A beautiful late afternoon in October was the perfect time to take the Chicago Architectural Foundation’s River Tour. The highlights…
With a trip for work to New York City I had little time for sightseeing, but my wife didn’t! This is her photo blog of a 4 hour New York Architectural Society (almost) circumnavigation of Manhattan. I say almost, since there was a bridge on the Harlem River in a down position so they had to backtrack back around.
They set sail from a pier in Chelsea.
And headed for the harbor…
Passing by Jersey City…
The trip was actually offered for college credit, so there was an instructor on board whom reportedly spoke ‘constantly’. The trip took them past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, which I wouldn’t think would need any dialog to explain.
It was time to head up the East River…
This carousel in a park in Brooklyn came from a defunct amusement park in my hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.
Nearby was a jet ski school!
As you make you way up the East River you go past many areas that are undergoing gentrification.
An interesting view of Roosevelt Island, and the 59th Street (Queensboro) Bridge.
The United Nations Building
Roosevelt Island was once home to a Tuberculosis Hospital, but now is home to thousands in new apartment buildings.
A great view of the bridge and the Roosevelt Island Tram.
A series of bridges on the far end of the East River, where they ended up turning around.
If you have plenty of money ($850 one way for a 30 minute plane ride) you can get from Manhattan to the Hamptons in a hurry on a seaplane.
Or a helicopter…
The cruise continued back down the East River
The late afternoon sun made a interesting view of the Staten Island Ferry with the statue in the background.
The World Trade Center from the Hudson River
One of the many New York Waterway ferries.
Finally some interesting new architecture along the Hudson.
I think you will agree her photos were great – I am so jealous I had to work, it looks like it was a great cruise 🙂
Union County, Ohio has a number of covered bridges. Unlike most counties, not all of them are vintage, with 3 of them being built in the last 20 years. Still they have character, so it was worth riding around the countryside for a couple of hours checking them out.
The one non covered bridge was, in my opinion, the best. The Streng Road Bridge was built in 1914 with steel trusses. It replaced a covered bridge that was destroyed in the 1913 flood.
All of the original ornamentation and decorative elements are still in place. So highly thought of it is the only non covered bridge to be listed as an Ohio Historic Bridge (which is amazing as there are literally hundreds of cool old bridges throughout the state).
As with any week spent in the city, you always run across interesting sights.
Starting with the Puerto Rico Day Parade
The view from the Roosevelt Island Tram
A Public Art exhibit on the High Line.
Brooklyn Subway Station Details – those familiar with the area will notice it is actually from two different stations.
Staying in Brooklyn – Barlay’s Center Arena.
A cool art deco power substation for the subway in Greenwich Village
Park Avenue just north of Grand Central Terminal.
The Alexander Hamilton House
And finally – the Apollo Theater in Harlem!
Most of my time in New York City is spent on the Jersey side, therefore most of the photos of the skyline is from across the Hudson. On this trip I had a chance to view Manhattan from the East River.
Getting to and around New Orleans has always been an adventure. Situated near the mouth of the Mississippi, the city is essentially surrounded by water and swamps.
While most people likely fly into the airport, or take I-10 from Mobile or Baton Route, the best route into the city by car is from the north across Lake Pontchartrain.
The Lake Pntchartrain Causeway is a 24 mile long bridge. Completed in the 1950s it is to this day the longest bridge in the world over water.
Which results in a funny looking navigation system – we are in the middle of the lake, still 14 miles from shore.
Eventually you get close enough to see the skyline of the city off in the distance.
Once you make it to town you see plenty of the ride share bicycles.
Although this person chose his own unique ride.
The Port of New Orleans is one of the busiest ports in the country, with constant ships coming in off the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi River.
The tugboats stay busy all day.
At the base of Canal Street is the tourist ship The Natchez, a faux stern-wheeler.
The best transportation however are the streetcars.
New Orleans turned out to be a fairly easy city to navigate.
We continued the architecture tours with ‘Art Deco Along The Riverfront’. This tour took us into many buildings we had been in before, but each docent will focus on different details, so you always come away with a new appreciation of the building.
We started on the Wacker Drive side of 333 North Michigan Avenue.
This building has granite at the bottom and limestone the rest of the way with reliefs carved into the stone on the exterior.
The elevator lobbies are great. The concept of Art Deco was it was new, young and fresh, and the doors that have decorative panels by Albert Stewart called Night Day illustrate that.
The panels show two young adults in a manner that 5 years earlier would’ve been unacceptable with their ‘risque’ look.
All Art Deco buildings have great letter boxes, and 333 North Michigan was the same. The letter box became a favorite subject for me of this tour.
We went back to the Carbide and Carbon Building. Each docent we have had has a slightly different story on the inspiration of this building, champaign bottle, battery, etc.
Our docent Jeff said it was modeled after the American Radiator Building in New York. Below is the Carbine and Carbon Building.
This photo off of the internet is the American Radiator Building. It seems obvious Carbide and Carbon Building was designed from this look.
The Water Street view of the building shows much of the detail on the exterior.
The Michigan Avenue entrance is the most impressive.
Once inside it is Art Deco heaven. The radiator grills.
The lobby lighting and mezzanine railing.
The letter box.
The elevator door detail. The full elevator lobby photo is the featured photo for this posting.
Even the trash cans have style.
We moved just down the block to the Chicago Auto Club building, now a Hampton Inn.
Again it seems every tour took us into this building, but close observation reveals more details previously missed.
Yet another letter box – which is best is up to individual opinions.
The detail of the balcony, with the light reacting strangely in this photo.
Since it was once a motor club they have retained where the maps used to be set out for the travelers (alas no maps anymore)
Lighting and wall detail.
The famed mural/map of American roads of the mid 1920s.
As we continued down Wacker Drive there was evidence of other Art Deco style, including the lighting, since Wacker Drive was built at about the same time.
While not all of the bridge houses are in Art Deco, this one is.
We passed by 121 West Wacker without going in the lobby, as it is under renovation. This building is interesting as it mirrors closely the Chicago Board of Trade Building – visible way down LaSalle Street in the lower right of this photo.
At the corner of Lake and Wells is the Trustees System Services Building. This building is unique with the mix of materials and the progressively lighter to give the illusion the building is taller than it is.
The interior of the large windows has a great art piece.
The main stairs depict someone who saves as good (on the left) and someone who didn’t as bad (on the right). Ironically the people who built the building were shysters and went bankrupt early in the depression, causing a riot outside the building.
Our last stop was the famed Merchandise Mart. This massive building has nearly as many square feet as the Willis Tower, more than the World Trade Center in New York at 4 million square feet.
Built in the Art Deco style, it has less ‘bling’ than others, but still many nice features.
The building logo is in the granite floors.
The interior of the building is 2 blocks long.
Our last letter box of the tour.
Jules Gierin completed 17 murals for the lobby depicting commerce throughout the world.
Our last stop on our tour came to appreciate the up lighting common in Art Deco buildings. As I almost always end these blogs, our docent Jeff was entertaining and informative – never having to rely on his ‘cheat sheet’ cards.