The buildings in the foreground of this photograph stand along Michigan Ave, which did indeed once run beside Lake Michigan. Despite many efforts by commercial interests to cut it up, Grant Park now stands along the lakeshore, protected by the protests of the people of Chicago under the leadership of public figures like department store magnate Montgomery Ward. Just as Central Park in New York acts as the lungs of that city, so does Grant Park provide a welcome green carpet next to the blue lake. Nevertheless, the skyline with its tall buildings is magnificent, quite appropriate for a place which is often considered the birthplace of the skyscraper, epitomized by the large black Sears Tower, tallest building in the United States.
|Here's the view from the observation deck of the Sears Tower, a must do for any visitor to the city. Click on the photo to bring up the same shot in a new window, with annotated pointers to various downtown landmarks.|
|No-one has ever figured out whether this is meant to be an angel, a horse or a woman, and the artist didn't give a title to his work, so Chicagoans just know this statue outside the Daley Center as "The Picasso". Regardless of what it is, children love to slide down its sloping metal base. |
Artwork like this one inspired a whole wave of statuary which gives the city a great deal of character, an effect which was strengthened by a local ordinance passed in 1978 which required developers to spend a certain percentage of their budget on such public displays.
A few of the other famous works include the 39 foot high Miro statue, which is almost directly opposite the Picasso, a very large glass and stone mosaic by Marc Chagall called "The Four Seasons", and a huge red steel girder creation called "Flamingo", visible below and right of the center of the previous aerial photo of Chicago.
|The Adler Planetarium is one of three institutes which together comprise the Museum Campus at the south end of Grant Park. A statue of Copernicus sits outside the planetarium, a conscious reminder that Chicago is the second largest Polish city in the world, thanks to the number of immigrants who came here and continue to come here. The second member of the campus is the large Shedd Aquarium. I haven't been inside the planetarium, the aquarium, or the Art Institute across the park, mostly because none of them offer much in the way of opportunities for photography.|