Tag Archives: architecture photos

Chicago’s Victorian Heritage

Chicago is a virtual museum of Victorian-era structures.  Sure, an enormous number of buildings were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but those were in the downtown and near north area. If you explore Old Town and parts of Lincoln Park today you will discover a treasure trove of Victorian houses and commercial buildings. This just adds to the reputation of Chicago as one of the world’s finest cities for architectural excellence.

Chicago Presidential Suites

Hilton & Towers Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerHilton & Towers Presidential Suite -- Chicago hotel photographerHilton & Towers Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerHotel Inter-Continental Presidential Suite -- Chicago hotel photographerHotel Inter-Continental Presidential Suite -- Chicago hotel photographerHyatt Regency Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerHyatt Regency Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerPark Hyatt Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographyPark Hyatt Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographyPark Hyatt Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographyPeninsula Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerPeninsula Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerRitz Carlton Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographerRitz Carlton Hotel Presidential Suite -- Chicago architecture photographer

Last week when the NATO summit was in town, our city played host to thousands of international visitors, and a couple dozen world leaders.  Where do these presidents, prime ministers and brutal dictators stay when they are here in Chicago? Surely not at the Days Inn or the Holiday Inn Express.  More than likely, they occupied the many uber-elegant Presidential Suites that are downtown.  I had the wonderful privilege to photograph several of them for Elite Traveler magazine. After shooting this assignment, I know that I will never be satisfied with any hotel room again…but then I rarely pay $4000 to 5000 per night for a room.  No, that isn’t a misprint.  Politicians, rock stars, Wall Street bankers, and world leaders are about the only people who can afford this luxury.  Here is a glimpse into that rarefied world that most of us will never be privy to.

Chicago’s Union Station

Great Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationGreat Hall in Chicago's Union StationColumns outside Chicago's Union StationUnion Station in ChicagoUnion Station and Willis Tower

One of the most incredible interior spaces in Chicago is rarely seen, unless you are a commuter or Amtrak loyalist.  And even then, most people rushing to or from their train have little time to stop and admire the breathtaking architecture surrounding them.  Union Station was completed in 1925 by the architectural firm of  Graham, Anderson and Probst, though Daniel Burnham drew up the original plans; he died before his plan could be realized.  The 110’ high, block-long Great Hall is a vast space defined by it’s barrel-vaulted ceiling and rows of Corinthian columns (not related to the Corinthian leather in your dad’s Chrysler).  As many as 100,000 passed through Union Station back in its heydey in the 1940s, though today it’s a small fraction of that number.  Next time you are in the west Loop, grab a sandwich and have lunch sitting on the benches in the Great Hall and just admire how grand architecture can inspire the soul–or at least make for an enjoyable lunch.