Tag Archives: World’s Columbian Exposition

Daniel Burnham’s Vision for Chicago: Paris on the Prairie

White City of the World's Columbian Exposition...

White City of the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Administration Building, seen from the Agr...

The Administration Building, seen from the Agricultural Building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Horticultural Building, with Illinois Building...

Horticultural Building, with Illinois Building in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Republic in Jackson Park, Chicago...

English: The Republic in Jackson Park, Chicago, IL, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daniel Burnham on the terrace of his Evanston,...

Daniel Burnham on the terrace of his Evanston, IL home. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Source: http://www.chicagob2b.net/lin...

English: Source: http://www.chicagob2b.net/links/pages/CitySeal1.gif This image is a copy of the official seal of the City of Chicago, Illinois, as designed and adopted by the City in 1905. As such, it is a work authored before 1922, and is therefore in the public domain. A 1895 edition of the seal can be seen here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: View of Millennium Park from the Will...

English: View of Millennium Park from the Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower) in 2007, before Legacy Tower was built. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP Bridge in the park are clearly visible, as well as part of Lurie Garden at right and the McDonald Cycle Center in the left hand corner. Daley Bicentennial Plaza is behind Millennium Park, both are part of the larger Grant Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Millennium Park, Chicago, IL, USA from Aon Cen...

Millennium Park, Chicago, IL, USA from Aon Center (Chicago) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: View of Chicago, United States from t...

English: View of Chicago, United States from the 340 on the Park skyscraper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912) was a leading architect and forward thinking urban-planner. He wanted Chicago to become Paris on the Prairie.


Burnham and Root were the architects of one of the first American skyscrapers: the Masonic Temple Building in Chicago. It was Measuring 21 stories high at 302 feet. It was torn down in 1939.

Burnham and Root played an integral role in why Chicago looks the way it does today. They accepted the responsibility of overseeing and constructing the Exposition of 1893  to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ famous voyage.

After Root’s sudden death, the plans were radically changed into a Classical Revival style in Jackson Park on the south lake font in Chicago.

Burnham became the Director of Works, and ultimately led the design and construction of  the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Considered the first example of  comprehensive planning  in the nation, the fairground was complete with grand boulevards, classical building facades, and lush gardens. Often called the “White City”, it “popularized neoclassical architecture in a monumental and rational Beaux-Arts plan.” Much of his work was based on the classical style from Rome and Greece.

In 1909 he declared “The Lakefront belongs to the People” and laid out the Burnham plan; his vision for Grant Park that still guides the Park’s evolution.

Initiated in 1906 and published in 1909, Burnham and his co-author Edward H. Bennett prepared “The Plan of Chicago“, which laid out plans for the future of the city. The plan included ambitious proposals for the lakefront and river and declared that every citizen should be within walking distance of a park.

Many plans and conceptual designs of the south lakefront from the Columbian Exposition came in handy. He envisioned Chicago as a “Paris on the Prairie”. French-inspired public works projects, fountains, and boulevards radiating from a central domed municipal building became Chicago’s new backdrop. Burnham is famously quoted as saying, “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.” This slogan has been taken to capture the essence of Burnham’s spirit.

Chicago Loop 2015 Statues 063Chicago Loop 2015 Statues 042


You can walk “The View Path” that highlights his plan in a new exhibit at Millennium Park. If you want to stay at a nice hotel in Chicago that was designed by Burnham and Root, head over to The Reliance Building  at 1 W. Washington Street in the Loop. The first floor and basement were designed by John Root of the Burnham and Root architectural firm in 1890, with the rest of the building completed by Charles B. Atwood in 1895. It is the first skyscraper to have large plate glass windows make up the majority of its surface area. The Reliance Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970; and on January 7, 1976, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.  Stay at the lovely the 122-room Hotel Burnham and dine at the Atwood Cafe.

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The path includes following sites:


Lurie Garden

Nichols Bridge

Art Institute of Chicago

South Garden

Railway Exchange

Congress Plaza

Congress Parkway Bridge

North President’s Court

Lincoln Statue

Buckingham Fountain

Outdoor Rooms

Lower Hutchinson Field

Lake Michigan Shoreline

Museum Campus

“Burnham View” a new permanent landmark sculpture with a spectacular view of the city and the park

Chicago Loop 2015 Statues 069


The Burning of the White City. (Electricity Bu...

The Burning of the White City. (Electricity Building on left, Mines and Mining Building on right.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Burnham also designed several notable buildings and skyscrapers in Chicago including:



 He died in Heidelberg, Germany and the successor firm to Burnham’s practice was Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, which continued in some form until 2006. There is a tribute to Burnham in Burnham Park and Daniel Burnham Court in Chicago.
Chicago Loop 2015 Statues 082
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com


Cloud Gate from east with East Randolph Street...

