Menu

Chicago Like a Local Blog

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

Category - Architecture/History

Even the most die-hard urbanologist could never possibly visit all of Chicago’s distinguished buildings in two, three, or four lifetimes. It would be a formidable task, indeed. Fortunately, there is a weekend of great repute that happens to afford wonderful access to over 200 buildings that would make any student of architecture envious.

The weather is cooler, but the #ChicagoLeafPeeping is prime. As autumn wraps the city in reds and golds, it's the perfect time to check out the harvest festivals and Oktoberfests that are popping up around town. As we cruise into a new month, take a moment to check out the biggest events happening in October, and make some time for these weekend picks (that is, if you don't stay out too late at these bars that keep the party going past last call). 

What makes a great public transit facility, you ask? I'd say it is a well-lit space to wait for the next train, combined with compelling architecture, public art, and easy access for people with physical handicaps.

Such a station now graces the eastern side of the Loop 'L' trains, as the stunning Washington/Wabash Station opened for use by visitors and Chicagoans on August 31, 2017. It’s the first new station in the Loop since 1997, and rave reviews continue to come in from architectural magazines, transit wonks, and a range of other outlets.

As we continue to support Chicago's Year of Public Art, I thought of Chicago's Fabulous Fountains, which happens to be a new book by local author Greg Borzo. Greg has written about a vast range of Windy City topics over the years, and he's one of the go-to experts when people want thoughtful commentary on such matters. I reached out to Greg to ask him a few questions about his favorite fountains and how these unique objects contribute to Chicago's public art landscape. 

The largest architecture and design exhibition in North America returns to Chicago on September 16, with the second edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Over 141 designers and architects representing 20 countries will address the theme "Make New History," by presenting drawings, installations, events and "immersive environments" at the Chicago Cultural Center and six off-site community locations. The main biennial at the Cultural Center is FREE and open to the public through January 7, 2018.

Check out a few of the highlights of this dazzling showcase of new perspectives, images, buildings and plans.

The design competition for the Chicago Tribune Tower was one of the most celebrated international architectural competitions of the 20th century. On June 10, 1922, the Chicago Tribune announced that they entries would be welcome from anywhere in the world. The prize? $50,000. Over the coming months, they received over 260 entries. In the end, the winning entry was a formidable design proffered by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood.

No one embraces summer like a Chicagoan: sunny days call for as much outdoor time as possible, and picnics are the way to dine. Here are four picnic + park recommendations that promise to make for a memorable summer afternoon in Chicago.

As one walks south on Michigan Avenue from Congress Parkway, a gleaming image emerges on the west side of the street. Beyond the glass facade of the Spertus Museum of Judaica and the buildings of Columbia College, there it is: the Blackstone Hotel, a beacon of good taste and luxury since the day it opened its doors in in 1910.

It's a year of celebration with June 8, 2017 marking the 150th birthday of America's most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. While you can always tour one of the many Frank Lloyd Wright masterpieces in Chicagoland, this summer the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, in partnership with Wright sites across the country, is hosting a number of kid-centered events that make the master architect accessible to even little ones.

Folks around Chicago and the world are excited about the ongoing celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work as they continue to honor the 150th anniversary of his birth. You may already be in the know if you’re an architecture fan, but even if you're not, the Pedal Oak Park bike tour being offered this summer is a great opportunity to celebrate the architectural master and check out some of his famous places, all from the seat of your cruiser bicycle.

Featured Partners

MORE TRIP IDEAS & ITINERARIES
Spend a Weekend in the Chicago Loop
Experience some of the best attractions, theater,...
First Timer's Guide to Chicago
We're glad you're coming for the first...
Been Here? Do this in 2018
Did you fall in love with Chicago, too? It happens...
Chicago Sightseeing
Whether you are planning a Chicago travel...
Sightseeing along the L Train
Chicago has an excellent public transportation...
Editor's Picks: Just For Fall
Fall Date Night Ideas in Chicago
Date Night can mean a lot of things to different...
Chicago Beer Gardens Kick Off the Fall Season
Beer + gardens: two words that have intonations...
Apple of My Eye
October is National Apple Month and we're...
The Sky is the Limit at the Chicago Architecture Biennial
The largest architecture and design exhibition in...