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Old October 29th, 2008, 05:35 PM   #1
Steely Dan
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The REAL chicago river..... the south branch edition (bubbly creek + CS&SC too)

well, since my north branch tour was so well received, i decided to to a
south branch tour before the paddling season ended. once again i put in at
the mouth of the river by LSD, i then paddled down the main branch to wolf
point, then turning left down the south branch. i paddled all the way south
and west to ashland, where i then paddled the full length of bubbly creek up
and down, then came back to the south branch and headed west into the
chicago sanitary and ship canal, getting as far west as the kedzie bridge, i
then turned around and paddled back to the public boat ramp at western
avenue. then i folded up my boat, slung it on my back and hoofed it over to
the orange line stop in mckinley park and rode the el back home. all in all it was
a 11 mile, 5 hour kayak exploration extravaganza.

the weather this past saturday was absolutely terrible for photography, but
i've done my best to get these as good as i could. the real intent is to show
the river as it is anyway, so the gloomy overcast kinda works with the
heavily industrial south branch.

in case you missed, here is a link to the north branch thread:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=733558


map




1. i was treated to the LSD bridge opening up for some sailboats just before i left.




2. trump with his head in the clouds




3. home sweet home




4. i just absolutely LOVE 55 west wacker. i really, really do




5. 353 north clark rises behind the westin




6. it's really best to just not talk about it




7. beaux arts and art deco together at last




8. 300 north lasalle stretches skyward




9. last time we went right on the north branch, this time we're headed left on
the south branch. SCROLL------------------------------------->




10. this is a cute little train switching house left from the olden days




11. ivy, bricks, water and glass - the elements of the city.




12. city texture




13. the boeing building from the water




14. the buildings of gateway center




15. insull's magnificent throne, the civic opera building




16. architectural surgery at the medium old mercantile exchange




17. i don't remember the name of this one, but it's quite nice. sears in the clouds behind




18. looking straight-up




19. modern generica at gateway center




20. looking back north down the south branch canyon




21. this one was recently reclad. looks pretty good.




22. tall




23. new condo towers along wells




24. looking back, the old post office on the left




25. my spidey sense is tingling, were about to experience some coolness




26. bertrand goldberg's wonderful river city





27. urban corridor




28. looking back towards the textures of the loop




29. the massive mixed-use roosevelt collection complex under construction




30. i don't know what it is, but it's cool, so i like it




31. the new southside skyline pano SCROLL------------------------->




32. what's my avatar doing floating in the river?




33. YES! YES! YES! THIS ROCKS!




34. NO! NO! NO! DON"T STOP ROCKING!




35. echos of big john. do you think fazlur might have ever kayaked down the river for inspiration?




36. the 18th street bridge. we're getting close to chinatown




37. beautiful ping tom park with an orange line train rumbling by in the background




38. a groovy old loft building opposite ping tom park




39. urban texture back over my shoulder




40. one museum park looms over ping tom park




41. it's official: steel is the most kick-ass building material of all time!




42. steel, steel, steel......... i like steel




43. these railroad bridges just rule. fortunately, we'll see several more along the tour.




44. the canal street bridge



45. lawrence's fisheries, a locally famous south branch eatery




46. the cermack bridge, this one is cool because it's one of the last rolling lift bridges.





47. a cool old loft building




48. the ozinga concrete plant




49. the dan ryan expressway bridge floats high above the river because
expressways can't have draw bridges




50. underneath the dan ryan.




51. the halsted street bridge




52. the fisk power plant taking in a barge load of coal




53. a cool little building at the fisk plant. look at the care they used to take
even with simple little utilitarian industrial buildings.




