320 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 384-1208
Fax: (312) 204-6910
This is possibly the most-photographed spot in Chicago, but more for its picturesque view over the river than for its historic significance. Plaques embedded in the sidewalk mark the spot of the original Fort Dearborn, where Chicago's first settlers staked their claim off of Lake Michigan. The bas-relief sculptures on the bridge represent important events in early Chicago history. They are interesting and controversial because they depict Native Americans as the bad guys in the struggle over the "Chickaguo" territory.
"Loop Tattoo Mural" was designed and led by Johanna Poethig. The painting is a 6,500-square-foot community mural that covers the side of a building on East Lake Street just off Michigan Avenue. She and a dozen artists from the Chicago Public Art Group painted the mural, which measures about 50 feet wide and 135 feet long, on 270 5-by-5-foot square mats, which were mounted to the wall.
Carbide and Carbon Building is an imposing, dark, art deco tower that has been looming over Michigan Avenue since 1929. Clad in an unusual dark green-and-gold terracotta facade, the building was fashioned to look like a champagne bottle, according to local legend. It is the alleged inspiration for the apartment building in the movie Ghostbusters, where the men battled the giant marshmallow man. Perhaps the building's most famous aspect is its designers. It was built by the Burnham brothers, sons of the Chicago architecture legend Daniel Hudson Burnham.
This large black granite oval pool and the murky water it contains create a striking and dark, ominous effect. Constructed in 1982, this moving sculpture was recently re-dedicated to honor Chicago's Vietnam Veterans. While there, be sure to check out the Heald monument across the street named after Captain Nathan Heald, the commander of Fort Deehborn. The monument includes figures of George Washington, Robert Morris and Haym Salomon.
As "The Gateway to the Magnificent Mile," the Wrigley Building sits directly across from its famous counterpart, the Tribune Tower, just north of the Chicago River on Michigan Avenue. Built in the early 1920s by the founder of the famous chewing gum company, the gleaming structure has been prominently featured in Chicago skyline shots in dozens of movies and television shows. At night, the luminous white building glows in the attention of bright floodlights, standing as a familiar touchstone of the city.
The privilege of designing this building was awarded to the winners of a design competition held by the Chicago Tribune itself. The firm of Hood and Howell won, and in 1922 they erected this looming tower to house the publication. It looks out over the river and into the growing boom of Michigan Avenue. Most people overlook the stones embedded around the lower walls on all sides of the tower. The stones were collected from around the world, from the Alamo to Chartes Cathedral.
Take a free 40-minute tour of Chicago's business district where internationally renowned buildings reach the sky. Learn about the area's 100-year history and the city's elevated train system, known to Chicagoans as the "el." The tour is presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Admission for the tour is free. Obtain tickets at the Chicago Cultural Center Visitor Information Center, 77 East Randolph St at Michigan Ave.
If you are looking for a souvenir from your visit to Navy Pier, then this is the place. This beautiful tourist attraction boasts the world's largest Tiffany dome, is the perfect place to stop and buy a coffee mug, key chain or post card. Pick up a shot glass to toast your trip, or choose from an array of refrigerator magnets. Tourist and general visitor information, including hiking, biking, fishing and other recreational activities guides, can also be found here.
This three-ton sculpture was commissioned by the city in 1954, to be part of a parking structure on West Wacker Drive. The work depicts a woman rising over the city, holding grain sheaves under her left arm while embracing a bull. When the garage was demolished in 1983, Milton Horn's sculpture was left to deteriorate in a forgotten field. Rediscovered in 1997, it now stands proudly above the Chicago Riverwalk.
Preston Bradley Hall is nestled in the cultural hub of the city called Chicago Cultural Center. The main attraction of the hall being the recently renovated ornate and spectacular 'Tiffany Dome'. While in Chicago, do visit this amazing and unique hall.
Pick up free city guides (available in various languages) and information on the events and attractions of the city. While you are at the Chicago Cultural Center, browse the various art galleries and find out about the weddings and cultural performances organized in the premises. Grab a coffee at the Randolph Café and some artifacts from the shop next to it. If you like this place, do some serious thinking about volunteering for some work for the cultural center. For details on parking, accessibility, and membership check the website.
Chicago's main theater district lights up The Loop. Within a four block radius are most of Chicago's leading theaters that present the top shows in the world in historic buildings. Within the area surrounding Randolph and Dearborn Streets you will find the iconic Chicago Theater with its six-story high sign, the renovated Cadillac Palace Theater with its opulent, mirrored lobby, the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, historically known as the Oriental Theater and the Goodman Theater, just to name a few. These theaters almost all date to the early 20th Century and the 1920s, and their grandeur is truly impressive. If visitors can't make a show at one of the theaters, many of them offer tours of the venue.