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Traveling abroad is the summit that a mortal can desire for itself. There is no better way to spend money on something that gives you more pleasure! Chicago was a city I had long wanted to visit, from when I started studying English in private courses in the 1990s and watched the drawings with the city's main icons. I bring this thread with a little delay and apologize for this because 2016, 2017 and 2018 have been very busy years for me and with many personal accomplishments for me, I’m getting richer and making decisions and all this is being very fast for me.

This trip in September 2016 was held from a flight from Sao Paulo to Chicago by United. The flight was smooth and I enjoyed the on-board service. I arrived at O'Hare International Airport on the 15th, after noon, after a connecting flight that left from Newark and lasted 3 hours. I was already 23 hours out of the hotel that I stayed in Sao Paulo.

2016-09-15Time12.18.29-ORDArriving by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-15Time12.21.27-ORDArriving by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-15Time12.24.55-ORDArriving by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-15Time12.25.13-ORDArriving by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

Upon arrival, I drove to the vans service and, along with other tourists, went straight to my hotel. From there I began to execute my planning to record all the details of the sights of the windy city.

In this thread I intend to focus on all six Chicago’s built supertalls until September 2016 and also the skyscrapers that I found most beautiful, after having crossed the central area, as shown in the map below.

Map of Chicago's community areas, grouped by color by "side". Author: Peter Fitzgerald at Wikimedia Commons.

Chicago competes with New York to see who builds higher a long time ago, a positive competition, which motivates the two cities to innovate in these types of projects. That month NY had 7 built supertalls, 1 more than Chicago. To check each one of these New Yorker supertalls, click on my signature below.

In that year I went to Chicago, Vista Tower was in terrain preparation phase and there was an expectation that the megatall project, the Gateway Tower, would be erected at the site of the Chicago Spire project, which was canceled.

Starting with the photos, I'm going to show you one of the skyscrapers I thought the most beautiful of Chicago Loop, and that made me twist my neck to look at its and admire its. The Blue Cross - Blue Shield Tower, commercial with the appearance of the façade with large openings and beautiful texture of materials seems to be an architectural sapphire of great value and that translates into refinement for its users. At almost 230 meters and 54 floors, the building is a little lower than the Southeast Financial Center, one of the most iconic buildings I've seen on my visits around the country. It was a nice day and I had taken a leisurely walk in Millennium Park and was surprised by Blue Cross because it was not initially in my planning of visits but deserved the photo and my mention here in this thread.

Blue Cross - Blue Shield Tower
300 East Randolph Street, Loop, Chicago, IL 60601
54 floors and 744 feet (226.7 meters) tall. (The Skyscraper Center)
Home Page:
Architect: Goettsch Partners. A landscaped plaza fills out the building lot on the north and east sides, with views of the Lakeshore East complex. The building's site was chosen because of its good land value at the time, and has little to do with the fact that other large insurance companies are located nearby. The elevators facing the atrium are enclosed in translucent fritted glass so as not to give riders vertigo. The building won separate Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects in 1998 for its overall and interior design. The facade facing Grant Park is sometimes used at night as an illuminated billboard, displaying words formed by opening and closing window shades. Fritted glass is used extensively throughout the building: on the facade, in the elevators, and on interior partitions around the atrium. The lobby's centerpiece is an oval reception desk with an oval halo hanging overhead. These round forms are mirrored 14 floors higher by the 'Shaker Lodge' meeting room. Unlike most composite-structure skyscrapers, the majority of elevators in this building are located outside the concrete service cores. The piers on the east and west facades are clad in granite, giving this building the last full-height original facade of any high-rise built in Chicago using any kind of natural stone. The facade materials were chosen to show mimimal aging, so that the future vertical addition would show no visible discontinuity. A large signboard on the lower level of the lobby holds plaques dedicated to the insurance company's 100 largest customers. A circular stone Shaker lodge was built in the middle of the 15th floor to house the executive meeting room. An enormous atrium, open to the public by special arrangement only, runs up the north side of the building. The concourse level below Randolph Street is connected to the Grant Park underground garage by hanging walkways under Upper Randolph. The conference center under the back plaza features an extensive collection of art from the City of Chicago's Gallery 37 program for student artists. (Emporis)

2016-09-17Time11.24.25-BlueCross-BlueShieldTower by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

And that place was a nest of incredible projects. Still in the vicinity of Millennium Park a totally different concept and suggesting motion, as if a cascade of crystal clear water was falling from the top. Soft and curved brises soleils simulate water-carved rocks in a contemporary architectural creativity that will stun generations for exquisite design work. The nearly 100-story Aqua at Lakeshore East is the most refreshing and daring building I have seen so far in my visits to the United States, although it’s not a landmark like the tallest and most famous supertalls. An excellent contribution also to Chicago for the visionary proposal that seems to have put the Downtown a few years ahead in the future.

