chicago travel

Best Chicago Walking Tours
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Chicago Walking Tours - Day 1 of 1
Historic Water Tower

806 North Michigan Avenue.
This historic monument made of yellowing Joliet Limestone was built in 1869 by Architect William W Boyington.

It is 154 Feet (47meters) tall. The Water Tower was one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Since 1999, the Chicago Public Art Program has been curating and presenting exhibitits of Chicago-themed Art Work by Chicago Photographers.
Hours: Official City of Chicago Website
Michigan Avenue "The Magnificent Mile"

-Michigan Avenue, dubbed The Magnificent Mile, extends from the Chicago River to Lake Shore drive and is Chicago's most prominent shopping district hailing flagship stores of many of the well known retailers, i.e. Macy's, Bloomingdales, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Ralph Lauren and many more.
-North Michigan Avenue was envisioned by Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett's in 1909. They modeled it after the Champs Elysee in Paris, one of the greatest avenues in the world.
-Michigan Avenue is bordered on both sides by trees and median planters,
creating a safe pedestrian environment.  Street performers are common and add to the charm of this magnificent avenue.

Tribune Tower

435 North Michigan Avenue
Built in 1925 by Architect Raymond Hood and John Mead Howells.

This neo-Gothic Tribune Tower was completed in 1925 and reaches a height of 462 feet (141Meters).

Make sure to pay close attention to the walls of the building; many famous stones were incorporated, including the Great Wall of China, the palace of Westminster, Notre-Dame, the Great Pyramid, the Berlin's Wall, Etc.

Wrigley Towers

400-410 North Michigan Avenue
South Tower was built in 1921
North Tower was built in 1924
425-foot (130 meters) tall

Designed by the architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White using the shape of the Giralda tower of Seville's Cathedral combined with the details of French Renaissance, this building was built to house the corporate headquarters of The Wrigley Company, which are known for their famous chewing gum.

Chicago Architectural Boat Tour

If you like Architecture and you are amazed by the beauty of these tall buildings, don’t miss the Architectural boat tour.

In Chicago you can find boat tour providers at several location and the prices may vary.

As long as you are at the Wrigley building, take the stairway down to the river and check the fares and departures.
Cruises usually begin arround 10:30am and the last Cruise is at 6:30pm.

Michigan Avenue Bridge

The Construction of the bridge started in 1918, it was opened to traffic in 1920. The decorative work was completed in 1928. This is a sample of a fix trunnion bridge, also know as Chicago Style bascule bridge.

In October 2010, the bridge was renamed DuSable Bridge in honor of Chicago’s first permanent resident Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. 
He was a fur trader of African descent who married into the Potawatomi tribe and established a permanent homestead in 1780.

We continue our walking tour along the river going west.

Chicago River

156 miles (251 km)
The Chicago River links the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley waterways.
In the 19th century through civil engineering, the flow of the river was reversed to head toward the Mississippi River basin, away from Lake Michigan for reasons of sanitation.

A great way to discover Chicago Architecture, is to take advantage of one of the several boat cruises.

As part of a more than forty year old Chicago tradition, the Chicago River is dyed green in observance of St. Patrick's Day.

Chicago Theater

175 N State Street
Built in 1921
This was the Flagship for the Balaban and Katz (B&K) group of theaters.

The Chicago theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 6, 1979.

The interior boast a French Baroque influence.
The grand lobby, five stories high and surrounded by gallery promenades at the mezzanine and balcony level, is influence by the Royal Chapel at Versailles.

The Palmer House Hotel

17 E. Monroe Street
Designated a Chicago Landmark since December 13, 2006
There have been three Palmer House Hotels.
The original, "The Palmer" was built in 1871 as a wedding present from Potter Palmer to his bride Bertha Honore and burned 13 day later in the Great Chicago Fire.
The second designed by architect John M. Van Osdel was built in 1875 and was 7 stories, but by 1920 the growing city of Chicago could support a much larger facility.
The third one was design by architect Holabird & Roche and was rebuilt on the same site from 1923-1925.

