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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Chicago Tribune - Chicago Walk Part 3

Sorry I keep leaving things unfinished, I've got a lot of distractions at the moment, but more about that in my next post.  For now let's finish up with my walk on Michigan Avenue with my pal, Andy.

After we left the LondonHouse we crossed the Michigan Avenue bridge.  The bridge was built in 1920 and in 1928 sculptures depicting scenes from Chicago's history were added to the outward-facing walls of the four bridgehouses.  The one above is called Defense and it depicts a scene from the 1812 Battle of Fort Dearborn.  If you want to see another one, here's a link to my post from last January when I crossed the bridge.  If you want a good laugh about the "rule" of crossing the bridge go to this link from the Chicago Tribune.  I broke the rules since I fall under the categories of tourist and lollygagger.

The Tribune Tower looms over 25 foot tall Abraham Lincoln at street level

Speaking of the Trib, the Tribune Tower was our next stop.  In 1922 a competition was held to design the building; 23 countries were represented in the competition and most design entries came from the U.S. and Europe.

Aesop's screen over the front door added by sculptor Rene Paul Chambellan

New York architects Hood and Howell won with their design of a Gothic Revival tower that used architectural ideas borrowed from the past. The lower office block is sheathed in Indiana limestone with vertical piers and horizontal spandrels characteristic of Art Deco. The building's crown recalls a Medieval European tower, imitating the Butter Tower of the 13th-century Rouen Cathedral in France. It is a stunning blend of two very different styles.

Canonball from England 

The building is like a treasure hunt, with so much to look at on the exterior and in the lobby that I felt like I could have sat on the floor and stayed there for hours.  I like this quote about the building from Blair Kamin, one of the writers for the Tribune: "By transforming the precedent of the medieval cathedrals into a modern skyscraper, it elevated the grubby business of gathering facts and getting the scoop into a higher calling."

The lobby entrance from inside the building

 Hood and Howells' design appealed to the newspaper owners' sense of nostalgia, history and moral purpose. The lobby's travertine marble walls are filled with famous quotations from Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, praising and exalting freedom of the press.

In this time when our President mocks and degrades the press in an attempt to sow mistrust, freedom of the press is more important than ever.  Is some news fake news?  Heck yeah!  That absolutely does not mean that all journalists are liars as he likes to imply.  Take the time to research the facts, something that really isn't difficult with easy access to the facts right there on the phone in your hand, right?  Maybe someone should point that out to our president since he seems to talk before checking facts for accuracy every day himself.  The man is so ridiculously impulsive I'm starting to think at the very least he is ADD, and I say that with no disrespect to those so afflicted since Cory is on medication for that himself.

Not a fan of my opinions on our current president?  Thankfully we live in a country where freedom of the press matters, so feel free to express your opinion below.  I will point out that I have made it clear that the opinions expressed here are exactly that and not facts.  Any true facts that I have included in this post are from reliable sources and any mistakes I have made are my own. Insert winky face here.

Colonel McCormick, the owner of the Tribune, asked his international reporters to gather fragments of some of the most historically important buildings in the world to incorporate into the building's exterior. They vary from ancient Rome to the Alamo to the World Trade Center.  If you want to see them all go to this great link, otherwise here are a few that we took the time to notice.

Wrigley Field in Chicago has a piece that sits alongside an ancient temple in China and the old general Post Office in Dublin.

I really liked the piece from St. Peter's in Rome.  It's one of the places I keep meaning to get to.  Maybe I'll finally get to Europe this year?  We'll see.

The building was sold for $240 million this fall, and the Michigan Avenue facade is thankfully protected from alteration. No plan is in place yet and construction is not expected to begin until the fall of 2018.  If you are interested to read about what could happen to the 3 acre property here's a link to a good article on the subject.  As I hinted in the opening, I have news of my own.  Not anything worth printing in the Tribune, thankfully!  

1 comment:

  1. I have my opinion, too, and it matches yours. I'd love to be able to see/tour the Tribune Building. Like you said about Europe, maybe this year. Wonder what your news is ...?