Architecture in Chicago, Illinois

Architecture in Chicago, Illinois


Links to architecture sites:

  • Chicago Architecture Foundation
  • City of Chicago Landmarks
  • Chicago Imagebase
  • Planet99 Site
  • Chicago Public Library Site
  • Graham Resource Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology
  • The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design
  • Cities/Buildings Database
  • Digital Imaging Project
  • A View on Cities
  • Chicago Uncommon Photographs
  • The Chicago Picture Page
  • Glass, Steel, and Stone Site
  • Graveyards of Chicago
  • Old Chicago: History and Architecture in Vintage Postcards

  • Links to information on specific buildings:

    333 Wacker Drive
    860-880 N. Lake Shore Drive Apartments
    Adler Planetarium
    Allerton Hotel
    Art Institute of Chicago
    Auditorium Building
    Brewster Apartments
    Bahai Temple
    Buckingham Fountain
    Carbide and Carbon Building
    Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building
    Chicago Board of Trade Building
    Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center
    Chicago Cultural Center
    Chicago Theater
    Crown Hall
    Dearborn Street Station
    Field Museum of Natural History
    Fisher Building
    Getty Tomb
    Glessner House
    Harold Washington Library Center
    Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral
    Inland Steel Building
    John Hancock Building
    K. A. M. Isaiah Israel Temple
    Lake Point Tower
    Manhattan Building
    Marina City
    Marquette Building
    Medinah Temple
    Merchandise Mart
    Michigan Avenue Bridge
    Monadnock Building
    Morton International Building
    Museum of Science and Industry
    Navy Pier Headhouse and Auditorium
    Old Colony Building
    Old Water Tower and Pumping Station
    On Leong Merchants Association Building
    Pilgrim Baptist Church
    Reid, Murdoch & Company Building
    Reliance Building
    Robie House
    Rosehill Cemetary Gate
    Rookery Building
    Sears Tower
    Shedd Aquarium
    Soldier Field
    James R. Thompson Center
    Tribune Tower
    Uptown Theatre
    Union Stock Yard Gate
    Union Station
    Unity Temple
    Wrigley Building

  • 333 Wacker Drive (View Map)
  • 860 - 880 N. Lake Shore Drive Apartments (View Map)
  • Adler Planetarium (View Map)

    • Location: 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive (Downtown)
    • Architect: Ernest Grunsfeld
    • Completed: 1930
    • Visiting Tips: The museum is public (see the official site below for details).
    • Photography: The recent additions take away from the original building in my opinion, but the front entrance is still a good choice for photos. Be sure to look for the bronze plaques representing the zodiac constellations.
    • Links:
  • Allerton Hotel (View Map)

    • Location: 701 N. Michigan Ave. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Murgatroyd & Ogden
    • Completed: 1924
    • Visiting Tips: The hotel has been refurbished, and is still a hotel, and so is semi-public.
    • Photography: The "TIP TOP TAP" sign is a Chicago favorite.
    • Links:
  • Art Institute of Chicago (View Map)

    • Location: 201 S. Michigan Ave. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Shepley, Rutan, & Coolidge
    • Completed: 1916
    • Visiting Tips: An excellent museum (see the official site below).
    • Photography: The lions in front are famous.
    • Links:
  • Auditorium Building (View Map)
  • Bahai House of Worship (View Map)

    • Location: 100 Linden Ave. (Wilmette)
    • Architect: Louis Jean Bourgeois
    • Completed: 1953
    • Visiting Tips: The temple allows people to look around the main hall on weekdays (the Baha'is are very open about it).
    • Photography: The detail on the exterior concrete facing is amazing, the gardens are a nice counterpoint, and the auditorium is pretty staggering. (However, no photography is allowed in the temple itself.)
    • Links:
  • Brewster Apartments (View Map)

    • Location: 2800 N. Pine Grove Ave. (North Side)
    • Architect: Enoch Turnock
    • Completed: 1893
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: The internal courtyard is supposed to be stunning...
    • Links:
  • Buckingham Fountain (View Map)

    • Location: Grant Park (Downtown)
    • Architect: Bennett, Parsons, & Frost
    • Completed: 1927
    • Visiting Tips: The fountain puts on a show hourly.
    • Photography: Nighttime shows are very nicely lit.
    • Links:
  • Carbide & Carbon Building (View Map)

    • Location: 230 N. Michigan Ave. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Daniel and Hubert Burnham
    • Completed: 1929
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: The building's exterior was refurbished a few years ago.
    • Links:
  • Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building (View Map)

