Random Patterns #2...

I have taken more than 10,000 images over the last couple of years, all of which are on my computer. Occasionally I run across a few that have not been posted, but are post worthy. Usually, it's because there is only one good image, not enough for my standard 3-4 image posts.

Today, I ran across a few images which had a great rhythm and pattern to them (of which most of you know is one of my favorite things to photograph). First up, balconies on Canal Street near Randolph. (April 2005)

The road grate on the Columbus Drive Bridge. (June 2004)

Thompson Center atrium. (February 2005)

South tower close up, Plensa Fountain, Millennium Park. (January 2005)


Rooftop Vista's...

"Unknown Loop Streets" is on hiatus this week (I need to gather more images). Instead, I bring you the city from the rooftop of the East Tower at Marina City.

This view is looking NW down into the densityof River North.

Looking SW, West Tower on right.

The view north on State St. This view was devoid of many of these high-rises only a few short years ago.

Looking SE towards the Aon Building. (I will admit, this is my money shot.)

I promise I will pick up the "Unkown Loop Streets" next week.


Under the Columbus...

Walking under the Columbus Drive Bridge on Sunday, I couldn't help but notice how bright the water under the bridge is.

Of course the reason for the light color of the river is that the road deck is made up of steel grate.

Towards the left center, you can see the shadow of a car passing overhead.


Hazy and Lazy at the Beach

North Avenue Beach on Sunday. I had a cold bottle of water in my bag, and it chilled down my camera. My first shot is with condensation on my lens.

Same view two minutes later after I held my lens in the sun to evaporate the condensation.

Stairs to the upper deck at the North Avenue Beach House.

Oak Street Beach from North Avenue Beach. The haze in the air was pretty thick.

Close up of Oak Street Beach from NAB.


Bring on the Ice...

The heat over the last several days has had me thinking of chillier times. Such as this past February, when on an unusually balmy day, I took a walk down by the lake to see the ice.

While jackets were required, nothing heavy was needed.

I am not a big fan of our recent weather, then again, I am not a huge fan of the dead of winter either. Must be from having lived in Seattle for all those years. I just like mild... Not hot, not cold. But, I would take one day of this in exchange for the 98 degrees yesterday.


McCormick Place (Lakeside Center)...

My company held it's annual meeting for home office staff today at McCormick Place. After sitting in a convention hall for a few hours listening to corporate strategy, it was a welcome relief to go out to the huge patio on the lakeside of the building and have food and beer.

Of course, after lunch, and a few beers, I was more interested in the structure itself than mingling with co-workers.

McCormick Place East (renamed Lakeside Center) was completed in 1971. Built upon the foundation of the first McCormick Place which burned down in 1967, the architect Gene Summers (CF Murphy and Assoc.) clearly shows what he learned while studying under Mies. Over the past 30+ years, the structure has taken a lot of weather, hence this shot of the top of a railing warped over the decades.

I kept finding myself looking at structure with it's enormous overhaning roof. This is a prime example that inspite of some really bad design of the era, there was good architecture in 1971.

Shown here is a ventilation cover. Time has taken it's toll on this as well. This having been my first time at McCormick Place, I got to see up close a building I have admired for a long time.


"Unknown Loop Streets #11"... "West Marble Place..."

One of the few unknown streets south of Madison, W. Marble Place runs from Wells to State between Monroe and Adams. There isn't much to this place, it is pretty much an alley...

with the canyon effect from old and new high-rises end to end.

The street is lined mostly with dumpsters (shown here blocking fire exits), and delivery trucks.

I am guessing this was for a phone to call for deliveries.

One of the few areas where it gets wider, I am not sure who is actually supposed to see this ad for Italian Village.

This is the eastern end of the W. Marble Place, with the Palmer House across State St. One think I find a bit odd... When looking at the map, why are so many of the streets shown with curves? Perhaps it is from when they were mapped out in the 1870's after the Great Fire.


Just Batty...

Chicago is blessed with public art, much of which we are very familiar with (The Picasso, the Miro...) One that is central yet off the beaten path is "Bat Column" by Claes Oldenburg.

Located on West Madison between Jefferson and Desplaines, and standing more than 100 ft. tall, Oldenburg's Bat Column is quite a delight. And for an interesting look at the site from the 70's before CitiCorp Center was constructed, take a look here.

Completed in 1977, the column is made of core-ten steel (which will never rust beyond it's current state). This close up shows that the intricacy is quite incredible. (And this coming from someone who isn't much of a baseball fan.)

Another close up near the top showing the "hole" at the end of the bat.

I once again want to send out many thanks for the positive feedback. I have received many e-mails of support, and look forward to many more posts ahead!


The Montgomery...

While wandering around the west side of River North this weekend, a quaint and quiet area I haven't spent much time in, I was glad to stumble across "The Montgomery"

Completed in 1974 as the headquarters of Montgomery Ward, architect Minoru Yamasaki (known more for the design of the World Trade Center) has created a masterpiece in simplicity. Unusual is that there were no corner offices created. I also find it interesting that this building was completed at about the same time as their main competition, Sears, completed it's tower.
When the company collapsed a few years ago, developers rushed in to snap the building up for condo conversion. There was concern that a developer might try to tack on balconies or alter the building but that is not the case.

The condo conversion is nearly complete, and I feel they have done an excellent job with it. They incorporated balconies into the east and west ends, which almost look as though that was in the original plans.

The new circular parking ramp (not shown, pics didn't come out well), was incorporated very well into the NE corner...

And the new windows are a fantastic choice, looking very modern, while at the same time retaining the original integrity of the structure.


Sunset... Sundown...

Last night I had the privilege of viewing the sun setting from on high.

The skies were so very clear... Virtually no clouds... The horizon just a long line of demarcation.

And finally, it is nearly gone.


Will Ferrell on the Plaza...

Well Sorta... Yesterday as I arrived for work, the Plaza at 2 N Riverside was blocked off for film production. According to security, Will Farrell was there shooting a scene for his upcoming movie "Stranger than Fiction".

Shot from a window near my cube (or is that "work station"), I didn't get a glimpse of him or any other celebrities. I think the filming was wrapping up by 9:00 AM, because they were cleared out by 10:00.


"Unknown Loop Streets #10"... "North Holden Court"...

Not really a court, but this block long street is the only one I know of that isn't named on Google Maps. Running from Madison to Washington between State and Wabash, this street appears as only half a block long on the map (leading from Washington south).

Looking North from Madison, the southern half of the street is covered by a connector between buildings on State and Wabash (The site of the old Weibolts).

At the center of the block, you can look straight up and see that there are actually two "connectors" between buildings. In between them is this light well. Not much light, but lots of fire escapes.

Back door at 25 E Washington.

Looking straight up from the middle of the block, one can see that the "connectors" extend all the way to the tops of the buildings.

Standing next to Marshall Fields, looking south. Old Navy is to the right. This is the half of the block that shows up on the maps (without a street name).

It was walking along Washington a few weeks back that the mystery of what the name of this street is... I feel a bit stupid since it is only half a block from my apartment. I should have known.

This was a longer than usual post (inspired partially by my feature at Chicagoist) I felt the need to include as many images as possible to show this little street. I want to send a big thank you to Rachelle at Chicagoist for the article.