Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Look at Chicago's and the Sloop's "Down-the-Alley" Views

A fun read by Chicago Tribune columnist Blair Kamin about Chicago's "down-the-alley" views.  The reason for the article is a new view heading north on LSD that was created by the new Vista Tower.  If you're a Sloopster who heads north on LSD you've probably seen this, if not stop looking at your phone and admire our city's fine architecture:
In Chicago, a certain view of buildings — long, head-on and thrillingly dramatic — is as rare as a warm day in February.
This is not Washington, D.C., where the diagonal avenues of Pierre L’Enfant frame stunning views like the one of the Capitol down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Instead, our buildings are boxed in by the street grid, hard-pressed to call attention to themselves unless they face the Chicago River, Lake Shore Drive or central Michigan Avenue — or, like Willis Tower, they break free of the grid by soaring into the sky.
Every so often, though, architects get extraordinary opportunities to liberate their buildings from the relentless regularity of the grid and fashion images that resonate in our collective mindset.
The latest (and by far the tallest) example of this phenomenon — the soon to open 101-story, 1,191-foot-tall Vista Tower, by Chicago architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang — is giving northbound drivers on Lake Shore Drive a high-octane visual jolt.

Kamin uses the opportunity to explore some of Chicago's other "down-the-alley" views and many of them are best showcased from points in and around the Sloop:

Wrigley Building head north on Michigan Avenue:

Trump Tower heading north on Wabash:

Field Museum heading south on LSD:

The article also references the Chicago Museum of Art peaking through while looking east on Adams and the Shedd Aquarium in full display while heading east on Roosevelt.

It's funny, because we've also spent time gazing east towards Grant Park loving the carefully placed fountains and statues - such as the General Logan statue looking east on 9th street:

It's an interesting read if you're into these types of things.  If you've never noticed it before, look down a street and take stock of the planning and thinking that goes into these design elements.

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