Cloud Gate from east with East Randolph Street skyscrapers in background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


English: Buckingham Fountain in the foreground...

English: Buckingham Fountain in the foreground with one of the Prudential Buildings at the far left and the AON Center (the tallest building) in the background. The top of the John Hancock Center is also visible (the one with two antennae at the top). I took this photo 11 Jul 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)












A view toward the Peristyle from Machinery Hall.

A view toward the Peristyle from Machinery Hall. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, se...

The Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, seen from the southwest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Midway Plaisance, Chicago.

Midway Plaisance, Chicago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portrait of John Wellborn Root

Portrait of John Wellborn Root (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Halloween Happenings at Chicago’s Glessner House Museum Historic Prairie Avenue

The John J. Glessner House by Henry Hobson Ric...

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Prairie Avenue has always been influential in Chicago’s History with grand mansions and influential residents. During the late 19th century, Chicago’s most prestigious residential street was Prairie Avenue.

William W. Kimball Home on Chicago's Prairie District

William W. Kimball Home on Chicago’s Prairie Street Historic District

Prairie Avenue is located in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. The Prairie Avenue District is a Chicago Landmark district and was added to the National Register of Historic Places. During the Columbian Exposition, Prairie Street was considered a “Must See” destination. I love the chateaux style residence at 1802 S. Prairie, formerly owned by the owner of the Kimball Piano and Organ Company. It was designed by the architect Solon S. Beman. Today, it serves as the headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Halloween Happenings:

Tour:  Shadows on the Street – Haunted Tours of Historic Prairie Avenue

Friday October 30 and Saturday October 31, 2015

Tours at 7:00 and 8:15pm

Tours begin at the Glessner House Museum Vistors Center

$10 per person / $8 for members

Pre-paid reservations suggested to 312.326.1480

Tales of strange sounds, unexplained sightings, and untimely endings as you explore Prairie Avenue after dark!

Performance:  29th Annual Edgar Allan Poe Readings

Saturday October 31, 2015

Readings at 5:00 and 8:00pm

Clarke House Museum, 1827 S. Indiana Avenue

$25 per person / $22 for members

Pre-paid reservations required to 312.326.1480

Squirm in your seat as actors from Lifeline Theatre present staged readings of Poe’s terrifying stories and poetry.  A holiday favorite now in its 29th year!

Another one of my favorites is the brown sandstone Joseph G. Coleman House by the architects Cobb & Frost at 1811 S. Prairie.

Joseph G. Coleman House at 1811 S. Prairie in Chicago

Joseph G. Coleman House at 1811 S. Prairie in Chicago

Several of  Chicago’s most notable families and  important historical figures have lived in the South Loop Prairie Avenue District. Today the street is full of new construction that blends into the style of the existing historic landmarks.

Empire style Elbridge G. Keith House at 1900 S. Prairie

Empire style Elbridge G. Keith House at 1900 S. Prairie

Many wealthy Chicago “Movers and Shakers” moved to Prairie Street after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Some of the prominent families that lived here included: the Pullmans, the Fields, the Armours and the Kimballs. When Philip Armour joined Field and Pullman on Prairie Street in 1875, Chicago’s three wealthiest citizens lived within a four block stretch of this historic neighborhood. These prominent Chicago legends influenced the  political history, the architecture, the culture, the economy, as well as the law and government of Chicago. Prairie Street lost some of its luster as the neighborhood became more industrialized and the demographics of Chicago changed over time. The Gold Coast and the North Shore became the more desirable areas for Chicago’s wealthy residents.

Although most of the houses have been demolished, you can still tour the 17,000 square foot Glessner House at 1800 S. Prairie.  It was designed in 1885-1886 by Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson and completed in late 1887. The granite fortress-like exterior conceals a large central courtyard.

Original Front Door of the Glessner House on Prairie Avenue in Chicago

Original Front Door of the Glessner House on Prairie Avenue in Chicago

The property was designated a Chicago Landmark on October 14, 1970. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 17, 1970 and as a National Historic Landmark on January 7, 1976. It’s possible to have a wedding at this historic residence in the lovely courtyard.

The Glessner House Courtyard on Prairie Avenue

The Glessner House Courtyard on Prairie Avenue

Many newlyweds like to have their pictures taken at the “G” Door. If you turn the entrance to the staircase around, it forms the letter “G”.

The G Door of the Glessner House on Prairie Avenue

The G Door of the Glessner House on Prairie Avenue

John Glessner was one of the original founders of International Harvester, which became the fourth largest corporation in the country. Glessner was appointed vice president and continued in that capacity until his death in 1936 at the age of 92.

The G Door of the Glessner House on Prairie Avenue

The G Door of the Glessner House on Prairie Avenue

When Frances and  John J. Glessner and his family needed a winter house in Chicago, Mr. Glessner decided to build a home for his family on Prairie Avenue and 18th Street. He chose one of the nation’s foremost architects, H. H. Richardson.

