Chicago Skyscrapers

While in Chicago I recommend doing the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) Walking Tours.  Listed as one of Chicago’s top ten cultural destinations it is a great way to learn about Chicago.  Chicago is not only the birthplace of the skyscraper, it is also where most of the innovations in early skyscraper design and technology originated.   The CAF is located right on Michigan Avenue near Millennium Park.  I went on 2 tours; Historic Downtown-Rise of the Skyscraper and Modern Skyscrapers.  The Historic Skyscraper tour includes buildings built right after the 1871 Great Chicago Fire up to The Great Depression.  The tour points out the 3 architectural designs of the time – Chicago School of Architecture, Beaux-Arts and Art Deco.  Looking at these incredible tall structures I had to remind myself that some were built in the 1800’s!!  Such innovation!  The Modern Skyscraper tour includes the years following World War II when Chicago established itself as a world-renowned city for Modern architecture.  The tour points out the birth of the Mies van der Rohe minimalism (“Less is More”) to the rise of Postmodernism (“Less is a Bore”).   After the tours I had an appreciation for a city that is more than just about a great shopping, baseball and hockey destination.  Instead of just looking into the shop windows on Michigan Avenue and ‘The Magnificent Mile’ I started to look up and appreciate the history and beauty of Chicago.

        Historical Skyscraper


     Modern Skyscrapers