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.
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.
Architecture River Tours
Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown
North Loop / Michigan Ave
68 E Wacker Place
Chicago, IL 606001
Amsterdam Newest Non-stop ServiceBy Kai Rambow Delta Airlines recently celebrated their inauguration of non-stop service from Tampa to Amsterdam. The following non-stop options are now available to us: British Airways and Norwegian to London Gatwick;...
Deputy Jeffrey Merry would like to invite you to join your neighbors and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies for “Coffee with a Cop” on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 8 to 9 a.m., at the Ruskin Dunkin Donuts location, 717 Cypress Creek Blvd.Deputy Merry says...
Veterans Fair Draws Tremendous Response By Kai Rambow “I went all the way around, and I probably stopped at ninety percent of the tables,” commented wheelchair-bound veteran, Patrick Clarahan. “Just about every table, people were very easy to talk...
Chalk Festival: Art on the Street, Literally! By Diane M. Loeffler Florida loves to throw a party. There are festivals and expos somewhere in central Florida nearly every weekend. The Chalk Festival may well be one of the most visually pleasing of all them....
The highly-anticipated VA South Hillsborough Outpatient Clinic is scheduled to open May 21. Located at 12920 Summerfield Crossing Boulevard, at the corner of US-301, the 50,000-square-foot clinic expects to serve more than 10,000 Veterans residing in...
When it comes to fun businesses, selling comic books, games and toys ranks up there with the best of them. That’s exactly what The Comics Club in Brandon, Fla., has been doing for since 1989. For D.J. Stamper, owner of The Comics Club, it just gets better...