Tag Archives: Chicago architecture photographer
I am fortunate to live just a few blocks from one of the world’s great universities. Students lovingly describe this institution of higher learning as the place where “fun comes to die”. Personally, I think they make this proclamation to mislead their parents so they can justify the $40,000 per year expense. Nestled in the leafy neighborhood of Hyde Park–home of Barack Obama and the first A-Bomb–the university is a mix of Gothic and modern architecture. There are more Nobel Prize winners here than neighborhood bars–how many large universities can make that claim? In fact U of C has the most Nobel winners of any school in the world. The university offers a never-ending subject for my photography as new buildings appear on a regular basis, and each season brings new discoveries.
The Modern Wing of the venerable Art Institute of Chicago opened three years ago and has been an unqualified hit among art lovers and tourists alike–not that these two groups are mutually exclusive, but… This museum is home to 20th and 21th-century art plus the world-renowned collections of modern European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, architecture and design, and photography. In this photo we see the museum’s popular “Yoga and Picasso” class held on Tuesday mornings. Most people are not aware that Pablo was a yoga enthusiast, often cited as the inspiration for his Blue Period. Next month the museum will feature “Cooking with Matisse”–sure to be a big hit.
The Midway Plaisance is a mile-long green belt bisecting the University of Chicago campus. This area was adjacent to the World’s Colombian Exposition of 1893–if you read “Devil in the White City” you know all about this area. The original Ferris Wheel might have been located exactly where this photo was taken. Today, this is the world’s best place for people watching of Nobel Prize winners. Hyde Park is the part of Chicago where I live as well as my friend Barack Obama.
Crown Fountain is a fun place to hang out. Where else can you be drenched by a powerful stream of water bursting from a giant pair of video lips while admiring the stunning architecture along south Michigan Avenue? These teens weren’t admiring the historic architecture, they were just chillin (literally) on a hot summer day. Now we know where all the students were during the recent public school strike.
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.
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.