Reflections at the right time...

I have been waiting for several months to capture these images of the building where I work reflected in the side of the CitiCorp Building. Taken from the elevator lobby on my floor, I have long been fascinated by this reflection as I look across Canal Street. I finally got the timing right, the sun is in the correct place, the sky is bright and clear, and I was not having to get to a meeting or something. If you look carefully, I can be spotted in the reflection taking the picture.

My reflection is much more obvious in this image.

The way the windows on my building warp in the reflection of Citicorp is quite extraordinary.


It all began with a red bird....

Recently while killing some time Michael and I wandered to the small garden just south of the main entrance to the Art Institute. While standing there I saw this red bird (of which I have no idea what kind of bird he/she is.... Feel free to help me out folks...). After several attempts to photograph this lively bird that wouldn't sit still for me, I began to photograph other parts of this fountain known as "The Fountain of the Great Lakes" by Lorado Taft (1860-1936).

Well, that was the only photo of the red bird that came out clear enough to post. Once the bird flew away, I began to look at the fountain through my zoom, and took several more images. Here are some other close ups of the fountain. I love the patina that different areas have developed over the years.

Those who know me, know that I am not usually booby obsessed, but this woman's bosoms are quite interesting.

A full on shot of her boobs, nicely proportioned, and perky as well (which I am certain would be the envy of many a woman). Her hand reaching out in the upper corner of the image is almost as if she is saying, stop starring!

And finally a full on of the fountain sculpture itself. Completed in 1913, it came about as a result of a remark made by Daniel Burnham at the Columbian exhibition of 1893. He commented about the sculptors of the fair not having done any work in which the Great Lakes was taken into account.


Millennium Park in the Abstract...

With this mornings post on the revised photography policy at Millennium Park, I felt it only appropriate to submit recent pictures of the park. Only this time, taking a look at the park in a somewhat abstract way.

I took this close up of one of the lights on the BP Bridge. I really like how the wood planks are reflected in the steel.

Coins in the water feature at the Lurie Garden. This time I did something unusual, I used my flash. This brought out the ripple effect at the surface, while also reflecting back the light from the coins.

I really was intriged by the concentric circles in this tree grate located by the entrance to the Lurie Garden.

Millennium Park loosens it's photo rules...

After being hassled many a time in Millennium Park for taking photos by the security. I was grateful to see this article in this mornings Tribune.

Article: Millennium Park loosens it's photo rules


Unknown Loop Streets #7... "West Haddock Place"...

Having done East Haddock Place last week, I felt it only appropriate to do it's west side counterpart today. Located between Wacker Drive and Lake Street, West Haddock Place stretches from Dearborn westward to North Post Place.

This section is where it dead ends at N Post Pl.

This sign posted at LaSalle and West Haddock was the only one I was able to locate.

Looking east from where the street sign is, you can see the R.R. Donnelly Bldg. and at the end is Leo Burnett.

Looking back west at Clark, a glimmer of sunshine casts it's glow upon the lovely West Haddock Place.

This is the weird part of the street. You see, the block between Clark and Dearborn was once an actual street, but has since been converted to a pedestrian walkway of sorts.

Please note: I have listed all of the previous postings of my "Unknown Loop Streets" Series on the right hand column for your convenience.


Blogger Errors Galore

Well, I had a great post for Tuesday evening.... But Blogger was having big time issues and it disappeared into the abyss. I will re-post it later this week.... Wednesday evening, I hope to post this weeks entry to my "Unknown Loop Streets" series.


When Bare Bulbs Were Really Chic...

I got the opportunity to tour the Auditorium Theater this past Saturday as part of the "Great Chicago Places and Spaces" event. When the Auditorium Theater was completed in 1889, electric lights were still something to marvel at. A very early example of public space built specifically to take advantage of electric lighting, designer Louis Sullivan did absolute magic with the simple bare bulb, elevating it to a status of high design. Unfortunately, the soft glow of vintage style lighting makes for quite difficult interior shots without a flash which would wash out the image.

