Chicago Architecture: New Looks New Again

Yesterday was an extraordinary day to drive into Chicago and see its most gorgeous skyline. Unlike so many drives “in”, traffic was moving too fast for me to whip out my phone to take a pic or 2. For well over the past 100 years…at least 125 years, our city has been a beacon of outstanding architectural design, style and innovation.  And, of course, some of the very tallest buildings in the world are some of our “shining stars”.


It’s always thrilling for me to scan the sky from whatever direction I enter the center of the city–and even (maybe especially) from overhead on a sunny approach to O’Hare.

Well, I can’t be happier to have noticed that innovative, clean, modern construction appears to finally have clubbed the commercial McMansion look out of the picture. Retro Romanesque is not what the newest buildings look like any more. Among other areas, Dearborn and State between the River and Chicago Ave. are oppressed by many of those awful, heavy, unimaginative, brownish-gray buildings. It was interesting to look at two edifices on the East side of Wells and Kinzie. The 90’s gloppy multi-use building that has commercial, residential and parking on the North contrasted with a very clean brand new steel and glass structure just opening on the South corner, It may not be award-winning, but it’s appropriate to our time and this city: in lean times, lean design works.

Thank you to the Chicago Architectural Tours for showing us and our visitors Louis Sullivan and H.H. Richardson’s style and of course all of the Frank Lloyd Wright that was birthed in our environs, not to mention the “Devil in the White City” neighborhood. But, though I won’t honor the attendant politics and other veneers of this guy, I thank Donald Trump for a Tower that will bring wide-opened eyes to our city and the River Walk area.

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I can’t WAIT for good weather to hold out more than a day at a time so we can enjoy the Bean, the Museum parks, the River and our other landmarks. And, OF COURSE, the new wing of the Art Institute, Buckingham Fountain and classics we see as we begin to wander further from downtown.


(Thank you, Amy Ippolliti — Anusara Yoga teacher extraordinaire, for the aerial photo!)


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