Every now and again a photograph is able to summarize a city. For Los Angeles it could be a palm tree reflected in sunglasses. For New York, any number of images of the Statue of Liberty. For Chicago, we nominate the picture below, taken by Joe Zekas at YoChicago!:
On the surface, it’s just another construction shot of The Sinclair going up in the city’s Gold Coast. But there’s more to it than that. It captures so many of Chicago’s major themes: Work. Towers. Lake Michigan. The vast flatness of the Midwest. Building for the future. Reaching the sky.
An artist could easily iconify the image and make it into a t-shirt that would make sense to Chicagoans the way we instinctively know that the square rainbow of stripes that is the Loop elevated diagram.