The Art Institute

111 South Michigan Avenue
Built in 1893.
On May 16, 2009 the Art Insitute opened the Modern Wing.
The museum is most famous for its collection of impressionist, post-impressionist such as Claude Monet, Pierre August Renoir, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Cezanne, Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, and American paintings by Grant Wood, Edward Hopper, Mary Cassatt
The collection of the Art Institute of Chicago encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression from cultures around the world and contains more than 260,000 works of art.
Art Institute Web Site

Millennium Park

The construction began in October 1998, and Millennium Park was opened on July 16, 2004.
The park has received awards for its accessibility and green design.
Millennium Park offers free admission to the summer concert series.
Official City of Chicago Website

The Crown Fountain
Design by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa.
These glass brique towers are 50 feet (15.2 m) tall
and are standing on a black granite.
The fountain operates from May to October.
For all calendar events.

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate commonly called "The Bean":
Design by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor
Construction between 2004 and 2006.

Made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together and hightly polished.
Its size is 33 by 66 by 42 feet (10 by 20 by 13 m)

The sculpture's surface reflects and distorts the city's skyline and professional and amateur photographers love to capture the sculpture from every angle.

Be sure to walk under the Cloud Gate to see the impresive effects of the concave chamber.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Design by Frank Gehry
Construction between June 1999 and July 2004.
It includes 4,000 fixed seats and a 95,000-square-foot (8,800 m2) Great Lawn.

Home of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Grant Park Music Festival.

In addition, the pavilion host a wide range of music series and annual music events such as Chicago Gospel Music Festival, Opera singers, mainstream rock, Physical Fitness, Yoga, etc...

For all calendar events
Official City of Chicago Website
The BP Pedestrian Bridge

Design by Frank Gehry's
The total length is 935 feet (285 m)
The BP Pedestrian Bridge is a connecting link between Millennium Park and other parts of Grant Park.

If you are still in good shape, our next stop will be the Abegweit along the lake front trail and then finally Navy Pier. The walking time to Navy Pier, is around 40 minutes.

The bridge is closed in the winter because the ice cannot be safely removed.
If you feel tired you could take a taxi direct to Navy Pier and skip the walking tour along the lake.

The Abegweit

Originally christened the Abegweit, this ship is the largest privately owned yacht ever brought through the St. Lawrence Seaway.
45 Members, 15 Kings Point mariners and 6 Canadian seamen who had worked aboard the vessel when it was owned by the Canadian National Railway, sailed her to Chicago from Pictou, Nova Scotia from April 5-14th in 1983.  
It was one of the longest Columbia Yacht Club cruises to date. This area now provides the Clubs Members with one of the most unique views of Chicago's skyline and Lake front.
Next stop Navy Pier: Use the lakefront trail to pass on the other side of the bridge. Parents, be very careful with the traffic, bikers and runners!!!

Navy Pier (Amusement park )

Navy Pier, built in 1916, was the largest pier in the world at the time: 3,300-feet (1,010 m) long. In 1927,
Navy Pier is an Amusement park that includes a Ferris wheel, an Imax theater, mini golf, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows.
During the summer, spectacular fireworks are fired on Wednesday and Saturday nights. The pier is used as an embarkation point for tour and excursion boats and is a popular place to watch lakefront events, including the annual Air and Water Show and the parade of decorated, lighted boats of Chicago's Venetian Night festival.
Navy Pier

John Hancock Tower

875 North Michigan Avenue
This high rise was built in 1969 and soars 1127 feet (344 meters) into the sky and boasts 100 floors.  It was constructed under the supervision of Skidmore, Owings and Merril with chief designer Bruce Graham and Structural engineer Falzur Khan.
Visit the Observatory

Before visiting verify that the top of the tower is not obstructed by clouds.
Sunset info
Another way to enjoye the vista is to take the East Chestnut Street entrance elevator up to the 95th and 96th floor. The "Signature Room" has a Bar and Fine dine Restaurant.
The Signature Room
Chicago Theater
Blue Man Group
Come Fly Away
Mamma Mia
Multi Million Dollar Quartet
Sport Tickets
Black Hawks
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