H. H. Richardson

H. H. Richardson note to Mr. Glessner

Henry Hobson Richardson (September 29, 1838 – April 27, 1886) was born in Louisiana and became a prominent American architect. His portrait hangs in the foyer of the Glessner House, surrounded by oak walls and a stately fireplace.

H. H. Richardson

H. H. Richardson

Richardson’s work had an impact on Boston, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Albany, and Chicago. The style that Richardson developed over time was medieval and fortress-like. His contributions are called Richardsonian Romanesque. He inspired Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright.

H. H. Richardson

H. H. Richardson

Richardson studied at Harvard College and Tulane University. Initially he was interested in civil engineering, but eventually shifted to architecture. His passion led him to Paris in 1860 where he attended the famed École des Beaux Arts in the atelier of Louis-Jules André. He was the second US citizen to attend the École des Beaux Arts. Richard Morris Hunt was the first American student. The French School played an increasingly important role in training American architects. Trinity Church in Boston built in 1872, is Richardson’s most acclaimed early work. This church solidified his reputation and provided major commissions for him for the remainder of his life.

The Glessner House interior on Prairie Avenue

The Glessner House interior on Prairie Avenue

Take a guided tour of the elegant interior of the house that Richardson designed. It  was rescued from demolition in 1966. It has been lovingly restored and is furnished with many of the original “Arts and Crafts” period furniture and an extraordinary collection of pottery and decorative arts.

Glessner House restored Parlor with pottery

Glessner House restored Parlor with pottery

Glessner House pottery

Glessner House pottery

I love the elaborate tiles on the fireplaces in this house and the piano that was returned to the house from the President of Harvard University.

Glessner House restored fireplace

Glessner House restored fireplace

Glessner House original Parlor Piano

Glessner House original Parlor Piano

The Eastlake style furniture was designed by Isaac Elwood Scott. The lavish parlor of the Glessner House Museum was restored recently with generous gifts from patrons including the Bunny J. Selig Memorial fund and the Aileen Mandel Memorial Fund. The dedication ceremony was held on October 14, 2011.

Afterwards, architect and historian John H. Waters presented a lecture on the contirbutions of William Pretyman. Pretyman produced the original wallcovering in the Glessner parlor.

Glessner House restored Parlor

Glessner House restored Parlor

Glessner House restored Parlor

Glessner House restored Parlor

The Museum offers a variety of programs to the public including lectures on Chicago history and musical programs. On Thursday, November 3, 2011, the Lecture Series will cover “The Architecture of Howard Van Doren Shaw.” For more information visit www.glessnerhouse.org.

Prairie Street has been re-developed with into a vibrant neighborhood with upscale modern housing, but her landmark buildings continue to be the backbone of this historic district.

There are other historical and architectural gems in the area between South Prairie Avenue and South Indiana Avenue. These residences were built from 1870 to 1900. Many important and notable families who were residents of Prairie, influenced the evolution of Chicago. They played a prominent national and international role in Chicago’s rise to a world-class city.

Recently, developments have extended the street north to accommodate new high-rise condominiums, such as One Museum Park, along Roosevelt Road (12th Street). The redevelopment has extended the street so that it has prominent buildings bordering Grant Park with Prairie Avenue addresses.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

High rises near Chicago's Prarie District in the South Loop

High rises near Chicago’s Prarie District in the South Loop

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Happy Birthday Chicago!

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Happy Birthday Chicago! Uncork your favorite bottle of wine or champagne and toast to Chicago’s 178th birthday was held on March 4, 2015. Crank up your iPhone 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.

Cover of "Robin and the Seven Hoods"

Cover of Robin and the Seven Hoods

Chicago is famous for many things including gangsters like Al Capone and the city definitely has some offers that you can’t refuse:

Chicago is also famous for sports teams: Bears, Bulls, Hawks, Cubs and Sox. We have had pretty good record for start-ups: Kraft, Motorola, Baxter, Sara Lee and don’t forget Groupon just to name a few.

English: Chicago Cubs logo

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Chicago Bulls logo

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We have plenty of famous politicians including: 2 Mayor Daleys and President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama discusses the bid for C...

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Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

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Richard J. Daley, mayor of Chicago, c. 1971

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Chicago is home to a plethora of superlatives: our higher learning institutons 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 like Charlie Trotters and Alinea.

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods with distinctive architecture and ethnic roots.

Map of Chicago's community areas, grouped by c...

Map of Chicago’s community areas, grouped by color by “side” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Deutsch: Chicago am Ufer des Lake Michigan Eng...

