Chicago’s 10 Best Buildings & Architecture

Chicago’s 10 Best Buildings & Architecture Chicago has the distinction of being the first city to embrace steel and concrete as […]

Chicago’s 10 Best Buildings & Architecture

Chicago has the distinction of being the first city to embrace steel and concrete as a building material in the 1880s, and in the process, giving birth to the modern skyscraper era.  When building tall was in its prime, Chicago and New York City went back and forth for the tallest building every few years.  The Willis Tower in Chicago is currently the tallest building in the US until the Freedom Tower in NYC surpasses it in 2013 or 2014 upon its completion.

Marina Towers.  300 N State Street, North Side.  An architectural marvel of twin 65-story buildings shaped like corn cobs that were completed in 1964 and was once known as the tallest residential buildings and tallest reenforced concrete structures in the world.

Farnsworth House.  14520 River Road, Plano, Illinois.  Chicago has the distinction as the birthplace of American architecture and many of the neighborhoods reflect this with their distinct designs.  The Farnsworth House was completed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1951 as perfect expression of modern suburban design.  Instead of solid walls, the length of both sides of the Farnsworth House are glass.  Mounted on stilts,  staring at the Farnsworth House brings me back to my youth staring into my fishtanks.  An extremely simple and open design allows for maximum light penetration.

S. R. Crown Hall.  3360 S. State Street.  Another modern architectural masterpiece on the campus of Illinois Institute of Technology designed by Mies van Der Rohe and completed in 1956.  The building is a two level structure made with exposed steel and glass.  The simplicity of S. R. Crown Hall is stunning.

Unity Temple.  875 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois.  Considered by many American architect’s as Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Unity Temple was completed in 1908 as the first modern building in the world.

Monadnock Building.  53 W Jackson Boulevard, Chicago.  The Monadnock Building sparked the beginning of tall buildings in modern architecture and the modern office space.  Completed in 1893, it instantly became the tallest office building in the world.  Details are a thing of the past, and beauty in a building like the Monadnock Building.  The craftsmanship is good with oak and glass detailing throughout the office entrances.

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