Slice of Life: Can You See the Face Hidden in Aqua?
Dec27

Slice of Life: Can You See the Face Hidden in Aqua?

On a typically frigid December afternoon, I snapped this photograph of the celebrated Aqua tower (225 North Columbus Drive).  As I was taking the photo, a man said to me, “Do you see the face?” My first instinct was to respond with my standard answer any time someone unexpectedly starts talking to me in Chicago, “I don’t carry cash.”  But instead I managed to mumble, “Whuuuh?” He went on at...

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Slice of Life: The View From Aqua
Dec01

Slice of Life: The View From Aqua

A couple of weeks ago, before people were eating Turkey and the snow was falling, we received two interesting photos in the e-mail.  Both were of views from different apartments in Aqua (225 North Columbus Drive).  One was the view of Millennium Park and the Michigan Avenue streetwall, and the other was of Lakeshore East Park. So, if you’ve ever looked up at Aqua and wondered what the view from up there is like, now you know....

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Your OHC Photos: Radisson Blu Aqua
Oct22

Your OHC Photos: Radisson Blu Aqua

Everyone in Chicago knows Aqua.  But good luck finding a cab driver that knows where the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel is.  More than once, I’ve had a cabbie try to take me to some random suburb from O’Hare when he heard the word “Radisson.” No such confusion for Uptown Spy Abe, who sent in this photograph of the lobby of the Radisson Blu inside the Aqua building (225 North Columbus Drive).  He took it during this...

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Chicago’s Iconic Aqua Tower Gets A Doppleganger In Texas
Sep30

Chicago’s Iconic Aqua Tower Gets A Doppleganger In Texas

For a supposed “second” city, an awful lot of places want to be like Chicago. In the past on this blog, we’ve shown you the second-hand American clothing store in Tokyo called “Chicago.” We’ve taken you inside the Chinese restaurant chain “Dan Ryan’s Chicago Steakhouse.” And let’s not forget the dunderheaded boasting of New Yorkers who claim that their city invented the...

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Chicago’s Bridges Yawn and Stretch After a Long Winter’s Slumber [Video]
Apr01

Chicago’s Bridges Yawn and Stretch After a Long Winter’s Slumber [Video]

As warmer days become more common, the city that is Chicago yawns and stretches, shaking off its winter cloak and rubbing the crusty bits out of its eyes. Leading this effort is CDOT, the Chicago Department of Transportation which is systematically going through the city and making sure all of the movable bridges still move OK, scraping off the crust and cruft where necessary. This is the Columbus Drive bridge over the main branch of...

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Status Update: Muddy Maggie Daley Park
Jan14

Status Update: Muddy Maggie Daley Park

Demolition crews are making progress stripping the old Daley Bicentennial Plaza (337 East Randolph Street) off of the top of the Monroe Street Garage in order to replace it with a new roof and the new Maggie Daley Park. They’ve removed enough soil to expose the structure of the fieldhouse which has been buried under tons of dirt since 1976.  It’s interesting to see that underneath it all it looks like a big...

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Smoking Hot Models: The Light-Up Lakeshore East [Video]
Dec26

Smoking Hot Models: The Light-Up Lakeshore East [Video]

Magellan Development, the people behind the downtown architectural Disneyland that is Lakeshore East, have this wonderful model of their project that gets updated as more and more buildings go up. Sure, lots of companies have little models of their buildings.  But this one’s different — it lights up! The completed buildings are illuminated from inside, and the effect is really nice. Here’s the best part — We...

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Status Update: Maggie Daley Park
Dec10

Status Update: Maggie Daley Park

Earth movers continue moving earth at the site of the future Maggie Daley Park.  What was once a wooded area punctuated with tennis courts and a formal rose garden is now a mud pit.  Soon even the mud will be gone and they’ll be down to the concrete roof of the parking garage...

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Slice of Life: Under the Columbus Drive Bridge
Jun29

Slice of Life: Under the Columbus Drive Bridge

As noted on the Chicago Architecture Info Forum, if you time it right, on a sunny day the Columbus Drive Bridge makes cool patterns on the water....

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What to do About the Unfinished Bit of Grant Park?
Dec23

What to do About the Unfinished Bit of Grant Park?

The city of Chicago’s great “front lawn” has been a work in progress for over 100 years.  From swamp to dumping ground to parade ground to playground, it has long been a great urban space that the city almost… but not quite… figured out how to embrace. The latest piece of this puzzle being worked on is the southwest corner.  We’re talking about an are north of Roosevelt Road, and west of Columbus...

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