OH Chi I

Today was the first day of Open House Chicago, the annual opportunity to inspect normally closed Chicago architectural gems. The public can take in grand lobbies and spectacular skyline views. It can see the Chicago Tribune’s printing plant where the Tribune, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal are printed.

Although famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan is long gone, he is not the only notable architect that has worked in Chicago. For those with the interest, it is possible to visit the offices of several large architectural and interior design firms that do work around the world.

Overall, it is a great day, particularly with the weather we had today. The fall air was crisp and the sky was dehazed clear. Today was the reason those who live in Chicago love four distinct seasons.

I headed out early. My first stop was the old Post Office, which straddles the Eisenhower Expressway. Like many old buildings, it is being repurposed—mixed use that will include residential and retail space. Unfortunately—and as I suspected—we were only allowed to view the refurbished lobby. Nicely restored, but I would have preferred to view the currently gutted floors, particularly with some of the unique views they must offer.

When I finished at the Post Office, I headed north along the plazas lining the Chicago River, and then west to the Soho Club in the thriving Fulton Market District. I was not overwhelmed by the club’s rooftop, but I love the neighborhood. It was then east, where I visited a number of sites, including the First United Methodist Church in the Chicago Temple Building. It is the tallest church in the world, rising 568 feet above street level. While not on the list of buildings, I stopped in the new Hotel Julian on Michigan.

At the end of the day, I ran into two architectural photographers outside the new Apple store. They, along with three other friends, headed to Chicago this week to photograph the city. They had planned the trip without knowing it was Open House Chicago. We had a nice chat, and off I went. Earlier in the day, I ran into a very talented architectural photographer who was capturing the Post Office’s lobby with a tripod and a wide angle lens. She was quite the conversationalist.

As is often the case, I found that I ended up photographing things that I had not expected to photograph when I set out on my adventure. The light was really nice, so I couldn’t resist.

I will back out tomorrow.

[Click on an image to enlarge it]

Decorative Mates with Functional: Union Station

The Edge

Charteuse and Campari in the Fulton Market District

The Fulton Market District Looking North

Down By the River

Wolf Point II—Yellow Molds

45, 20, 23, 40, 40, 41, 7

Orange and Yellow—110 South Wacker Driver

Northerly Layers

Different Grids

Swimming in October

Become a Master of Refrigerator Organization

Photographer’s Notes: As should be apparent, Open House Chicago is just an excuse to take a walk with my camera. Today, what I found on the street was more interesting than what I found in the buildings.

If you are going to go, take a wide angle lens, as well as a lens hood/shield to eliminate window glare. Mine has suction cups that stick to the window.

In all honesty, I think the format for Open House Chicago needs an update. It is just not as inspiring as it once was. Maybe I have gotten jaded. It would also be nice if the Architectural Foundation would limit certain sites only to photographers at designated times. Photographing the lobby of the Post Office with a bunch of people in blue jeans and coats just does not make for a nice architectural photograph. In fact, I don’t understand why the Architectural Foundation doesn’t do any events for photographers during the year. People would pay large sums for the access that the foundation could provide. It should also be holding lectures and exhibits involving architectural photography.



Winter Approaches

Winter Approaches