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Chicago‘s Columbian Exposition in the 1890’s spawned a flourishing legacy of global architectural pre-eminence and outstanding architecture in Chicago. Daniel Burnham’s passion for Beaux Arts priniciples of design generated a flurry of world-class structures. Chicago architects and structural engineers are still staking claims to global architectural marvels.

Much of new classical research was conducted a...

Much of new classical research was conducted at the University of Chicago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, 1893

Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893 (Photo credit: Smithsonian Institution)

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 supertall buildings of over 1000 feet than any other structural engineer in the world including the Trump Tower. The “Burl 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 Gothic Revival Tribune building located at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River.

The Gothic Revival Tribune Tower in Chicago

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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 is next to the Tribune Tower.

Wrigley Building

chicago wrigley building

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 Architecture

Chicago is a mecca for world-class museums, restaurants and hotels with plenty of “Vino con Vista” opportunities. The 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

Chicago River Walk

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Chicago’s Historic Reliance Building Evokes the Tale of Legendary Architects Burnham and Atwood in the White City

Upper facade

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The first modern ferris wheel, bult in Chicago...

The first modern ferris wheel, bult in Chicago in 1893 for World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The historic Reliance Building in Chicago was completed in 1895 by Charles Atwood. Charles B. Atwood (1849–1896) was a legendary architect who designed several structures and buildings for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

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Court of Honor and Grand Basin of the 1893 Wor...

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The book “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson vividly describes Atwood and Burnham’s contributions to the Columbian Exposition. The book is set in Chicago around 1893. True stories about the legendary architects like  Daniel H. Burnham and Charles Atwood, who designed and built the structures for the Exposition, are intertwined with the tale of Dr. H.H. Holmes. He was the notorious serial killer who lured his victims to their death in Chicago during the Exposition.

The book also describes the building of the the first Ferris Wheel in 1893! The Ferris Wheel was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the Columbian Exposition. It was originally called the “Chicago Wheel.”

Cover of "The Devil in the White City:  M...

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The first Ferris wheel from the 1893 World Col...

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Atwood also designed a number of notable buildings in the city of Chicago including the Reliance Building, and the Marshall Field and Company Building.

The construction of the Reliance Building ushered in an era of Chicago’s treasured skyscrapers! The building is located at 32 N. State Street in Chicago.

It was  designated as a Chicago Landmark on July 11, 1975 by the Landmark Commission. The citation reads:

“In recognition of the early and complete expression, through slender piers, small spandrels and the skillfully restrained use of terra cotta with large areas of glass, of the structural cage of steel that alone supports such buildings.”

English: Original hinges were found in the Rel...

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The building has an interesting history. In 1882, William Hale commissioned architects Burnham and Root to design a 16 story tower at the corner of State and Washington. It was to be called the Reliance Building. The new structure was to replace the First National Bank of Chicago Building.

English: Outside view of the Reliance building...

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For more information visit: www.kimptonhotels.com

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Chicago’s 175th Birthday Celebration

The first modern ferris wheel, bult in Chicago...

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Let’s celebrate Chicago’s 175th birthday. On Sunday, March 4, 2012, my glorious, world-class Vino con Vista City will turn 175 years old! If you look at the city seal on the left, you will see the phrase “Incorporated 4th March 1837.”


English: The Republic in Jackson Park, Chicago...

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If you follow my blog, you know that I love Chicago! I have written many posts about Chicago’s architectural jewels that line our gorgeous skyline and the famous architects who designed them.

Chicago Skyline from the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

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I have written about countless street festivals and gourmet food events hosted in Chicago quaint neighborhoods and glamorous lakefront venues like Navy Pier.


English: A view of Navy Pier from the shorelin...

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There are posts about “Restaurant Week” and “Chef Week” highlighting fabulous restaurants and Celebrity Chefs like Charlie Trotter that participate in philanthropic fund-raisers. I even wrote about the 1893 Columbian Exposition and the first Ferris Wheel that drew many curious thrill-seekers to the “White City” at the turn of the century.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)

Chicago Skyline 2008

Chicago Skyline 2008 (Photo credit: TomC)

Marilyn Monroe graces Michigan avenue and the famous Daley Dynasty has run the city for decades. We even sent our home-town guy, Barack Obama to Washington to serve as the nation’s CEO. Chicago has so many accomplishments to celebrate for every year on her birthday cake.

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 14:  U.S. President Barack...

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Chicago at Night

Chicago at Night (Photo credit: ifmuth)

Senator Barack Obama, 4/16/07 - Chicago

Over the weekend, many of Chicago’s landmark buildings like WIllis Tower, the Hancock Building, Trump Towers and the Merchandise Mart  will turn blue to celebrate the Grand-Dame of the Midwest. Happy Birthday Chicago!!!!

Chicago Navy Pier from the Lake Guardian

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Giant Wheel of Navy Pier

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