I have become quite fond of what I refer to as slivers, which are photographs cropped as vertical panoramas. It is all about the color and shadows in narrow architectural spaces, such as alleyways. To work, the light must be just right and there should be as little clutter as possible toward the bottom of the frame. In other words, slivers are few and far between.
This sliver shows the Standard Oil of Indiana building in the far background. In 1974, it was the tallest building in Chicago and the fourth tallest building in the world. Well globalization has changed things a bit.
At one time, it was known as the Amoco building (as a result of oil company mergers), and is now referred to as the AON Center, taking its name from the large insurance broker that calls the building its headquarters.
The building is known for one colossal engineering mistake. It was originally clad is Carrara marble, but one piece fell off the building and an inspection found cracks in other pieces covering the building. In 1985, the owners tried to alleviate the problem by stainless steel straps to hold the marble in place. That apparently proved to be an unsatisfactory solution. Beginning in 1990, the Carrara marble was replaced with Mount Airy granite at an estimated cost of somewhere around $80 million.
I made this photograph by standing in the alley adjacent to the southern wall of the Chicago Theatre. The el track running north-south on Wabash is visible. For me, it is a somewhat unusual photograph because there is no train visible on the track. I once met Philip Glass in this alley after a performance of Dracula. I remember him vividly; he does not remember me vividly or even remotely. He performed with the Kronos Quartet.
Copyright 2016, Jack B. Siegel. All Rights Reserved