Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chicago 4: Architecture, etc

E suggested we take an architectural boat tour of the Chicago river. The docent made it particularly interesting.
I've never been in a Frank Lloyd Wright building before, though I passed the Guggenheim in NYC on a bus and saw a replica of the Imperial Hotel at an outdoor architecture park near Nagoya. This Robie House was the one opened for a tour, at least partially. It reminded me of what I remember of the Imperial Hotel.

The tour guide pointed out how Wright liked to hide the entrances to his homes.


This University of Chicago structure is accross the street, and obviously influenced by the Robie House (also owned now by the U). I had just read Naomi Klein's great book The Shock Doctrine on the plane to Chicago, about the great evil done to the world by University of Chicago professors and students. Here we were at the centre of it all.


This is Wright's house and studio. Instead of waiting 2 hours for the tour, we just walked around the outside.

Wright didn't just design buildings. His love of creative detail is amazing.

Another view of the Wright house.

Some Art Glass windows in his studio, no doubt also designed by Wright.


Another house designed by Wright in the Oak Park neighbourhood, also invoking the Imperial Hotel.

Another Wright house.

Yet another. Not sure how many there are but these were great to look at, from the outside.

Very weird gargoyles on the city library. Not designed by Wright, though he may have dreamed of them.

After all the architecture, we went to the Stain Glass Museum in Navy Pier, accross from our hotel. E remarked that this scene looked like from a Russian fairy tale, perhaps one our grandparents would have known.

Our hotel, the W on Lakeshore. Despite the fact the safe in my room didn't work the first day and my room wasn't cleaned on the 3rd day, not a bad place.

We got a holiday package which included some free cocktails from the W's bar. This fruit punch was pretty good. When the desk clerk was giving us our drink vouchers, she asked us, "Do you Both drink?" We're still laughing at that.

E's cocktail had cucumber, mint and other things. E keeps poking it to make sure it's still there.

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