    • Location: 1 S. State St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Louis Sullivan
    • Completed: 1899
    • Visiting Tips: The store is still in operation, and so the building can be seen during operating hours.
    • Photography: The elaborate metalwork over the main entryway is amazing.
    • Links:
  • Chicago Board of Trade Building (View Map)

    • Location: 141 W. Jackson Blvd. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Holabird & Root
    • Completed: 1930
    • Visiting Tips: The visitor center has been closed due to security concerns, but tours can be arranged for groups. See the official site below.
    • Photography: The view down La Salle Street ends on the building. The art deco interior is nice. With a zoom lens, take a look at the deco statue of Ceres at the pinnacle.
    • Links:
  • Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center (View Map)

    • Location: 71 W. Van Buren St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Harry Weese & Associates
    • Completed: 1975
    • Visiting Tips: Let's just say you probably don't want to visit the interior.
    • Photography: For a jail, the exterior is surprisingly interesting, with the irregularly spaced window slits. The facade can be easily photographed from several nearby streets.
    • Links:
  • Chicago Cultural Center (formerly Chicago Public Library) (View Map)

    • Location: 78 E. Washington St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Shepley, Rutan, & Coolidge
    • Completed: 1897
    • Visiting Tips: The building is public and is open during the day on weekdays and weekends.
    • Photography: Be sure to take close looks at the main meeting halls. They are extraordinarily detailed.
    • Links:
  • Chicago Theatre (View Map)
  • Crown Hall (Illinois Institute of Technology) (View Map)
  • Dearborn Street Station (View Map)
  • Field Museum of Natural History (View Map)

    • Location: 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. (Downtown)
    • Architect: D. H. Burnham & Co.; Graham, Burnham, & Co.; Graham, Anderson, Probst, & White
    • Completed: 1921
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography:
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  • Fisher Building (View Map)

    • Location: 343 S. Dearborn St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: D. H. Burnham & Co.
    • Completed: 1896
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: The detailing on the street level is notable.
    • Links:
  • Getty Tomb (View Map)
  • Glessner House (View Map)
  • Harold Washington Library Center (View Map)

    • Location: 400 S. State Ave. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Thomas Beeby
    • Completed: 1991
    • Visiting Tips: The library is public, and open most days.
    • Photography: I tend to think this building is over-wrought, but there are some nice features. Be sure to visit the skylit Winter Garden on the top floor, and take a close look at the sculpted owls at the corners of the roof.
    • Links:
  • Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (View Map)
  • Inland Steel Building (View Map)
  • John Hancock Building (View Map)
  • K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Temple (View Map)

    • Location: 1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd. (South Side)
    • Architect: Alfred Alschuler
    • Completed: 1924
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography:
    • Links:
  • Lake Point Tower (View Map)

    • Location: 505 N. Lake Shore Dr. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Schipporeit-Heinrich
    • Completed: 1968
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography:
    • Links:
  • Manhattan Building (View Map)

    • Location: 431 S. Dearborn St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: William LeBaron Jenney
    • Completed: 1891
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: The Chicago-style bay windows are notable, but look especially for the freaky demon-like heads on the facade.
    • Links:
  • Marina City (View Map)

  • Marquette Building (View Map)

    • Location: 140 S. Dearborn St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Holabird & Roche
    • Completed: 1895
    • Visiting Tips: Best visited during the workday.
    • Photography: The detail on the exterior and the elaborate lobby are worth some study.
    • Links:

  • Medinah Temple (View Map)

    • Location: 600 N. Wabash Ave. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Huehl & Schmid
    • Completed: 1912
    • Visiting Tips: The building was recently converted into a department store.
    • Photography: The arabic style of the ornament is well worth a look.
    • Links:

  • Merchandise Mart (View Map)

    • Location: 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Graham, Anderson, Probst, & White
    • Completed: 1930
    • Visiting Tips: The lower levels of the Mart has shops that are open on weekdays and Saturdays.
    • Photography: The building is so huge, you have to be across the river to get a good shot of the whole.
    • Links:

  • Michigan Street Bridge (View Map)

    • Location: Michigan Avenue over Chicago River (Downtown)
    • Architect: Edward Bennett
    • Completed: 1920
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: The sculptures on the four pylons are very nice.
    • Links:

  • Monadnock Building (View Map)

  • Morton International Building (View Map)

  • Museum of Science and Industry (View Map)

    • Location: 57th St. and Lake Shore Dr. (South Side)
    • Architect: Charles Atwood
    • Completed: 1930
    • Visiting Tips: See the official site for hours.
    • Photography: There is lots of park land surrounding the museum, and there is no difficulty in getting close to frame shots.
    • Links:

