Friday, December 22, 2006

One North LaSalle

This is a detail from a great building. It was designed by Vitzhum
& Burns, and built in 1930. There must have been a number of these buildings that secured financing prior to the Crash and continued construction as the rest of the world slipped into depression.

When you're done looking at the polished brass entrance, go inside the lobby and admire the weird geometric ducks and elaborate deco lighting standards. Unfortunately there's scaffolding on this building that's probably been there for years. But take a look at the low relief panels visible from Madison. They're supposed to commemorate the explorations of Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, who supposedly camped on the site. (Thanks AIA Guide to Chicago!)

So, I'm on my own until next Wednesday. Angela and Felix are in Ohio visiting the grandfolks. Since I don't have vacation hours until next year, I opted to stay in Chicago. I thought it might be fun, but I find myself feeling depressed and lonely. Maybe this weekend I'll do all the things I say I miss about being single, like going to movies, drinking too much coffee, doing the used bookstore circuit. Adventurous, right?

But when I got home tonight I really missed them. Felix has this new thing where he tries to put his finger right through my belly button. It's extremely funny, but also kinda painful. I missed that. Well, it's just a few days. Maybe tomorrow I'll start enjoying my solitude like I used to. Or not.

On another note, MySpace sucks when you use a Mac. I don't get the simple editing tools, and it seems slower. But I still get messages from 19 year olds inviting me to subscribe to their web cam.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Elevator door at 33. N. LaSalle

The lobby of the building where I work is really restrained, but if you turn to the right or left you'll see banks of elevators with some incredible detail. One of my tour books says that the design is intended to be the Tree of Life. Sounds reasonable.

But if you really want to see an incredible Art Deco lobby, go one building south to One N. LaSalle. More on that building in the next entry.

On another note, Felix is standing! Well, not all the time. And usually when he realizes that he's standing he'll plop to the ground immediately. He also has about 4 teeth coming in, and a minor cold. Tough month for Felix.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Five Weeks Downtown

Well, I've been working in the Loop for over a month. I have to say, it's pretty great. Easy commute, meaningful work, and an architectural bonanza ever time I step off the train. I'm visiting historic districts I didn't know existed, and dealing with design and construction issues every day. In the evening I walk onto LaSalle and just feel lucky to be here.

I've renewed a fascination with the geometric Art Deco ornaments downtown. The drawing above is from a decorative metal grate at 2 N. Riverside Plaza. If you exit from Ogilvie Station onto Madison you can't miss them. The summer before I started graduate school I was required to take a drafting class prior to admission. I remember standing in front of these things, sketching. Strange to think that 7 years later, I'm back.