Happy 183rd Birthday Chicago!
Uncork your favorite bottle of wine or pop some champagne and toast to Chicago’s 183rd birthday; held on March 4, 2020. Crank up your music app as you listen to Frank Sinatra sing “My Kind of Town“; originally part of the musical score for Robin and the 7 Hoods, a 1964 musical film starring several members of the Rat Pack.
Chicago is famous for many things including gangsters like Al Capone
and the city definitely has some offers that you can’t refuse including famous sports teams: Bears, Bulls, Hawks, Cubs and Sox. We have had a pretty good record for start-ups like: Kraft, Motorola, Baxter, Sara Lee and don’t forget Groupon just to name a few.
We have plenty of famous politicians including: two notorious Mayors named Daley and President Barack Obama.
Chicago is home to a plethora of superlatives: our higher learning institutions are world-class with some of the best business schools in the world like University of Chicago and Northwestern. The city is brimming with world-class chefs and we have some of the best restaurants in the world including Alinea.
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods with distinctive architecture and ethnic roots.
But one or our most endearing and enduring blessings is our world-class architecture! Generally, to celebrate Chicago’s birthday, some of her architectural shining stars will turn blue including: the Willis Tower, the Trump Tower, the Merchandise Mart and the Prudential Building.
Chicago‘s Columbian Exposition in the 1890’s spawned a flourishing legacy of global architectural pre-eminence. Daniel Burnham’s passion for Beaux Arts principles of design generated a flurry of world-class structures. Chicago architects and structural engineers are still staking claims to global architectural marvels.
The Museum of Science and Industry resembles the Pantheon in Rome.
Bill Baker is a structural engineer who works at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill‘s (SMO) Chicago office in the landmark, 17 story Sante Fe Building. He can be credited with more super-tall buildings of over 1000 feet than any other structural engineer in the world including the Trump Tower.
“Bill Baker is the partner in charge of Structural and Civil Engineering for the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. One of his most recent accomplishments, completion of the world’s tallest building, the 160 story, 2,717 feet, Burj Khalifa (formerly the Burj Dubai) in Dubai, has literally shaken the world of architecture.”
The “Burj Khalifa” in Dubai is world’s tallest building at 160 stories. It is almost twice as tall as the building formerly known as the Sears Tower in Chicago. Bill was instrumental in designing The Burl with architect Adrian Smith at SMO.
Two of my favorite vintage buildings include the majestic Wrigley Building and the magnificent Gothic Revival Tribune building located at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River. Tribune Tower is being converted to luxury condos with private terraces, Gothic finials and parapets, a pool and arched windows.
The distinctive clock tower of the Wrigley Building reminds me of Big Ben in London. There are 250,000 glistening glazed terra cotta tiles covering the classical structure that was completed in 1924 by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White. Quite appropriate for the great “White City.” The beautiful neo-gothic Tribune Tower is across the street from the Wrigley building. The 26 foot Sculpture of Marilyn Monroe “Forever Marilyn” stood next to the Tribune Tower before she was disassembled and left Chicago for another venue.
To learn about Chicago History, visit the DuSable Bridge on Michigan Avenue at the River.
The bas relief sculptures on the southern bridge houses (southern pylons of the DuSable Bridge) were commissioned by the B. F. Ferguson Monument Fund, and are by Henry Hering: Defense depicts Ensign George Ronan in a scene from the 1812 Battle of Fort Dearborn; Regeneration depicts workers rebuilding Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
The relief called “Defense” (above) depicts Ensign George Ronan in a scene from the 1812 Battle of Fort Dearborn and the Potawotomi attack on the U.S. contingent evacuating Fort Dearborn,
The Regeneration bas relief (below) focuses on the rebuilding of the city of Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871.
The Michigan Avenue bridge has more bas relief sculptures on the bridgetower houses commemorating important events in Chicago history. The sculptures on the northern bridgehouses were commissioned by William Wrigley, Jr., and are by James Earle Fraser.
The Discoverers (above) depicts Louis Joliet, Jacques Marquette, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Henri de Tonti;
The Pioneers (below) depicts John Kinzie leading a group through the wilderness:
The Discoverers (below) depicts Louis Joliet, Jacques Marquette, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Henri de Tonti;
Milton Horn’s bronze bas-relief (below) located at Columbus Drive Bridge Dr. at the Chicago River is symbolic of the city of Chicago.
The female figure represents Chicago emerging reborn from the bottom of Lake Michigan following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The sheaf of wheat, bull and eagle reference Chicago’s historic role as a center of commerce, the livestock market and air transportation, respectively. Floral forms evoke the city motto, “Urbs in Horto” or “City in a Garden.” Finally, the bronze ring arching across the relief represents Chicago’s central geography within the United States.
Chicago is a haven for architecture junkies. I love the juxtaposition of the classic architecture with the modern architecture of buildings like the sleek Trump Tower. There’s a great view of the Wrigley Clock from Trump’s 16th floor restaurant aptly named “Sixteen.” They have an outstanding Sunday Brunch so why not celebrate Chicago’s Birthday party there!
Chicago is a mecca for world-class museums, restaurants and hotels with plenty of “Vino con Vista” opportunities. The first Michelin Guide for Chicago was released in November 2011.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites
Happy Birthday Chicago from www.vino-con-vista.com
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