Near North

Chicago Historical Society (Chicago History Museum)

The title page of A Brief History of the Chicago Historical Society, published in 1881, tells a story: Organized 1856.Incorporated 1857.Collections Destroyed, October 9, 1871.Re-organized, 1872.Destroyed second time, July 14, 1874.Re-organized again, 1877. It’s a very Chicago story. Of planning and building, of setbacks, of re-building, of more setbacks, and of re-building, again. It’s a …

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Merchandise Mart (theMART)

It’s difficult to comprehend just how big the Merchandise Mart is. You can say it’s four million square feet. You can know it was once the largest commercial building in the world. You can mention that there are six and a half miles of corridors, that the initial plate glass order would stretch for seven …

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Medinah Athletic Club (InterContinental Chicago)

Michigan Avenue just north of the Chicago River is architectural eye candy. There’s the gleaming white Wrigley Building on the west, the Tribune Tower with its flying buttresses on the east, and beyond that is the InterContinental Chicago, an art deco skyscraper with a distinctive yellow dome. That dome is the crown of a madcap …

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Tribune Tower

Completed: 1924Architects: Howells & HoodAddress: 435 N. Michigan Ave. It takes gumption to open your skyscraper’s design to a competition. Of course, it helps if you seed the playing field by paying your favorite architects to participate, and it certainly doesn’t hurt if you’re the one judging the entries. Then it’s not just gumption; it’s …

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