San Diego, CA
Chicago - Chase Tower
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© Christine Till
Built from 1964 to 1969, the 850 feet / 259 meter, 60 floors high, JPMorgan Chase Tower stands watch as the most prominent architectural feature of Chicago's central Loop.
The building's most noticeable physical aspects are the graceful slopes of its Northern and Southern flanks. They induce a bit of forced perspective and make the tower seem taller than it is, but were designed to serve a purely utilitarian function. At the time this building was erected, the bank that commissioned it needed a large contiguous floorplate at ground level to handle daily transactions while at the same time offering high-placed executives equally high offices in the tower portion of the building. The solution was a downward slope that also adds geometric interest to what would otherwise be a fairly bland rectangle.
An unusual sensation can be experienced by placing a foot on one of the curving piers, then looking up to the top: this gives the illusion that it is possible to run up the skyscraper.
But Chase Tower is not only noted for its concave sides but also for its plaza, containing a large mosaic donated by Marc Chagall called the 'Four Seasons'.
October 12th, 2012
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