Where in the Loop is This?... 03.29.06...

It is Wednesday again, and that means it is time for this weeks "Where in the Loop is This?"

Let me know if you can identify where you would find this image and/or what the image is. No prizes, but I will reveal the answer and first correct guesser on next Wednesday.
This week:

1) Thousands walk by these granite lozenges each day, I would bet, maybe a dozen or so actually notice them.

Last Weeks Image:

Well, I wasn't sure how long it would take to be guessed, but Jason Pettus was very close with this guess: "A detail from those ornate street lamps in the Loop, also on State Street." He had the first part correct, but for the second part, the lamp posts are along Wacker Drive. It never occurred to me that there would be birds molded into the lamp posts, till I stumbled on them one day.

The lamp post for the above close up at Wacker and Franklin.

I took this shot last year, which was the inspiration for last weeks post.


Random Mondays... 03.27.06...

Reflections on Madison between Canal and Clinton.

Lower section of Riverbend (Where the parking is hidden). Note the silly town-houses on the waterfront.

Daley Plaza looking SE.

Seventh Floor Food Court at Marshall Fields.

Looking south through wind sculpture on the plaza at the AON Building on Randolph.


Helicopter Lift... Again...

Today as we were reading the paper, we heard the familiar sound of chop, chop, chop..... This is the fifth time I have experienced a helicopter lift since moving to the Loop in 2003. This includes two times when I was paid $100.00 cash to vacate my apartment because the helicopter was lifting over my building. (See previous post here.)

Here are a few of the shots taken from my living room this morning.

As you can see, the helicopter came down in front of the Chicago Theater pretty low. It was different to be looking down given that I am not that high up.

The blades of the helicopter were only feet from the student housing on the corner of State and Randolph.


Where to Park?...

Those close to me know, that I have this odd fascination with parking structures. This is even more unusual in that I don't own a car, and have disdain for those who think they are too good for public transit and insist on driving downtown and parking.
But that said, I have always been drawn to the physical presence of vast wide open space presented by the structures themselves. The rhythm of repeating floor after floor of nearly identical slabs of concrete angled just so, creating one continuous ramp from the street to the top. I appreciate the honesty of materials, used primarily for their utilitarian purpose, not trying to be anything other than what they are.

So, while looking through my images early this morning, I noticed that I have dozens of images of parking structures, but with the exception of the Hotel LaSalle Public Garage (also here and here) and a post about "Parking" signs, I haven't post a lot of them. So I went through and picked a few taken since the beginning of the year and present them for comment.

First up... This garage on Lake Street near LaSalle presents this sinuous curvy ramp for the driver to navigate, as if it were a grand lobby staircase at a hotel, hinting at your amazing parking space above.

Entrance to parking at Northwestern Hospital on E. Huron. The signage is supposed to be clear and easy to read, which for the most part, it is. However, there is so much signage going on it has now become confusing.

This parking ramp for the John Hancock looks like too much fun. What you don't see is that the entire ramp is lined with heat lamps (shown in this post) to melt snow off of your car before you take it into the garage.

Shot from State Street over the site of MoMo, this garage at Randolph and Wabash is fairly typical of garages built in the last 15 years. By taking the image out of focus, I was trying to capture just the elements of the lighting and structure. It still looks like a parking garage.

Shot from Randolph Street, this garage at Washington and Franklin is really like the one above, unremarkable. I walk by this on my way home from work nearly every day, and I am always drawn to the staircase windows. I like that the staircase is shown off like this, it offers a sense of safety to the customer.

This shot was taken from Wacker Drive, looking over the Trump project along Wabash, of the garage at State and Hubbard. This garage was for a very long time on my list of the most hideous structures in the city, until I shot this picture, and then later I saw it at night after the Sun Times Building came down.
By day, it is a giant imposing charcoal gray box, with no character other than a curve on the corner. But at night, it takes on a life of it's own, the imposing exterior becomes almost transparent and puts the cars within on display. As the cars and people move about, it almost creates a sense of parking theater. Now that the Trump is rising, the dead on view of this garage has gone away, and I can just kick myself for not taking more images while I had the chance.

Well, looking at how much I just wrote on parking garages, I am guessing my secret is out.


Sundown on Washington...

Yesterday on my way home I was noticing that the sun setting in the clear skies, and being the time of year of the Spring Equinox, I remembered that the sun would set shining down the east/west streets of the Loop. I also remembered a spot on Washington where I had taken previous images, and immediately made my way over there.

