would otherwise be transported off the lake bottom and out of the area by long-shore currents. Therefore, this beach was constructed to meet the public needs.

So while most people don’t think of Daniel Burnham when they go to the beach, they should at least know his impact on Chicagoans daily lives. He helped create a world class envirnonment for the city, which gave it a new dimension.

– Jeremy

Since its survival of the Great Chicago Fire, the Chicago Water Tower became one of Chicago’s symbols. This article explains that it was constructed in 1869 using big limestone blocks with all its small towers in a ‘gothic style’, resembles more a tiny European 13th century castle than a water tower. The tower is located in the middle of many high rise buildings such as the John Hancock Center, so it provided a sharp contrast. This building was a symbol for Chicago to continue after the fire wiped out most of the city. Although it is functionally too important to the city now, it still houses a visitor information center and has become one of the major tourist attractions in Chicago. As well, the tower now is almost a centerpiece for Chicago’s most expensive shopping district on Michigan Avenue.

– Jeremy

Chicago School is a type of architecture that seen all over the Chicago loop. During the 1880’s and ’90s, Chicago architects designed buildings with this type of architecture. These building main charactersistic is the innovative steel-frame construction. It was descibed in this article, “these “Chicago School” buildings have been praised as important precursors to 20th-century steel-and-glass skyscrapers.” The article also explains the characteristics of this type of building has steel frame construction; masonry cladding, usually terra cotta, clearly emphasizing the steel framing; distinctive three-part windows, with large central fixed panes flanked by smaller double-hung sash windows, and minimal use of ornament.

This type of architecture blossomed after the Chicago fire in 1871. Chicago started to boom, and the value of land in the loop started to soar. So with land becoming so valuable, the low buildings previously in Chicago were seen as not making use of the space, which sparked Chicago School style architecture. This article explains that, “In 1894 Adler & Sullivan developed a type of caisson construction for the Chicago Stock Exchange which quickly became routine for tall buildings across the United States…..This new construction, while costly, had overwhelming advantages. It was almost fireproof; the thin curtain walls hung from the steel frame allowed for more interior rental space; new floors could be added easily; and since the exterior walls were no longer essential to holding up the building, they could be cut away and replaced by ever larger expanses of glass, an important consideration in the early era of electrical lighting.”

Therefore the Chicago School was an astonishing and a profoundly important achievement. It changed the Chicago loop and the rest of the world. So this innovation helped form the city of Chicago. Also, because Louis Sullivan played such a big role in this architecture, he ended up created a Chicago landmark with this type of architecture is the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Compant Building.

– Jeremy

With the recent crisis in the markets such as the DOW, S & P, and NASDAQ, i decided to look into the Chicago Board of Trade. The Chicago Board of trade is the building that host the CME group, which help the market prices for the entire global economy. The CME trades commodities of all sorts in futures and options.

The Chicago Board of trade is a Chicago landmark for its design. According to this article, the building is “one of the city’s finest examples of “Art Deco” architecture, a style of the 1920s and early 1930s that attempted to express the modern, streamlined world by the use of cubic forms, geometric ornament, and sleek surface materials.” This building viewed all the way down LaSalle Street because the street terminates with this building. Inside this building it has one of the finest example of the Art Deco design with a two story lobby. As well, on the exterior there is a lot of art. There are many various carvings made on the building. Recently, the director of the move “Dark Night” (Batman),  tried to take advantage of this building. He must of thought it was a special building because he filmed it in several fights scenes just outside the building.

The board of trade is another example of a Chicago landmark that brings art to the city. As well the building plays a crucial role by being the heart of the cities economy by hosting the CME group. Therefore the building should be looked at as a symbol of the Chicago economy.

– Jeremy

35 East Wacker is one of the best buildings in the city of Chicago. It is originally known and often reffered to as the Jewelers Building because it was created for the city’s diamond merchants. According to this article, the building is a skyscraper out of time. It was constructed by Joachim Gaiver and Fredrick Dinkelberg during the Art Deco movement, but its form and docoratice flourishes are clearly influenced by Roman, Greek and Gothic architecture.

This building has housed many famous and well known things. 35 East Wacker used to house a restaurant called Statospher Lounge. It is said under prohibition is was run by Al Capone, former big time Chicago Mobster. Now that space is a showroom for famous chicago architect Helmut Jahn who has his office on the top floor of the building. Helmut Jahn has his office there because he most likely believes the building is a masterpiece of Chicago architecture.

– Jeremy

Louis Sullivan was an archirect that helped set the stage for chicago architecture. This article states, “he produced some of the most important–and influential–structures in the history of American architecture”. His firm created was initially just residence and small commericial buildings but in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s his work expanded to starting to build skyscapers.

After his firm split up he built one of chicago’s most famous buildings that still stands today in the Carson Pirie Scott department store. This building was influenced by the movement known as Art Nouveau. In the corner there is a elaborately decorative cast iron which is to show people Sullivan’s love of detail. Above the first two floors, the design of the remaining twelve is a contrast in simplicity, with geometric windows evenly spaced within the structural steel skeleton.  This building is a considered a Chicago masterpience.

Sullivan ended up being the architect for many more buidlings inside the city. As a result he set a foundation for the city in the way the buildings in his era were constructed inside the city. His buildings took a basic format for how buildings were allowed to be constructed but added in a very creative component of art, which is seen through the detail inside of his buildings. In 1887 Frank Lloyd Wright, another very famous Chicago Architect, joined his firm. Sullivan immediately became Wright’s mentor as this article describes. It is known that having Sullivan around allowed Wright to form the basis of the Prairie School of Architecture. Sullivan’s philosophy was, “form follows function” which became on of the basic principles practiced by the Prairie School architects. Therefore, Louis Sullivan played a huge role in shaping the city of Chicago’s architecture.

– Jeremy

Chicago Buckingham Fountain is known as a top tourist attractions in the city. The fountain is located in Grant Park at Columbus Drive and Congress Parkway. This article explains that the fountain was created by Edward H. Bennet and the design was influenced by Latona Basin. The fountain is dedicated to Chicago by philanthropist Kate Buckinham in honor of her brother and it was eventually opened on May 26, 1927.

The fountain has a major water display from the center jet shooting 150 ft and is displayed in the air every hour on the hour for twenty minutes. In the evening the water display has a incredible light show with music. The fountain is something that is very Chicago because it is one of the finest displays of art inside the city.

– Jeremy

The Ferris Wheel was invented by George Washington Gale Ferris for the World’s Columbian Exposition, which was a huge fair in Chicago in 1893 to commemorate Christopher Columbus. He was a senior partner in a firm specializing in building steel and bridges, and it said that one day at dinner he came up with the idea to build the Ferris Wheel. This article explains how the Ferris Wheel was constructed and the history behind it. It explains that the wheel was ready to run on June 9th, 1893 for the Exposition in Chicago for the first time, but was not ready for the public till November 6th, 1893. It was something that was described as giving a new life to the city.

Today there is a Ferris Wheel that stands and runs at Navy Pier. The Ferris Wheel is a Chicago symbol for innovation. At the time when it was constructed, the idea was mind boggling and thought to be a insane idea that will never happen. Now it is a common and simple ride at many Ammusment parks around the world.

George Washing Gale Ferris was another innovater that helped shape Chicago. His idea most likely sparked many more ideas for ammusment parks while at the same time he created a classic design that will forever be used.

– Jeremy