Menu

Chicago Like a Local Blog

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

Tag - Loop

Chicago's Year of Public Art rolls on with an exciting addition to the already amazing diversity of programs, talks, and of course, compelling new public art installations. Kerry James Marshall, the celebrated contemporary artist is bringing a massive new piece to the Chicago Cultural Center over the coming weeks — and at 132 by 100 feet — it will be nothing short of epic.

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.

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 Art Institute of Chicago always knows how to bring together artists in ways that are thoughtful and whimsical, inviting conversations across artistic styles, periods and mediums. Currently, there are two adjacent exhibits that bring together the work of Saul Steinberg and Cauleen Smith, and they are both delightful.

If you’ve been to Millennium Park, you’ve probably looked up at the stunning fountains at the northeast corner of Monroe Street and Michigan Avenue. They are, of course, the wonderful Crown Fountain designed and executed by the Catalan artist Jaume Plensa. Since their installation in 2004, millions of people have played in the water that surrounds the fountains in the summer and enjoyed watching a rotating cast of Chicagoans projected on the screens that add a bit of whimsy to these amazing pieces of art.

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.

5 Things to Do at Chicago Design Museum

Monday, June 19, 2017 12:00 PM by Maddy Osman

Located inside of Block 37 in the heart of the Loop, the Chicago Design Museum facilitates “the exchange of knowledge through dynamic experiences.” The museum has exhibits and interactive experiences involving design from around the world. Exhibits are FREE and open to the public, Tuesday–Saturday, noon–7 p.m., so add this gem to your museum list this summer. Here are 5 ideas for things to do while you're there.

It’s always a fun and exciting idea to spend a night or two in the Loop. During the day, you can appreciate the cadence of folks on their way to work or the casual attitude of strolling tourists, architectural enthusiasts and others who might just be taking their time to appreciate Chicago’s details. One of the best places to set up your home base for exploration is the J. W. Marriott Chicago on West Adams Street. Here's a profile of this architecturally-significant Chicago hotel below.

If you haven’t heard, 2017 is the Year of Public Art in Chicago, and there are hundreds of fascinating exhibits, talks, public programs, walks and more going on until the end of the year in neighborhoods around the city, from the far Northwest Side to Hegewisch. Not surprisingly, the Chicago Cultural Center is the nerve center of many programs, including several rotating exhibits, public conversations and other events for locals and visitors.

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
First-time visitors are always amazed by...
Sightseeing along the L Train
Chicago has an excellent public transportation...
Chicago Sightseeing
Whether you are planning a Chicago travel...
1 Day Downtown Chicago
With just one day to explore downtown Chicago, go...
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...