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Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Author: Amanda Scotese

Amanda Scotese started the tour company Chicago Detours, so she can have a legitimate excuse for wandering Chicago and geeking out on architecture. She dug in to anything Chicago, especially architecture and urban geography, through the Masters of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. Her travel writing has appeared in Rick Steves' Italy travel guidebooks, Trazzler, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and the Chicago Detours blog.

Underground Chicago: The Layers of Our City

Friday, March 14, 2014 12:00 AM by Amanda Scotese

CTA el train

When we think of Chicago architecture, surely for many of us the skyline rising above comes to our mind. But the architecture of Chicago is actually very much below our feet, too. Many layers of tunnels, passages, sewers, pipes, and other infrastructural elements criss-cross below the streets of downtown Chicago. Let's delve into the depths of Chicago's underground layer.

A Guide to Chicago's Art Deco Architecture

Friday, April 19, 2013 12:00 AM by Amanda Scotese

Art Deco Aerial

We've heard about Art Deco as an architectural style, with its stream-lined surfaces, linear and geometric shapes, and symmetry. All these characteristics expressed the glamor, vibrancy, sex-appeal and money of the Roaring '20s. They were a far cry and a reaction to the previous WWI years of chunky, heavy, and conservative Victorian style. That kind of architecture was inspired by classical motifs like columns and stonework, and while it may not have always been true to its form, for many the earlier, Gilded Age kind of architecture - like what one can tour in the Driehaus Museum - represented old money.

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