Aqua at Lakeshore East
225 North Columbus Drive, Loop, Chicago, IL 60601
86 floors and 859 feet (261.8 meters) tall. (The Skyscraper Center)
Home Page:
Architect: Studio Gang Architects. The 736 residential units include 262 condominium units in the upper levels and 474 rental units in the mid-levels, with 55,000 square feet of commercial office space at the first and second floors.
During construction the formwork for the curving edges was guided by a global positioning system. Drilling began on the first of more than 300 foundation caissons at 11:20 a.m. on March 12, 2007. The name 'Aqua' fits the nautical theme of the Lakeshore East development, and is derived from the wave-like forms of the balconies. The name also matches the blue-green tint of the windows. This is the world's third-tallest building designed by a female architect. It is surpassed only by the two Emirates Towers in Dubai, which were designed by Hazel Wong. The facade is designed to prevent bird collisions, utilizing the irregular curves of the balconies along with special glass that is opaque to birds. The facade is composed of undulating balconies which change slightly from floor to floor, forming a rippling, curtain-like surface. Balconies extend as much as 12 feet from the tower's perimeter, and are concentrated outside of living rooms so that bedroom windows have more open views. Balcony depths are calculated to optimize views beyond the building perimeter, and also to optimize sun shading within units according to where it is most needed. Aqua was LEED certified in 2013. The Radison Blu hotel was certified LEED Silver. (Emporis)

2016-09-17Time11.32.38AquaAtLakeshoreEast by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-17Time11.23.48-AquaAtLakeshoreEast by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

And to complete the visit I made there, I come across one of the six supertalls of the city, the sixth tallest with the tallest occupied floor, shorter than the one of Aqua Tower (250 meters against 262 meters), but the building counts with a pyramidal peak and a spire that makes it turn into a gigantic structure of 303 meters that leaves Aqua shorter, a typical case of :tiasd:

In the same complex called Prudential Plaza, another building, the One Prudential Plaza of 41 floors and 181 meters. Nearby, an unforgettable stop for architectural tourists, Giordano's serves the city's famous stewed pizza. After having photographed Two Prudential Plaza, I decided to go in there and order one of these famous pizzas.

Two Prudential Plaza
180 North Stetson Avenue, Loop, Chicago, IL 60601
64 floors and 995 feet (303.3 meters) tall. (The Skyscraper Center)
Home Page:
Architect: Loebl Schlossman Dart & Hackl. The building has a terraced one-acre plaza on its west side with fountains and landscaping. At the time of completion "2 Pru" was the world's second tallest reinforced concrete building. The distinctive shape features stacked chevron setbacks on the north & south sides, a sharp pyramidal peak rotated 45°, and an 80-foot spire. Joined at the lobby level to the much older One Prudential Plaza. Without its spire Two Prudential only barely passes the height of One Pru's antenna. In 1995 this building won the Best Structure Award from the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois. (Emporis)
2016-09-17Time11.49.48-TwoPrudentialPlaza by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-17Time11.39.15-TwoPrudentialPlaza by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-17Time11.21.30-TwoPrudentialPlaza by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-17Time11.50.30-TwoPrudentialPlaza by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

The fifth tallest building in the city is also another supertall because it has the ornamental spire at the top that is part of the architectural height of the project. The tallest occupied floor doesn’t reach 300 meters, but with the spire, the final height of the supertall goes to almost 307 meters. As in the case of the Two Prudential Center, there is no observatory at The Franklin - North Tower, which also has a shorter tower, 35-story, 164-meter, and called The Franklin - South Tower. The entrance to The Franklin is exquisite, lined with noble materials and a fairly high ceiling, setting the building's grandeur and personality.

The Franklin - North Tower
227 West Monroe Street, Loop, Chicago, IL 60603
60 floors and 1,007 feet (306.9 meters) tall. (The Skyscraper Center)
Home Page:
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. The lobby is one of the most lavish and sumptuous in Chicago, with stylized lighting fixtures and marble walls and floors in bold, brightly colored patterns. The official height was increased to from 886 feet to 1,007 feet when the CTBUH began to include ornamental spires during the Willis Tower and Petronas Towers height controversy. The lobby extends all the way through the block, connecting to the Franklin Center South Tower with a full-height atrium in the link between them. The elevator banks in the lobby are lit by flamboyant bands of neo-deco lighting extending from one wall to the other. At night the setbacks, finials, and spires are accented by softly colored lights. This is the tallest building constructed in Chicago during the last quarter of the 20th century. Designed by Adrian D. Smith, FAIA, RIBA design partner at Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP. Tishman Speyer acquired this property in an announcement made on December 5, 2004 along with 11 other buildings including the Franklin Center South Tower. The building's mass narrows gradually with small setbacks at the 15th, 30th and 45th floors. This form of telescoping evolved into the pagoda-like form of the same architect's Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai. (Emporis)

2016-09-15Time17.48.01-TheFranklin-NorthTower by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-15Time17.52.50-TheFranklin-NorthTower by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-15Time17.45.51-TheFranklin-NorthTower by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

2016-09-15Time17.50.21-TheFranklin-NorthTower by Fabricio JF, on Flickr

:check: I decided to share this thread of my journey in 5 parts. In this first one, you saw the photos I took of two of the most beautiful skyscrapers I saw and two of the six Chicago supertalls that were on my visit plan. I’ll continue to show the windy city and to document this unforgettable journey in my life. So while I prepare the 2nd part, I hope you enjoy the sophisticated sound of a cool and smooth lounge that I listened a lot during this memorable trip. :cool: ...

Royspop - I Call My Soul (Climax Saddle Mix)

Christian Lamper - Woods Soul (Original Mix)

Ohm Guru - Hotel Capri (Cybophonia Circumvesuviana Remix)

8,637 Posts
Nice start bro -. Well, they said, "Chicago is my kind of town" and has a great skyline and lots of iconic scrapers. One is the 110-story/442 m height Willis Tower (formerly Sears), which enjoyed the title of the tallest building in the world from its completion in 1974, and remained the tallest building in the United States until May 2013 when it was overtaken by One World Trade Center in New York City.
I'm excited to see more of your photos and thanks for this.
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