Friday, July 30, 2010

Architectural Boat Tour

While in Chicago, B and I went on an hour-long architectural boat tour along the Chicago River. It was really interesting! It definitely gave us a different view of the city!

While on the tour, the tour guide gave us details about the many skyscrapers in the city, including who designed it, when it was built, etc etc. Not that I remember many of these details; I have the worst memory!

This was the view while we were docked, before the boat ride. See the building second from the right? The squiggly looking one? It's an apartment/condo that was designed by a female architect. It has a couple cool features. One is that the floor of each balcony is slightly different from the ones around it. They kind of slope in and out. The floors are flat, obviously, but the depth varies, so the edge of it looks like an 'S'. Apparently it was designed that way so that each apartment gets sunlight and shade. Pretty cool! The glass is also special. It's opaque when you look at it from the outside so as to deter birds from flying into it.

Ahhh doesn't that water look refreshing? I think the Chicago river recently went from REALLY polluted and hazardous to only a little bit polluted, haha. Yay. Chicago fun fact: Waaaaay back when the city was first being inhabited, the Chicago river ran INTO Lake Michigan and Lake Michigan was the city's water supply. Well, the city didn't have a trash disposal system in place yet, so everyone would dump the trash into the river. Years went by, and as you can imagine, the river became really polluted and disgusting, whick inevitably polluted the lake and the drinking water. There was an city-wide epidemic because the water was unfit for human consumption. Soo instead of cleaning up the river (apparently that's not an easy task, but their actual solution was???) they REVERSED the flow of the river. What?? You can do that?? They dredged the river and banked it so it flowed into the canal instead. Crazy! Some of my facts may be off.. I am not a historian.

OOOO pretty skyscrapers!

These buildings were pretty cool, too. Not sure what they were.. condos? I think there was a garage on the lower floors.

This was once a bridge for trains. Now the tracks on either side go nowhere, so the bridge is perpetually raised. I thought it looked pretty cool amongst the more modern looking buildings.

Speaking of modern looking buildings, look at this gem! Hah.. this actually housed our hotel. We were waaaaaay up near the top.

See the pretty glass building on the right? That's where we THOUGHT we were staying. See the hotel we were at had a website with some pictures. This glass building was in the main picture on the site. What it didn't claim was that this was the VIEW not the ACTUAL building. D'oh!

Helloooooooo ivy.

Now defunct huge ass post office. I think the tour guide said something to the effect of this building being too far gone and too big to repair/renovate?? That can't be right, right?

The tower formerly known as Sears and it's friendly neighbor. The shorter building has these crazy lights on top which they had to dim at night because it was screwing up bird flight patterns. Interesting! The things that people research, haha.

This building was pretty neat! I don't remember what it was. Oh wait, it says right there!

This building was designed by some architecture professor dude. I think he had wanted to build it but it couldn't be done for some reason. His students found the plan years later and finally had it built. Voila!
Wizzing by under a bridge. Isn't wizzing a word? Firefox is telling me it's not and I don't feel like looking it up.. Crap.. it's wHizzing. Also.. I'm not sure why this picture is bigger than the others. I probably shouldn't reveal the fact that I'm a computer programmer and should know these things. Crap.. I just told you.

This building was SOOOOOoooooooooooo big when it was built that it had it's own zip code! Whattttt! Crazy.

Look how huge it is! I couldn't even get the whole building in one shot. Even these two pictures don't reveal its largeness. What you also can't see is that there are huge brass heads/busts in the front of the building. Kind of creepy if you ask me. B and I did some window shopping here, though. In all of the windows along the street there were these awesome looking bathtubs. Brass, porcelain, claw foot, you name it. Do want. I think it would be sweet to have a claw foot tub. And I'd sit in it. With lots of bubbles. And someone would be fanning me. And someone else would be feeding me chocolate and grapes. And champagne. Hey, a girl can dream.

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