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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Strolling Michigan Avenue- The Wrigley Building to The Chicago Athletic Association

There's a lot to see from the Michigan Avenue bridge, former site of Fort Dearborn.  It's hard to believe that this area belonged solely to the Native Americans until almost 1800.  Fort Dearborn was built in 1804 and only lasted until the War of 1812 when the Potawatomi burned it to the ground.

But of course that was only the beginning and not the end of the story and this spot has seen a lot of action including the Great Fire which is memorialized in sculpture on one of the four bridge houses.


I'll have to go back to this spot and get the other sculptures as well as pictures of the bridge itself.  It always amazes me how much I miss when I'm in the moment.  I was busy being awed by the buildings that dominate this crossing of the Chicago River, including the iconic Wrigley Building and its glorious clock tower.  The sun even came out for a few minutes, maybe angels were even singing, who knows?

Can you blame me for being a little too distracted to pay proper attention to the bridge?

The London Guarantee Building sits opposite the Wrigley Building across the river.  It is currently being renovated and will open this year as the London House hotel.. the sneak photos I found online took my breath away.  There will even be a rooftop restaurant and bar with incredible city and river views.

I didn't look as high as the cupola on the roof, my eyes were too busy on the lower levels trying to take in all the Beaux Arts ornamental details. I can't wait to get inside when it reopens, but I'm sure I'm not the only one and the crowds will be as monumental as the building is.

I know I already posted a picture of the doorway for 333 N. Michigan Avenue on the other corner, but how about a closer look at the design over the door?  The Roman god Neptune eluded me when I walked by, what a delightful surprise to see him when I reviewed the photos.

And a few floors above Neptune a series of panels circles the building depicting the time when the early settlers of the area were occupying Fort Dearborn.  More Art Deco bas relief adorn the elevators but when I went inside I was stopped from exploring.  Perhaps another entrance, it seemed that one led to private residences.  The Blackhawks store is in this building so public access is available somewhere.

Not on Michigan Avenue but around the corner on Wacker along the river I spotted Father Time hanging out on The Jewelers Building. I'll have to take a closer look at that "gem" on another visit!

Back on Michigan Avenue I headed away from the Chicago River toward the Art Institute to check out what the hotel business has done for the Chicago Athletic Association Building.

Things were a bit modest inside, but the pool floor with painted lanes was neat, and the checkered floor off the lobby contrasted nicely with the elaborate ceiling.  Want to see more than I did?  Check out this link.

I'm so eager to go back and see all that I missed.  Maybe when the London House opens Wayne and I can go have lunch at that rooftop restaurant....

1 comment:

  1. I like your first shot of the ice on the river. Nice tour of Chicago, a city I've yet to visit.