Tag Archives: travel photos

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.

Urbs in Horto: City in a Garden

The Official Chicago SealColumbus Park designed by Jens JensenLurie Garden at Millennium ParkMidway Plaisance at University of ChicagoBird Sanctuary at Montrose BeachLincoln Park LagoonBobolink Meadow in Jackson ParkOsaka Japanese Garden in Jackson ParkLincoln Park Lagoon Lincoln ParkOhio Beach Park Rogers Park in Autumn South Michigan Avenue and Millennium ParkNorth Pond in Lincoln Park

When people think of Chicago they think big city, historic architecture, traffic jams, and hot dogs.  But there is another side of the city that the locals know well, but outsiders may not be aware of.  I am speaking of the parks, gardens, forest preserves and other remnants of nature that still survive in the city.  When Chicago was incorporated in 1837, the founding fathers (mothers?) chose the motto “Urbs in Horto” (City in a Garden) and there must have been a reason.  Granted, there were probably a lot more gardens and nature back then, but the natural aspects of the city can still be found.  A few statistics:  552 parks comprising 7300 acres, 33 sand beaches, 16 lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and 20 million visitors to Lincoln Park alone.  In these photos I show a small portion of the natural wonders that can be found by any urban explorer (and check out that City Seal with motto).