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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I last visited Chicago in 2006. The airline I flew with doesn't exist anymore. The weather was mixed and I went away a bit disappointed. I returned in early 2018 shortly after the polar vortex hoping the freezing temperatures would also mean clearer skies. I got a great hotel deal near the Magnificent Mile, presumably because it is low season for tourism after all.

First impressions were wonderful. I had a sunny sunrise on final approach into O'Hare.













I picked a left window seat anticipating wonderful aerials on arrival. I was not disappointed.







With my bags dropped off, I braved the cold to explore the Magnificent Mile. The Chicago River was pretty much frozen over; that's how cold it was!





The pavement turned white not because of snow, but from the cold!



































The John Hancock's observation deck is quite pricey. I decided to eat lunch at the restaurant on 96/F instead, which the guidebook said was a better deal. I agree.













Are you rich enough to enjoy the lake view?







Looking down, Water Tower looks so small and insignificant amidst all the buildings.



More in the next part, or visit my website : http://www.globalphotos.org/chicago.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Chicago's architecture is not only amazing from the outside, but many buildings' interiors are also worth a visit. While access varies and is typically limited, these small areas alone are already eye-dropping.

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) building dates from the Great Depression and has a lovely Art Deco lobby.









The Marquette Building's lobby has an abundance of sculpted mosaics depicting French explorer Jacques Marquette's journey.





The Palmer House Hotel had a tragic history, being gutted by the Great Fire just days after opening. It was rebuilt and re-opened in 1873, becoming a major social gathering point at the turn of the century. After a $170 million renovation, it is now part of the Hilton chain, although its lobby lounge looks nothing like a multinational's standard cookie-cut design.







Macy's has a tourist information center in the basement, but don't forget to head upstairs to see the beautiful dome ceiling designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It took 50 artisans over 18 months to complete this masterpiece.









The Chicago Cultural Center also has a beautiful stained-glass dome and an intricately-carved interiors.









The Rookery is one of the earliest examples of using steel framing with masonry walls. Its 11 stories reflect a multitude of styles. It has since been renovated back to Frank Lloyd Wright's style and the interior courtyard is a large and bright space that is publicly-accessible.



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You have to have a certain degree of love for winter to survive the cold and snow in the Windy City. A great way to start a cold day is to walk along the new 606 park, which rejuvenated an abandoned rail line.

























This part of town looks quite upscale and leafy. The wide and spacious Humboldt Boulevard was one of several laid out in the area in the 19th century.













Heading back into town for a warm-up break, Union Station's waiting hall is quite grand and impressive with some additional colour lighting.









It is just a short walk across the river to Sears / Willis Tower. I was up on the observation deck on my first visit to Chicago in the 1990s.


 

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This picture is amazing! Have never seen anything like that, with the clouds as a wall above the lake just behind the city. :)

Chicago is one of my favourite cities in the world. Was there in June two years ago and also picked a left window with amazing views. It was mostly sunny but a heavy thunderstorm and the outskirts of a tornado approached the first day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pilsen is southwest of the Loop and has a large Mexican community. It also has many colourful murals decorating the Pink Line's 18th Street station as well as on nearby 16th Street.

















More photos on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/chicago-pilsen.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Chicago's southern suburbs are not a touristy or a particularly safe area. However, the area around the University of Chicago is worth a visit, and is easily accessible by express buses from the Loop that avoid the most iffy areas (routes 2, 6). The residential streets near the university have good architecture and there are nice skyline views from the lakefront.









































More : https://www.globalphotos.org/chicago-south.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Hilton Chicago was built in 1927 and has 1544 rooms over 29 floors.



Just on the other side of the street is Grant Park, a huge swathe of greenery leading to the lake.







Redevelopments are common within the South Loop to increase density.







Printers Row is being revitalized into a residential district.





Previously the Standard Oil Building, the Aon Center was built in 1972. Its original marble cladding was replaced with granite after some panels came off the building.













More on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/chicago.htm
 
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