54. industry is cool




55. i don't know what tower this is, but i liked the massive antenna




56. your guess is as good as mine




57. another barge full of coal heading up to the fisk plant. loomis bridge in the background




58. this is one of the long slips that stretches north from the south branch




59. another long slip. this was the lumber center of the world back in the 19th century




60. and now we come to the junction with bubbly creek. the creek is off to the
left, the south branch continues on to the right. we're gonna detour here and
come back to the south branch after exploring bubbly creek. SCROLL ------->




61. the entrance to bubbly creek




62. this is the 1st of 4 bridges right in a row at the start of bubbly creek.
this is a cool old railroad bridge, then there is the CTA orange line, then the
stevenson expressway, and finally archer avenue.




63. yes virginia, bubbly creek still bubbles to this very day




64. beneath the quad bridges




65. orange line stop is close by. good to know




66. bubbly creek is a really peaceful and placid body of water. how far it's
come from the days when it was choked with rotting animal carcasses




67. newish single family home development on the banks of bubbly creek




68. more newish homes




69. nice loft building




70. i couldn't figure out what this building was, but my guess is water treatment facility




71. this is the end of bubbly creek at it exists today. we gotta turn around
and head back north to the south branch




72. the 35th street bridge crossing bubbly creek




73. sears looms over bridgeport homes




74. canal origins park at the mouth of bubbly creek




75. a skyline view




76. the sailboats from earlier in the morning finally caught up to me at ashland




77. the damen bridge. this one is not as cool as the damen bridge on the north branch




78. abandoned grain elevator decorated with graffiti




79. at damen, the river technically ends and the chicago sanitary & ship canal begins





80. a big old barge





81. yes! more coolness dead ahead




82. yes! coolness!




83. i'm speechless




84. industry




85. the california bridge. it's a basculle bridge, but it has no bridge control towers. odd.




86. more bridge awesomeness. this time a swing bridge!




87. what a beauty




88. a detail shot of the swing axle pylon




89. a bridge too far. there was another cool swing bridge about a half-mile down
the river, but at this point, i've paddled about 11 miles and i'm just simply out
of gas. so i turned around just past kedzie and headed back to western




90. a neat little railroad bridge across the mouths of one of the side slips. i
have no idea how this bridge opened, but there's some mechanical stuff you
can see on the left.




91. industry




92. industry




93. the public boat ramp and launch dock at western




94. thanks for coming along on the paddle with me, until next time...........
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Last edited by Steely Dan; October 29th, 2008 at 06:28 PM.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 08:16 PM   #2
christos-greece
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Nice pics
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Old October 29th, 2008, 08:43 PM   #3
StevenW
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AWESOME TOUR!!!!!!
Dude! Awesome job! One of THEE best Chicago tours I've ever seen!
Well Done! Awesome perspective!!!



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Old October 30th, 2008, 07:47 AM   #4
streetlegal
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Fascinating industrial heritage! I like some of the new gleaming towers, too, but, is it just me, but I have always hated those two "corn on the cob" towers . . .
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Old October 30th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #5
spongeg
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cool
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Old October 30th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #6
Steely Dan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streetlegal View Post
is it just me, but I have always hated those two "corn on the cob" towers . . .
it's just you. marina city (aka "the corn cobs") is one of the most architecturally significant skyscraper developments in chicago, and indeed the world. i've have been fascinated by these amazing towers ever since i was a small child, so much so that 2 years ago i bought a condo in marina city on the 33rd floor of the west tower and i now call this magnificent structure home.

Betrand goldberg was an absolutely genius architect, and chicago is EXTREMELY fortunate to be left with the greatest collection of his major works in the world. marina city is one of the top 5 skyscrapers in chicago in my opinion, and i wouldn't trade these wondeful "corn cobs" for any other building in any other city in the world.


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Old October 31st, 2008, 12:59 AM   #7
StevenW
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I have to agree! I've always loved those towers! Do you have any pictures taken from your condo to post?
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Old November 1st, 2008, 01:56 AM   #8
CODEBARRE75011
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Super CBD : http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/1577/002trumpof9.jpg
Chicago's a great city.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 09:08 PM   #9
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I can't believe how amazing your 2 river tours have been. Thanks for sharing!!!
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