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Friday, January 22, 2016

Doors For the Curious

I'm drawn to doors and doorways.  They are portals to the unknown.

St. Peter's on Madison Street, Chicago

Who knows what lies beyond?  What secrets waiting to be discovered?

Doors come in all shapes and sizes but in Chicago they are passageways meant for streams of people who have places to go and things to do.

Field Building entrance

In the city a doorway is the where the architect makes their first impression, luring you in with a hint of what treasures may exist just out of sight.

105 Madison Street, Art Deco elements above the door

Quite a few of the real "lookers" in the Loop were built in the late 1920's and are Art Deco delights.  The entrance at 333 N. Michigan Avenue sparkles like new after the millions of dollars the Wirtz family of Blackhawks fame has poured into the renovation.

Much to see at the entrance to 333 N Michigan Avenue

The sun came out for a few minutes on Michigan Avenue, maybe to light up the beautiful Wrigley Building and its beckoning bronze portals.  Can you believe this luxurious office building was built for a chewing gum magnate?  What's inside? The first building in Chicago with air conditioning houses many things including the local Walgreen's, but a no photography policy was strictly enforced unfortunately.

Wrigley Building bronze doorway

Just down the street was the Old Republic Building, a 24 story skyscraper built in 1924 which oozed Classic Revival charm.

Further down Michigan Avenue sits Willoughby Tower, with its Gothic arches and Medieval appearance.  Built in 1929 it replaced the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts where Walt Disney took evening cartooning classes.

I didn't get a chance to go poke my head inside most of these doors and satisfy my curiosity, just not enough time in the day as usual.  Some I didn't need to, like this stunning door that led to... H&R Block.  Kind of a letdown.

Or how about this one swaddled in cast iron?  What dark dreams lurk beyond its doors?

It's one of the doorways to the old Carson Pirie Scott Building (also known as the Sullivan Center) and now contains Target of all things.  Next time I'm in town I'll have to poke my head inside and see if any of the old glamour remains.

I'm sure there is a lot of glamour behind the row of doors under the entryway to the Civic Opera House, but I have a feeling I can't open those doors and satisfy my curiosity for free!

1 comment:

  1. I guess there are aome beautiful buildings in Chicago!