We had the fortune of taking the extended tour which included several rooms in the former hotel which is now Roosevelt University. This room was once a lounge for the hotel guest, now is serves as a library for the university. You can see the magic of Sullivan in this space as well. The arches originally were gold leafed and had electric bulbs just like the theater. Unfortunately, the openings for the bulbs have been filled in with plaster, and the gold leaf painted white.

Here is a close up of part of the ceiling in a room off of the library. The walls are carved mahogany.

The view from the 10th floor library is fantastic. Of course at the time of construction, Lake Michigan's shore was about where the bridges over the railroad tracks are now. In-fill extended the shoreline out quite a ways.


Under the Kinsie Bridge (Watch Out!)...

This weekend is Great Chicago Places and Spaces. We (Michael and I) arrived at the CAF (Chicago Architecture Foundation) Event Site this morning at 6:50 AM to stand in line for nearly an hour for tickets to tour the Auditorium Theater (coming Monday) and the Kinsie Street Bridge.

On the tour of the Kinsie bridge (famous for the starting point of the great flood of 1993, and also for a certain bus driver of a certain band which dumped crap on a tour boat last year, and has had way too written about it), we got to go up into the bridge house to see the switching used to raise and lower the bridge, and then we also got to go under the street to see the mechanics of how the bridge is raised.

Underneath the street is what amounts to lots of gears and grease. It was utterly fascinating to watch and hear the city crew turn on the signal bells, lower the gates, and then raise the bridge. Here is one of the main gears used in raising the bridge.

Another one of the giant gears used to raise and lower the bridge. These things are enormous and very greasy!

The view of the outside from under the bridge while in the up position.

This is actually part of the gigantic gear that is on a large horizontal pivot to which the bridge actually lifts.


LaSalle This!...

While walking to the grocery store at Madison and Halsted after work today, I thought it would be nice to capture a few shots of the framework of the LaSalle Bank Building at 540 W Madison. I had taken some at night back in early April, and I wanted some day shots to complement them.

It was while shooting this shot (only my third) that I was informed that I can't take pictures there. Generally when you tell me I can't do something, it just makes me want to do it more, so I stepped onto the sidewalk where they can't touch me and proceeded to snap photos like crazy.

As I was standing on the sidewalk taking this shot, I noticed several security people coming towards me.

Feeling a bit annoyed that this was causing such an unnecessary stir, I started shooting pictures of the inside of the building. Here is a pic of one of the security guards pointing at me, while looking at a different guard.

And this is the guy that tried to intimidate me. Well, didn't work, I am putting these pictures up on the web as I promised the security folks I would. All in all, I got about 30 pictures, mostly of nothing, but that isn't the point.


This is perhaps one of the side effects of the aftermath of 911 that angers me the most (personally that is). It really sucks that I, an ordinary citizen (that doesn't have any reason to blow up buildings) am not able to take photography for the sake of the art of photography. I am not making money off of this, I am only deriving personal pleasure by doing this (and showing the world), so no harm done.


More Spring to savor...

Walking home from work last week the sun was shining, and spring was in the air.
Today when I was walking home with my umbrella up, bumping into the commuters running through puddles for the train, I couldn't help but think of that sunny day last week.

This image of the back of the "Great Lakes Building" (180 N Wacker, built 1912) shows the ivy springing forth in bright green, a great contrast to the red brick.

The flowers in Daley Plaza are stunning. Although the tulips are on their last legs by now.

More tulips in Daley Plaza.

You will notice a dramatic re-working of my blog. I was using a template from "Blogger" and as nice as it was, it just sucked when I would see other people using the exact same template. So, I created this new look, and with a few hours of futzing in HTML, I can say that nobody has a blog exactly like mine. Your thoughts on the new look?


Unknown Loop Streets # 6... "East Haddock Place"...

