Chicago has exceeded all my prior expectations. I must admit that when I first heard that APS was in Chicago I was a bit disappointed – somehow my vision of Chicago was distorted by all the dark movies and TV series I’ve seen about the city. I’m so glad I took the time to overstay my conference and see the city because I soon came to realize that it’s one of the underappreciated American city gems well worth a visit.

 

On my first day I joined an architecture tour starting from the Chicago Architecture Foundation across the street from the Chicago Art Institute . I was a bit late for the more famous tour of the classic buildings and joined the "modern skyscrapers" tour which was absolutely brilliant. We walked around down-town Chicago and heard wonderful explanations of the different styles coupled with fascinating stories about the more personal histories of buildings we walked next to and the famous people who built them. The one thing that is perhaps most impressive about the whole thing is that – atleast in the way it was explained – it seemed like architecture in Chicago and urban space is well planned out. It doesn’t seem as random as it perhaps is in Hong Kong. It also has an aroma of prestige, history and grandeur that mixes well with approachability and friendliness. It all just looks… well… good.

 

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

 

Walking around you also get to see just how much Chicagoians were trying to incorporate art into the public space. The Bean at the Millennium Park is one of the recent examples, but this one below is perhaps a more fascinating exhibit – the "Picasso". No one’s sure exactly what this is, but it was made especially by Picasso for the City of Chicago. To me, it looked like a lion, but what do I know – when it comes to Picasso this could very well be a naked girl or something else exotic.

 

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

 

So, back to the starting point, you have a grand model of the city…

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

 

This guy here was our knowledgeable volunteer guide…

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

 

And the rest, well, it can really speak for itself…

 

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

 

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour 

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

 

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

The Gorgeous City of Chicago : Skyscraper Architecture Tour

(this last one, BTW, is a prison, in case you were wondering).

 

If you’re in Chicago, don’t miss one of the tours, preferably on your first day. It will set the tone for the rest of your visit and is bound to give you a much greater appreciation for the lovely city of Chicago.



Tags: architecture; art; chicago; Chicago Architecture Foundation; guide; picasso; tour;


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Lucian

that prison could easily pass off for a contemporary art museum… think tate modern or something along those lines

lishu
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lishu

I ‘ve seen this river when i was in junior school, but sitll don’t know its name.

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