No One on Balconies
I hate balconies, particularly when they are added to classic brick buildings. The developers will tell you that apartments and condos must have balconies to make them attractive, Yet, aside from storing grills on them, nobody seems to use them. Look closely at this photograph. It is a beautiful Saturday afternoon in August. Not a single person is on any of the balconies.
When I moved to Chicago 25 years ago, many of these buildings did not exist. Most of those that did were not residential. Things have changed. The West Fulton Market and West Loop have become popular residential neighborhoods. These areas were once no-man's land separating the then decrepit west Loop from Chicago's mean streets. Not anymore. First, Rosty (Rep. Dan Rostenkowski) provided the financing for the Presidential Towers development. Then several corporations moved their corporate headquarters to the western bank of the Chicago River. Meanwhile, Oprah had Harpo Studios further west. Real estate owners in Greektown realized the value of their real estate, as West Randolph Street became restaurant row, with the food distribution warehouses and markets being pushed out.
Take a good look at the Chicago Sun-Times sign. You can only see a portion of the sign that adorns the south side of the building.
This photograph is taken from the 7th floor rooftop bar at the Chicago Ace Hotel, located at 311 North Morgan Street. Opposite the hotel is Google's Chicago headquarters. You know you are in the hipster part of town.