  • Navy Pier Headhouse and Auditorium (View Map)

    • Location: Grand Ave and Streeter Dr. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Charles Sumner Frost
    • Completed: 1916
    • Visiting Tips: The pier is open to the public. The auditorium is harder to get in to see, but the Chicago Architecture Foundation runs tours through it.
    • Photography: The auditorium is an impressive sight when all lit up.
    • Links:

  • Old Colony Building (View Map)

    • Location: 407 S. Dearborn St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Holabird & Roche
    • Completed: 1894
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: The rounded corner bays are almost unique in Chicago. You can get a closer look at the facade from a nearby parking garage. I like the wave motif in the trim.
    • Links:

  • Old Water Tower and Pumping Station (View Map)

  • On Leong Merchants Association Building (View Map)

    • Location: 2216 S. Wentworth Ave. (South Side)
    • Architect: Michaelsen and Rognstad
    • Completed: 1927
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography:
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  • Pilgrim Baptist Church (View Map)

    • Location: 3301 S. Indiana Ave. (South Side)
    • Architect: Adler & Sullivan
    • Completed: 1891
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography:
    • Links:

  • Reid, Murdoch & Company Building (View Map)

    • Location: 320 N. Clark St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: George C. Nimmons
    • Completed: 1914
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: One of my favorites: the best overall view is from across the river.
    • Links:

  • Reliance Building (View Map)

  • Robie House (View Map)

    • Location: 5757 Woodlawn Ave. (South Side)
    • Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
    • Completed: 1909
    • Visiting Tips: The house has guided tours (see official site below), but the exterior can be viewed any time.
    • Photography: No photography is allowed in the interior, but there are fairly good sight lines from the sidewalk and from a plaza across the street. The art glass windows produce iridescent colors when viewed from outside on the porch (publicly accessible).
    • Links:

  • Rosehill Cemetery Gate (View Map)

    • Location: 5800 Ravenswood Ave. (West Side)
    • Architect: William W. Boyington
    • Completed: 1864
    • Visiting Tips: The gate can be viewed from outside at any time, but it is possible to see the interior during the day as well.
    • Photography:
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  • Rookery Building (View Map)

    • Location: 209 S. LaSalle St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Burnham & Root (Frank Lloyd Wright remodelled lobby)
    • Completed: 1888
    • Visiting Tips: The lobby can be seen during normal business hours and on weekends, since the lower floors are devoted to shops.
    • Photography: It is somewhat hard to get a good overall shot of the exterior from the street, but in any case, the detailing on the facade is amazing, and the interior light court is also a must-see.
    • Links:

  • Sears Tower (View Map)

  • Shedd Aquarium (View Map)

    • Location: 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Graham, Anderson, Probst, & White
    • Completed: 1929
    • Visiting Tips: The museum is open daily.
    • Photography: The wave trim on the exterior, and the ocean decorations (like the octopi on the lamps in the atrium) are fun.
    • Links:

  • Soldier Field (View Map)

    • Location: 425 E. McFetridge Dr. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Holabird & Roche
    • Completed: 1926
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography:
    • Links:

  • James R. Thompson Center (View Map)

    • Location: 100 W. Randolph Ave. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Helmut Jahn (Murphy/Jahn)
    • Completed: 1985
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: The huge interior light court is worth a try. There are good sight lines of the somewhat gaudy exterior from nearby streets.
    • Links:

  • Tribune Tower (View Map)

  • Uptown Theatre (View Map)

  • Union Stock Yard Gate (View Map)

    • Location: Exchange Ave. and Peoria St. (South Side)
    • Architect: Burnham & Root
    • Completed: 1875
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography:
    • Links:

  • Union Station (View Map)

    • Location: 210 S. Canal St. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Graham, Anderson, Probst, & White
    • Completed: 1925
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: The main waiting room is a nice space, but probably there are better examples.
    • Links:

  • Unity Temple (View Map)

  • Wrigley Building (View Map)

    • Location: 400 N. Michigan Ave. (Downtown)
    • Architect: Charles Beersman (Graham, Anderson, Probst, & White)
    • Completed: 1924
    • Visiting Tips:
    • Photography: An amazing building, gleaming bright at night. There are almost no bad angles, but there are especially good sight lines because of its location on the river and Michigan Avenue.
    • Links:


  • Architecture Links - Eric Sandquist - erics "at" mintaka.sdsu.edu

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