Inspirational Images of Chicago's Unique Architecture

17 July 2013
Read Time: 2.7 mins

Jason Dutton-Smith, Flight Centre's Head of Online Content recently enjoyed a fantastic week exploring Chicago. He had previously lived in this city for three years but was keen to return as a tourist. On this trip he took his parents, which gave him the perfect opportunity to see the city's fantastic attractions.

"Chicago is a dazzling city and probably my top pick in the US. As the birthplace of the skyscraper its historic and ornate buildings and impressive city towers stand out like jewels – at night even more so as the expansive skyline lights up the evening sky. Iconic Michigan Avenue with its gardens and wide boulevard is home to some of the finest shopping in the world and the avenue itself is stunningly decorated for every season. Another jewel is Lake Michigan and its beautiful shoreline. Chicagoans love the outdoors thanks to the landscaped parks and inviting beaches that are a feature up and down Chicago's entire shoreline. I always loved taking a cruise out on Lake Michigan as the city views from the lake are amazing."

"The city is blessed with some of the finest museums in the world such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Field Museum of Natural History, Museum of Science and Industry and the Western Hemisphere’s oldest planetarium, the Adler – to name just a few. Chicago is a city that celebrates its ethnic heritage and because of this the food scene here is diverse and flavourful and wonderful neighbourhood festivals take place throughout the summer celebrating this varied heritage. For me, one of the simple pleasures in Chicago is taking a stroll through its historic neighbourhoods, down the shady, tree lined streets of Lincoln Park or Lake View with their historic row houses or admiring the stately mansions and art-deco apartment buildings on the Gold Coast. Like down-town there are many architectural wonders to see. I could go on and on but I think I'll go now and book a ticket to Chicago!"

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The Wrigley Building

"One of my favourite buildings in Chicago. At the time of its construction in the early 1920's, the Wrigley Building was one of the first major office buildings on the north side of the Chicago River. Because of its location on the river its setting is rather striking. Interestingly, it was also the first building in Chicago to offer air-conditioning. On my first visit to Chicago, it was one of the buildings that stopped me in my tracks and made me say, 'wow!'"

 

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The Art Institute of Chicago

"The first thing that surprised me was the size of the building and its imposing, stately entrance.  I’ve always loved how the lions seem to stand guard with an ever watchful eye.  Although I wasn't able to capture them in this photo, the structure is surrounded by beautiful gardens which back onto the beautiful beaux-arts styled Grant Park."

 

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The Bean

"I just love the Bean (also referred to as The Cloud), a beautiful stainless steel sculpture that welcomes visitors to Millennium Park.  Take a walk around the sculpture and under it to see the reflections of the city skyline and the park itself.  It's like a giant polished snow globe. I set this image up to capture the reflections of just a slice of the Chicago skyline."

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From the John Hancock Observation Deck

"One of the biggest draw cards on North Michigan Avenue is the John Hancock Observatory located on the 94th floor of the building.  This birds-eye view offers an incredible view of downtown's vast skyline, out over gorgeous Lake Michigan and on a clear day offers a view of four different states - Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana."

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The Willis Tower

"From its opening in 1973 until 2004 The Willis Tower (previously known as the Sears Tower) was the world's tallest building.  On its observation deck there is a glass-floored block or balcony that juts out over the street level which gives a great view of the city below, looking straight down 103 stories through the glass floor. Being frightened of heights, that wasn't for me. I was happy to stand back and take photos."

 

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2 North Riverside Plaza

"I love the art-deco architectural design used for this iconic Chicago building that was originally built on top of railway tracks."

 

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The Jewelers Building

"I love the ornate and unique trimmings with dome corners and interesting use of vertical pier lines.  This ornate structure is another one of my favourites and was a crowd pleaser on the Chicago River architectural cruise that I took."

 

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The Tribune Tower

"Standing opposite the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower is home to the Chicago Tribune newspaper. It's attraction for me is the gothic elements.  The entrance is particularly stunning and compliments the ornate top of the building".

To plan your next American adventure, check out the Discover the Americas Travel Expo in Sydney on July 28, Brisbane August 4, Perth August 4, Adelaide August 11 and Melbourne August 11.

Flight Centre's Consultants

At Flight Centre, our consultants have travelled far and wide to offer you informed assistance when it comes to booking your next trip. These blog posts showcase just some of the experiences our consultants have had on recent adventures. We hope you enjoy reading these blog articles.