Tag Archives: Architecture

Chicago 2022

Chicago 2022

I have wanted to go to Chicago for years, and my family visit to Milwaukee over Memorial Day gave me the chance. I took the train from Milwaukee — only 90 minutes and about $20 — and arrived on a Tuesday afternoon. I went straight to the Art Institute, my main objective and found, to my dismay, it is closed on Tuesday and Wednesdays! Because I was planning to leave on Thursday, this was a setback. I took this selfie because I was afraid it was all I was going to get. I walked a little farther to the shore of Lake Michigan and dipped my toes, continued on to admire the fountains of Millennium Park, then did a little shopping on State Street.

I checked out Chicago’s Riverwalk the next morning. The corn cob buildings are Marina City, a mixed-use residential-commercial building complex designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg.

Green trees, very tidy, very welcoming, easy river access but no small watercraft in sight. These steps to the water’s edge reminds me of the steps on the Potomac River where we would listen to the Army Band play on a barge.

Chicago’s architecture is very impressive — it rivals London to my eye. Around noon on my second day I enjoyed a 90 minute architecture tour from a Chicago River boat and was impressed by the glamorous big-name architects and architecture.

Architectural Tour Boat on Chicago River

The Salesforce Tower is nearing completion. The size and variety of the skyscrapers is stunning.

Chicago Salesforce Tower Nearing Completion

I learned about hydraulic movement dampening systems and that the parabola around the red metal sculpture is a high tech rain gutter!

Lots of wonderful sculpture on the streets, too! This is Flamingo, created by noted American artist Alexander Calder, is a 53-foot tall stabile located in the Federal Plaza in front of the Kluczynski Federal Building. I was hoping to visit the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve, but alas…

Got to see The Bean, more formally known as Cloud Gate, by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park.

I was puzzled by the knee-high drifts of grass, something we never see in fire-prone California, but it rains frequently in the summer in Chicago. I asked horticulturalist Michelle Derviss who replied, “This is a style of garden design championed by Piet Oudolf, a Dutch designer, who is praised for his large drifts of perennials and ornamental grass masse. He designed the Lurie Garden and Millennium Park along with several other designers. He is also responsible for New York’s High Line Park.”

I pushed back my flight to Thursday afternoon so I could see the Cezanne special exhibit at the Art Institute. Even though I am a member of San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, and they have reciprocity, I could not set this up with online ticketing. I would have had to telephone and, well, the museum was closed when I needed to do this. So the guard would not let me in at 10, I had to wait until 11 at the main entrance.

Main Entrance to Art Institute

Got to see the Cezanne show and some very nice Picassos. The building, Designed by Renzo Piano, is spectacular and rivals the Frank Gehry museum in Los Angeles, Brentwood.

1879–1880 Still Life with Fruit Dish by Cezanne.

Cezanne Painting Once Owned by Paul Gauguin

Gauguin’s Woman in Front of a Still Life by Cezanne. Click the link to the museum’s page to learn more about this loan from NYC MOMA.

Gauguin: Woman in Front of a Still Life by Cezanne

The America Windows by Marc Chagall

American Windows by Marc Chagall

The Japanese woodblock print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai that is part of the design for this blog is in the Chicago Art Institute, but the print is not available for viewing now and will not be for several years. I guess I’ll just have to return to Chicago.