While our visit to Chicago for Christmas wrapped up as one of the coldest ever, it was fantastic. The lights and scenes of the city made being bundled up against the cold worthwhile.
A quick drive over to Burnham Park gave a seasonal perspective of the classic skyline view, minus the boats, but with frozen water instead.
The Tribune Tower’s Nathan Hale statue was decked out for the season.
A different view – the Willis (aka Sears) Tower looking north.
With the extreme cold Lake Michigan iced over in the just few days we were there.
Meanwhile up at Wrigley Field they had set up a Christmas Market, complete with an ice rink.
Our final evening was spent walking along the (now frozen as well) Chicago River.
And a walk along the Magnificent Mile.
The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry was the perfect choice for another exceptionally cold December day. Located in the Hyde Park neighborhood on the South Shore of Chicago, it is located in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World Columbian Exposition. It became the Museum of Science and Industry during the 1933 Century of Progress Worlds Fair.
The famed ‘Christmas Around the World’ tree greets you as you arrive during the holiday season, standing 45′ tall with 30,000 lights and ‘snow’ falling twice an hour.
My main purpose for the visit to what is essentially a children’s museum was to see the ‘Great Train Story’, a 3500 square foot HO model railroad display.
This model leads you from a large Chicago model along a 2200 mile journey to Seattle. It is located in the transportation hall, underneath a Boeing 727.
The downtown Chicago model has many details including the El.
When you reach Seattle it is complete with the Space Needle.
The other exhibit I wanted to check out was the lego ‘Brick by Brick’ display. Interestingly despite all the interesting architecture in Chicago from Frank Lloyd Wright they chose to use Fallingwater, located near Pittsburgh (although it is the best architectural home in America)
The Pyramids were represented, including a cutaway to show the interior.
Same as with the Roman Colosseum. While the exhibits were nice, we have seen better exhibits for both the Lego’s and model railroad displays (Cincinnati History Center comes to mind, as well as Entertrainment Junction). Still it beat being outside in -2 Ft (-15 C) weather.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial purpose is to “provides a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience.”
As part of that this years exhibit includes an exhibit called “Make New History”. This exhibit features a number of architectural interpretations of a redesign of the iconic Tribune Tower.
Interestingly the venue for this very modern exhibit is the classic Chicago Cultural Center, including the stunning stained glass dome in the Grand Army of the Republic rotunda.
Before arriving at the main exhibit room we visited some displays of miniatures.
The details on most were amazing, although some of the more abstract ones looked like a discarded toy box. This model was an Asian interpretation of the Tribune Tower.
Full view of the Serie Architects ‘Far Eastern Headquarters’ model.
The Tribune Tower is a Neo Gothic building completed in 1925. The various interpretations varied greatly from that design.
6a architects view was meant to resemble a totem pole of stacked artifacts.
Architect and ‘urbanist’ Charles Waldheiim went even further with a number of interpretations of famous Chicago buildings including the John Hancock Center, Willis Tower, Marina City and the Thompson Center.
Called Heliomorphic Chicago it is set up in the classic Chicago grid street system.
Christmas Day in Chicago, 2017 was a cold one, with temperatures near 10 Fahrenheit. But it was mostly clear, with a beautiful sunset coming, so it was time to go back up the John Hancock Tower.
From here you had a great view of the snow covered, empty Navy Pier.
The marina in Lincoln Park is vacant as well.
But as the sun set the lights came on.
Looking back toward the Navy Pier and Lake Michigan. Of note in the far distance top center is a bright light. One of the steel mills in northern Indiana was having a ‘burn off’ of gases causing what is known locally as the Pilot Light of Northwestern Indiana.
The view southwest toward the Willis Tower (aka – Sears Tower) and beyond.
The view down Michigan Avenue as the darkness approached from the east.
The beautiful Wrigley Building. Built in 1920 as the first large office building north of the river, it continues to be one of the most majestic in the city.
With a day to spend in Manhattan with nothing special planned we wandered the city and checked out some of the non tacky tourist spots (i.e. Time Square)
Bryant Park Ice Rink and the Main Library
Entrance to Rockefeller Center
Statue and Flags at Rockefeller Center
Central Park West View
A stop at the Met.
Ornate apartment building on Fifth Avenue.
Where do they put the prisoners?
Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan (near the World Trade Center) is the home of ‘Canstruction’, an art display made out of canned foods. The goal is to collect canned foods for the City Harvest, a New York City food bank.
The Charminar is a monument and mosque in the Old City section of Hyderabad. Given that we passed on a Friday (Muslim Holy Day) the area was packed with the market in the surrounding area. Unfortunately we were unable to tour the interior because of it being Friday.
There were numerous fruit stands.
Rug delivery by bicycle.
One of the many buildings with numerous small shops, most had displays out in the street. The old city had far more took tooks than it the newer areas near Hi-Tech City.
A close up of the Charminar – note the bamboo scaffolding.
An overview of the area.
The shopping apparently complete it was time to march home.
Past the chick pea (??) vendor
And out of town.