We have been having some weird weather this year. I came to realize this when I was in Chicago this May and it snowed. Snow in May – Seriously?
So on the day that it snowed I had pre-booked a Chicago Architecture Foundation Cruise. As I boarded the boat I figured I was tough enough to handle the cold air and crappy weather. I have spent plenty of days aboard a fishing boat in North Idaho on freezing cold days – how could this be much different? Check out that photo below. I was outside on the deck of the boat that day. YIKES right?
After I convinced myself that the photography opportunities would be better outside than inside the boat I found myself a spot outside, pulled my socks up, rolled down my crop pants and zipped up my wind breaker jacket. I looked… to put it bluntly… awesome.
The boat pulled away from the dock and we were off, floating down the Chicago River. The docent filled us in on the different buildings as we past them; what era, what style, who designed them and who uses them now.
Chicago use to be the hub for a few major retail and mail order companies: Montgomery Ward (1872 – 2000), Spiegel (1865 – current), Sears (1893 – current) and Crate and Barrel (1962 – present). Some of their headquarters can be seen lining the shoreline of the Chicago river.
Due to these retail and mail order companies being located in Chicago it resulted in one of the largest post offices being built in the United States. The post office has since vacated this building.
After we had toured most of the prominent buildings in the downtown area we headed out to The Navy Pier. Our docent pointed out one last building, the Aqua Skyscraper seen below.
The Aqua is the tallest building in the world designed by a woman, Jeanne Gang. It stands at 82 stories and has a unique wave like exterior appearance.
The tour was an hour and a ½ and gave us a wide array of Chicago buildings from over the years along with an informative and entertaining docent. If you would like to catch the Chicago Architecture Foundation Cruise they are located at 112 E Wacker Drive. Ticket information and times are available here.