I shot a few images on Washington at Clark last September when the sun shone down the streets like this before, and they didn't turn out so well. Well this time, standing under the scaffolding along side the County portion of the City/County Building, I took about a dozen shots, and the results weren't much better. But, the these didn't come out too bad.

Across the street (the scaffolding is on the right) looking West. I love the long shadows and eerie glow on the street during this very brief moment.

Walking toward State along B-37.

And finally, the ubiquitous image of the sun reflecting off of an "L" Train.


Where in the Loop is This?... 03.22.06...

It is Wednesday again, and that means it is time for this weeks "Where in the Loop is This?"

Let me know if you can identify where you would find this image and/or what the image is. No prizes, but I will reveal the answer and first correct guesser on next Wednesday.

1) This is actually quite easily found if you know where to look, as it appears in more than one location.

Last Weeks Image:

Well, it appears that if the first week was too difficult, then last weeks was too easy. Congrats go to "trmmilwwi", who nailed it with the first comment less than three hours after I posted it.

It was the courtyard on the fourth floor of the Fine Arts Building, an amazing place to roam around and check out the galleries on Michigan Avenue. Built as a showroom for Studebaker to show off the latest in carriages and wagons, the building was converted into studios and theaters for artists and craftsman in 1898. Very little has changed in this place, which just adds to the experience, and I highly recommend a visit to the courtyard.

Hopefully this weeks challenge is between the last two, challenging but not too easy.


Random Mondays... 03.20.06...

Leo Burnett building showing off a Shamrock over the weekend. I think it was done with green film on the windows.

AMA building on State and Grand.

War Protesters turning from Wacker onto Clark this past Friday evening.

Tourists looking out from the 94th floor as seen from State and Chestnut yesterday.

House of Blues from above Friday evening.


Mitchell Domes (Part II)...Inside...

A couple of days ago I posted on the outside of the Domes at Mitchell Park Conservatory in Milwaukee. Well, they are just as odd and intriguing on the inside as the were on the outside.
I must note that several of my interior images of the building connecting the three domes didn't come out, so I am showing the underside of the various domes in all their geometric madness.

Cactus in the Arid Dome.


Where in the Loop is This?... 03.15.06...

Last week I tried a new feature out on my blog... One image, one question. "Where in the Loop is This?" Well, the response was good enough to do it again. This time I tried to make it easier to guess (I hope).
Let me know if you can identify the location of where this image was taken, and/or what the image is. No prizes, but I will reveal the answer and first correct guesser the next Wednesday.

1: This building once housed a horse carriage showroom.

Last Weeks Image:

My first attempt at this new series was much more challenging than I thought it would be. It took a while, but Chicagolvr did guess that it would be a Bridge Tender who would have access to the space, as well as the guess about it being unheated space causing the the running water sign. This is the Randolph Street Bridge House, and the image of the window (red arrow at bottom) was shot from the bridge.

1:This was shot from street level.
2:There is a good reason why the water would need to be running this time of year.
3:The general public does not have access to this space.
4: The person(s) which would access this space have the word "tender" in their job title.

As a qualifier, I will consider the boundaries of the Loop to be the area between Roosevelt to the south, Chicago Ave to the north, Lake Michigan to the east, and the Kennedy to the west.


Mitchell Domes (Part I)...Outside...

A few weeks back I was in Milwaukee for the very cold Presidents Day weekend, and to alleviate the low single digit temps, we stopped by the Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) to warm up. Today I am posting a few images taken from the outside of The Domes. Completed in 1967, the architecture is classic Mid-Century Googie Architecture.

Looking at the trees and plant life inside the domes makes me think of Biosphere 2, that weird experiment in the Arizona Desert from the early 90s.

We were there before it closed for the day, so by the time we were leaving, the place was almost desolate.


Random Mondays...03.13.06...

Standing at Washington Wells on Saturday.

Another "L" Station, this one is Randolph and Wabash. I wonder how many years it has been since the dangling neon actually worked.

Daley Plaza, staircase down to the Concourse below. It wasn't until I downloaded the image did I notice the way the lower section of the bronze rail (center) is reflected in the upper portion of the rail.

Looking west on Madison in front of 2 N Riverside Plaza.

Unrelated to the Loop (other than being in it), but over the weekend, I was installing carpet, and had to disassemble all of the components of my computer, TV, home theater system and more. This is the resulting jumble of cables, wires, and cords. The pile was mind boggling.