Chicago, day 5, a catch up on a few things we had missed
Day 5 was to be our last full day in Chicago before flying back to Orlando. We checked out of our hotel and made our way back to Michael's area of the city before going with him to North Western university where he needed to be at a lecture in the history department. But we didn't need to be there till the afternoon.
The hotel was directly opposite the Carbide and Carbon building. An art deco jewel, clad in green granite and decorated modestly with brass. It is now the home of the Hard Rock Hotel.
We dropped in to the Cultural Centre. This was built in 1897 to serve as Chicago's first public library but is now used to host exhibitions and events. There was a vary varied show from students around the city. Another by an artist who had painted the doors of a school in a deprived area, and then a rather strange collection of ladders and ropes that was outside the galleries in a courtyard area. The rooms are enormous and one of the glass domes is by Tiffany, (he had a house and a school in Chicago at the beginning of the 20th century).
Then it was back to the 'L' Line to see one to the stations which has been kept as it would have looked when the line was first used. This is Quincy Station, all decked out in gleaming wood.
Finally, before we headed out of the city Michael realised we had not had a close encounter with the Willis Tower, or Sears Tower as it is more popularly known.
This structure was built in 1973, when it was the tallest building in the world. It remained thus for 25 years, although now it ranks number 16. As I explained in an earlier blog the tower was designed by architect Bruce Graham with engineer Fazlur Rhamen Khan, who invented the 'bundled tube' method of construction. This system has been used in most very high rise skyscrapers built since then, including the Burj Khalifa, the highest building in the world. The Willis Tower is now the 2nd highest building in the western world after 1 World Trade Centre, which surpasses it by a hair's breadth. This quote from Wikipedia shows what shenanigans go on to become the highest building.'Until 2000, the Sears Tower did not hold the record for the tallest building by pinnacle height. From 1969 to 1978, this record was held by the John Hancock Center, whose antenna reached a height of 1,500 feet (457.2 m), or 49 feet (14.9 m) taller than the Sears Tower's original height of 1,450 feet (442.1 m). In 1978, One World Trade Center became taller by pinnacle height due to the addition of a 359 feet (109.4 m) antenna, which brought its total height to 1,727 feet (526.4 m). In 1982, two antennas were installed on top of the Sears Tower which brought its total height to 1,707 feet (520.3 m), making it taller than the John Hancock Center but not One World Trade Center. However, the extension of the Sears Tower's western antenna in June 2000 to 1,729 feet (527 m) allowed it to just barely claim the title of tallest building by pinnacle height.'