Thursday, August 18, 2016

8/18 Architecture and Ferris Wheels

We awoke to a very strong thunderstorm.  It rained with thunder and lightening for more than an hour.  Thankfully, it stopped in time for us to walk along the Lake Front Trail  to the River Front to take the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise.

The 90 minute cruise on the Chicago River took us past the many iconic buildings of Chicago.  Our docent was extremely knowledgeable and made each structure come to life. 
The Great Chicago Fire left the city ready to be rebuilt.  The warehouses built in the early 1900's are now being converted to condos.  Some building codes are interesting.  Along the river, there must be a river walk available to the public at each building.  Sadly, on the outskirts away from the high rent district under some bridges and trees were villages of the homeless.

We faced the Trump Tower as we started our tour.  The clouds were still at the top of the building and emitted an aura that was unusual.

The tour gave me a new appreciation for buildings in the city.  The Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower.
 Below is the Merchandise Mart.  I will put some of the pictures at the end of the blog.

After the tour, we walked over to Navy Pier.  While crossing the bridge, we got a great view of the fountain that sprays water over the river on the hour.  It represents the work done to create the canal and have the water no longer drain into Lake Michigan and to drain downstream.  This allowed fresh drinking water from Lake Michigan. 
We ate lunch at Harry Carey's.  But I really wanted to go on the Ferris Wheel.  Some notes on the Ferris Wheel.  The original Ferris Wheel was designed by William Ferris, a Rennselear Polytechnic Institute graduate.  My daughter, Christine, graduated from RPI too.  Ferris submitted his design to the Chicago World's Fair committee 4 times before it was accepted.   The Ferris Wheel debuted and was a huge hit at the 1883 World's Fair.  Today the Ferris Wheel has enclosed cabs and is much taller.  It is still thrilling.

Here are some views from the Ferris Wheel out to Lake Michigan.
There is a lock that we will enter before we go into the river and this is what it looked like from the air.
In the distance, see the ship that is the Columbia Yacht Club. 
John was taking my picture and I took his.

Wrigley Building

Tribune Building

Originally, this was the Montgomery Ward Warehouse

Gateway Center

Lyric Opera

Tomorrow, the plan is to head in the opposite direction down Lake Shore Drive to the museums.

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