In part 6 of what has become my Wednesday postings on Unknown Streets in the Loop, I offer you E. Haddock Place. Parallel between Lake and Wacker, E. Haddock Place is basically a block and half long stretch of very wide alley heading east from State St.

I was totally taken aback by the back side of 10 East Lake Street. Looks like an old substation for Com Ed.

Close up of the back entry at 10 E. Lake.

I suspect the driver of the truck that empties this dumpster might be in need of either a good optometrist, or a drug and alcohol counselor, given the number of times it has been lifted and dropped against the wall.

Looking west from Wabash, the faculty entrance for Harold Washington is on the left.

Here are links to my previous posts on unknown streets in the Loop.

Unknown Loop Streets #5 "E Benton Place"
Unknown Loop Streets #4 "N Post Place"
Unknown Loop Streets #3 "W Arcade Place"
Unknown Loop Streets #2 "W Court Place"
Unknown Loop Streets #1 "N MacChesney Court"

You will notice a new look to my blog. I saw too many others using the same template as I, so I thought I should just play around with the templates and do something nobody else has.
And lastly, I want to once again thank those who have sent me such great feedback. (although a few comments on my blog here would be nice as well... hint... hint...) My daily hits are growing and growing. It brings me much pleasure to bring you my "hood" from my perspective. >D


Quaker, Quaker, Quaker...

The Quaker building on the North Bank of the Chicago River and Clark Street was finished in 1987. Built for the Quaker Oats Company, it is very Meisen in it's design.

The owners wanted a very conservative, rectangular cube design with a flat roof. The late 80's was all about PoMo (Post Modern), and this is definitely not that. Thank God.

With the return to the roots of Modernism in the last decade, the design is actually quite fresh today. The skin of blue/green glass and stainless steel would be right at home if it were finished in 2005. Also I am all about the reflections of the clouds in the skin.


Massive and Rigid...

I will be the first to admit, I am not a huge fan of the architecture of the Sears Tower. At least in it's appearance. It is terribly situated on the street, turning it's back on the city with blank unusable (literally) plazas and just a wall on Franklin Street. But I will be the first to acknowledge it's raw muscle and feat of engineering.

This building is all about mass and rigidity. It's shear mass can make it overwhelming at times, but in that massiveness is a beautiful simplicity in it's engineering.

This building is essentially nine skyscrapers of varying heights bundled together to form one huge one. This makes for a super duper strong structure that isn't likely to go anywhere any time soon.

Those of us who live here and see it on a daily basis tend to take it for granted that it is among the tallest structures on the planet. I am often amused by the tourists wandering the Loop searching for it, and looking on their guide maps.



I recently learned how to stitch photos together to create panoramic images. While not terribly practical for framing, they can be fun to get perspective on the city. This first image is from a boat excursion I had when my parents visited last fall.

This pano of the skyline is from early February. We had a abnormally warm day in the mid 50's and I took advantage of the warmth and went for a walk along the lake shore ending up at Museum Campus.

(I again want to send thanks for all the positive feedback I have gotten over my mention in Blair Kamin's Tribune article this past week. While my current 15 seconds of fame have faded somewhat, I had great fun, and who knows, I may get another 15 seconds...)


Tunnel (and style) Vision....

While recently waiting for a train at the Harrison Station, I was captured by the length of the platform without interruption. Taking photos in the Subway can be a challenge, there is rarely enough light to get a good picture. And I am sure the CTA likes it that way...

This station is not likely to be one of the renovated ones any time soon. But, it's condition isn't nearly as bad as many of the others.

This pic is unrelated to the pics above, but a good friend pointed this one out to me. Located at the Blue Line end of the Pedway at Dearborn and Washington... Clearly the fine craftsmanship of one or our very competent CTA Shop workers... This sign denotes the importance of using exact fare when styling when turning.... Perhaps the budget shortfall prevented the CTA from having a dictionary on hand, when producing this sign.