An Architectural City

Chicago Skyline Seen From Millennium Park Chicago Skyline Seen From Millennium Park Photo by BMann

Last weekend, Partner Brian Mann, visited Chicago for the second time this year. "I am awed by how much architecture and design is woven into the fabric and identity of Chicago", he said. The city is booming with an urban residential renaissance leading the charge. Layered onto an architectural history rich with people (Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham); styles and scenery, Chicago is as proud of its architectural heritage as it is of its sports teams. Two key factors drive the city's spirit. First, its location at the virtual center of the nation made it the defacto crossroad for goods and services. And second, the fire that devastated its core in 1871 cleared the slate for a new city just at the right time. Chicago's feisty leaders built big - first with enormous warehouse and postal facilities to service the nation's new consumer catalog industry and then with tall buildings bursting from the plains. There is no better way to experience this history than the architectural river tour offered by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. From an array of stunning drawbridges to Montgomery Ward warehouses to the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, the city's rich history is on display and as the tour ends out near Great Lake Michigan, the new city is evident in gleaming glass and steel.