Floating by Fabulous Chicago Buildings

By Kai Rambow

 

The Jewelers’ Building, completed in 1927 and facing the Chicago River, has a distinct look that grabs your attention.  Behind the unique look is an interesting story.  For many years, one elevator transported cars to the first 23 floors, enabling jewelers to safely transfer and transport their valuable merchandise.

The only way to discover this is on an architectural tour.  The best part: you can do this seated comfortably on a large boat with great views. Chicago is considered to be one of the world’s best cities for architecture with a terrific mix of different styles.

JJ, our narrator, provided enthused commentary to help us understand what we were seeing.  Here are a few sneak peeks at what you can expect to discover during a tour.

The Overlooked Streets

You’ll never think about it walking around Chicago, but the streets aren’t actually at “street level.”  When you’re on the boat you’ll repeatedly cross under bridges, which of course, are raised above the river level.  Look more closely, and you’ll notice pedestrians just keep walking at the same level with no ups or downs, but above the water level.  This raised level constitutes street level.

 

The Pencil Building

At the top of this building, which is thinner at the base than at the top, there are 12 water tanks, spring loaded with dampeners.  When the wind blows from one direction, the water automatically shifts and pushes back to counteract the forces.

 

333 West Wacker

Even modern buildings in Chicago are evocative.  Built in 1983, and featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the contextual design is fabulous.  Using the location as an inspiration for form, the building is inspired by the green of the river and the curve of the river. The glass panes are green to maximize the reflection.

This is a very enjoyable way to explore Chicago. Unlike a bus tour, everyone has great views throughout the trip. In addition to having a comfortable ride while learning, the boat has snacks and alcoholic drinks available.

 

Sleep Historically

No, you don’t have to sleep on a straw mattress, but in a historic building turned into a hotel.  The Chicago Motor Club opened in 1929.  It’s considered to be one of Chicago’s best Art Deco skyscrapers.  In 2015, it was turned into a Hampton Inn with many of the original Art Deco touches put back in place.

If you love architecture, this is a cool step back in time with modern amenities. You can often snag a really good rate and it’s one short block from the river.

 

Tips for a Great Trip

Weather: Since you’re exposed to the weather elements, check the forecast to ensure a great trip.  Take water to stay hydrated. You may need sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat if it’s sunny.

Location: Whether you’re staying in Chicago, or commuting in for a day trip, boat tours depart from an easy to reach location near the Wrigley building. Give yourself a little extra time to find the ticket booth and get down to boat.

Apple Store: Be sure to check out the new Apple store right near the dock. Built right into the side of river, it has its own smart design.

DECEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

DECEMBER 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Ring in the December holidays with the annual Golf Cart Parade, celebrate 60 Years of SCC, set sail on America’s Tall Ship, get to know some local clubs, remember a tireless volunteer who made a big difference, meet a local war...

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In this issue… Enjoy our FallFest coverage, including nearly three pages of photos, learn the history of the popular Bandstand concerts, read our interviews with the candidates for SCC Community Association Board of Directors, get the latest...

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“Ready, Aim, Medal!” By Kai Rambow When Mary Tucker, from Sarasota, mentions her sport is shooting, she typically gets one of two reactions: “Oh, so you ski.” “Oh yeah, the ones where the things fly.”  “People think of shotgun [skeet] or biathlon,” Tucker...

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Architecture River Tours

Shoreline Sightseeing

(312) 222-9328

www.shorelinesightseeing.com

Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown

North Loop / Michigan Ave

68 E Wacker Place

Chicago, IL  606001

(312) 419-9014

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Celebrate The Opening Of SCCA Special Invitation From The History Society, December 30By Ilona Merritt “Time flies when you’re having fun” … It seems like just yesterday that SCC celebrated our 50th anniversary. And what fun we had! Now, ten...

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It’s a pretty big deal By E. Adam Porter Editor, News of SCC & South County I heard a whispered conversation in the dining room and pretended not to notice, busying myself preparing the evening meal. It was beef stew night, so the slow...

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“Together Again!” At the Holiday Golf Cart Parade   By Diane M. Loeffler Kick off the holiday season by attending the December 4 SCC Holiday Golf Cart Parade. The parade starts at 10 a.m. in the parking lot just south of the Security Patrol...

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In this issue… Enjoy our FallFest coverage, including nearly three pages of photos, learn the history of the popular Bandstand concerts, read our interviews with the candidates for SCC Community Association Board of Directors, get the latest...

“Ready, Aim, Medal!”

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“Ready, Aim, Medal!” By Kai Rambow When Mary Tucker, from Sarasota, mentions her sport is shooting, she typically gets one of two reactions: “Oh, so you ski.” “Oh yeah, the ones where the things fly.”  “People think of shotgun [skeet] or biathlon,” Tucker...