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Old 06-18-2006, 11:57 PM   #1
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Michigan Avenue to Millenium Park, Chicago, IL

I was in Chicago this weekend for a wedding and I was able to take a couple of hours off from groomsman duties to take a walk down Michigan Avenue to check out Chicago's newest landmark, Millenium Park.

It was my first time visiting the park, and after all the hoopla, I was skeptical of its proclaimed greatness. But I was overwhelmed at how awesome it truly was. There are immense lakefront parks in Chicago, so immense that that they have large 6 to 8 lane avenues running through them; I always found them detached from the city, but Millenium park abuts busy Michigan Avenue which allows pedestrians easy access. Moreso than its prime location however, its the attractions within the park that draw people in to explore and enjoy. As one of America's greatest modern public places, I couldn't help but hope that our stewards of planning for the Rose Kennedy Greenway were paying attention at the quality, diversity, and active programming that the city of Chicago has created.

I start my trip from my hotel and head south on Michigan Avenue.
I love the Chicago Style...

Over the river, downtown; on the right is Trump's new tower going up in what I beleive is the former Chicago Tribune's old location.

a shot of an oldie but goodie

a couple of blocks later, I arrive at Millenium Park

I don't know what street this is, but thats the Chicago Public Library (middle right) and an e'L'evated rail station in the center
(edit: I've been told that this structure is no longer the Public Library, there is a new structure somewhere else; this structure is used by some cultural institution however)

Love a good street wall; here the buildings of Michigan Avenue behind what Chicagoans affectionately call the 'bean'.

A small part of the vast Chicago skyline reflects off the 'bean'; the Ghery designed concert hall at the park is seen on the left

a self portrait of the photographer, from under the 'bean'

a closeup of the Ghery designed concert hall; i find his work getting a bit hackneyed, but this seems to look pretty good to me, from this angle anyways. The backside is not nearly as pretty, and it fronts the street with what looks like construction scaffolding. In hindsight, I should have photographed it also...

The grand daddy of all Chicago scrapers, the Sears Tower, through the treliswork of the concert hall

more trelis...

I think Chicago has outgrown its old moniker of "Paris on the Prarie", but judging by the size, scale, and quality of older Chicago architecture, i'm sure it was well earned. Sears Tower looms in the background.

Over the Ghery concert hall, the other ambassador of Chicago scrapers, the John Hancock, makes an appearance.

Here, right along Michigan Avenue, are the face structures. Two monolithic towers made of what appears to be clear bricks, with the inside illuminated with faces of regular chicagoans. Apparently the faces change regularly, and aren't static. The images blink, smile...

and even spit on the public cooling off in its waters. The 'bean' is seen at right.

Accross on Michigan Avenue is the Chicago Public Library. I assume its the main branch, but in a city of this size and scale, i wouldn't be surprised if it isn't.

A shot of the Carbon Carbide Building (i think), now the Hard Rock Hotel, Chicago, from Millenium Park

The Aeon Building, from the park

and again...

Heading back to the hotel on Michigan Avenue, with the Carbon Carbide Building at center, and the Wrigley Building in the back, undergoing renovation.

The John Hancock in the distance...

again, along the river...

and continuing down the street...

and finally, I'm back at my hotel...
(I actually stayed in the 'new' addition to this hotel, pictured is the "Historic Tower" of the Intercontinental, Chicago)

Hope you enjoyed!
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:22 AM   #2
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Great shots! I'm always impressed with Chicago.

PS- Da Bears
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:52 PM   #3
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Great Pics. Chicago is definitely my favorite city.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:56 PM   #4
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Yes, I've "been" there at least 10 times in my lifetime but never been outside Midway/O'Hare
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:18 PM   #5
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i was told today that the building I called the Chicago Public Library has long NOT been a library. Their central branch library is elsewhere, and this building is now used by a cultural institution, don't know which... still nice though...

i beleive this is the central library:

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Old 06-19-2006, 06:18 PM   #6
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I saw a feature on Millennium Park on PBS a few days ago and was impressed as well. That's what the greenway needs to be successful: some modern, unusual, entertaining structures that people will point at and say "Oooo, that's cool!" People are getting tired of old-fashioned parks, they want something new.
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:56 PM   #7
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