Room With a View: Another Section of Riverwalk Opens
Jun15

Room With a View: Another Section of Riverwalk Opens

A few weeks ago, amid mild hoopla, two new sections of Chicago’s downtown riverwalk opened to the public.  This past Friday, Loop Spy Jennifer hit our tip line to let us know that a third section is now open: “The River Theater,” between Clark and LaSalle Streets. Jennifer’s photos show that the theater does, indeed, have quite a lot of seating.  Plus a few trees to either block the view, or provide shade,...

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Throwback Thursday: When Kingsbury Plaza Wasn’t Even Archdukebury Plaza
Jun11

Throwback Thursday: When Kingsbury Plaza Wasn’t Even Archdukebury Plaza

When you’ve been publishing a blog as long as we have, you end up with one heck of a photograph archive. Fortunately, the interwebs gave us “Throwback Thursday,” an excuse to re-purpose our snapshots from ten years ago. Today the wayback machine takes us to see the genesis of Kingsbury Plaza (520 North Kingsbury Street), or as it was known back then: The Grand Kingsbury.  The stately ovoid column has become such a familiar landmark...

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Two More Riverwalk “Rooms” Open to the Public
May26

Two More Riverwalk “Rooms” Open to the Public

Two main sections of the Chicago Riverwalk opened to the public over the Memorial Day weekend.  Just before 1:00pm, the barriers were removed on two sections between Clark Street and State Street known as The Marina and The Cove.  These are the first sections of the riverwalk to be completed on the main channel of the Chicago River since the portion just east of Michigan Avenue was finished several years ago. Though the riverside...

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Chicago Bridge Tours Return for a Second Season
May12

Chicago Bridge Tours Return for a Second Season

Good news if you missed the limited number of boat tours about Chicago’s moving bridges last year — they’re back for this year! The Chicago Architecture Blog’s bridge expert, Patrick McBriarty, will once again host the tours on the Wendella fleet. There will be six tour dates this year, so check the press release below for the details. And speaking of Mr. McBriarty, congratulations are in order because his childrens’ book Drawbridges...

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Green Day—It’s Time To Raise A Toast To An Emerald Nautical Tradition
Mar17

Green Day—It’s Time To Raise A Toast To An Emerald Nautical Tradition

My bartender friend Marshall Murphy is fond of most holidays. Alas, Saint Patrick’s Day is not one of them. And more often than not, the luck of the Irish doesn’t extend to his work schedule. The celebration of all things green (including beer) coincidentally falls on his regular shift tonight. Marshall says Saint Patrick’s Day is like Christmas for Chicago bartenders, but a really, really bad Christmas where people lose control of...

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Status Update: Downtown’s Riverwalk River Theater
Feb25

Status Update: Downtown’s Riverwalk River Theater

If Chicago construction workers are tough enough to work 50 stories up on an unfinished skyscraper in the middle of winter, then working down amid the ice chunks of the Chicago River should be a piece of cake, right? That appears to be the case as crews continue to expand the Chicago Riverwalk along the main branch of the river, in spite of snow, wind, and ice. Our Daniel Schell walked by the construction site between North Clark and...

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Slice of Life: Ping Tom Boardwalk
Oct13

Slice of Life: Ping Tom Boardwalk

One of Chicago’s fastest growing neighborhoods is also one of its oldest.  When Chinatown was relocated from The Loop in the last century, it landed in a hardscrabble, industrial corner of the city, amid rail yards, factories, and a shipping channel. Today, Chinatown is surging with new life as more and more families move ino the area from smaller ethnic enclaves in the suburbs and other cities.  If you’ve wandered the...

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Fire Festival Flails, Fails, and Flames Out on Chicago River
Oct06

Fire Festival Flails, Fails, and Flames Out on Chicago River

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized. —Daniel Burnham You don’t need this blog to tell you that the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival didn’t go off exactly as planned.  30,000 of you saw it in person, and a couple of million more watched it flame out on the news over the weekend. Let us not heap scorn on the people who spent $2 million putting...

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A Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Boat
Oct03

A Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Boat

Over the last decade, we’ve seen a number of Chicago festivals, parades and traditions become downsized, consolidated, or simply go extinct.  So it’s nice when something new, and potentially annual, comes along. This weekend will be the inaugural Chicago Fire Festival, celebrating the immolation and phoenix-like rebirth of our fair city.  Yes, there will be fire. Chicago Architecture Blog photographer Daniel Schell...

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What it’s Like to Lead a Chicago Architecture Boat Tour
Sep11

What it’s Like to Lead a Chicago Architecture Boat Tour

Editor’s note: One of the best ways to see Chicago is on a river tour.  But have you ever wondered what it’s like to lead one of those tours?  Our own Patrick McBriarty got the chance this summer.  Here’s his report on what it’s like on the other side of the mic. Several months after the publication of my first book Chicago River Bridges I found myself talking with Michael Borgström the President of Wendella...

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