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Chicago Willoughby Tower And 6 N Michigan Avenue
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© Christine Till
Chicago's Historic Michigan Boulevard District, the end of historic U.S. Route 66, includes numerous significant buildings on Michigan Avenue facing Grant Park. This district is one of the world's most well known one-sided streets rivalling Fifth Avenue in New York City and Edinburgh's Princes Street.
Tallest building: Willoughby Tower, 8 S. Michigan Avenue
Nothing beats an office with 360 degree city views.
This 438 feet / 134 meters, 38 stories neo-gothic office building is a great example of the sort of structure that made Chicago a living architectural museum. Finished in 1929, the intricate Willoughby Tower stands tall and proud over the Michigan Avenue cliff, presiding over the parade of unique architecture at its sides. Its lobby is trimmed in solid cast and green Italian bronze, with solid bronze doorways. They don't make 'em like these any more!
Second tallest building: 6 N. Michigan Avenue
Built in 1895, Six North Michigan is an intimate luxury condominium high-rise building with supreme views of Chicago's Millenium Park. From 1889 to 1922 this distinctive 21-story structure, was the tallest building in the world.
In spite of being more than one hundred years old, Six North Michigan retains some of its stately features. A tall central shaft with three columns of wide windows are flanked by two lesser wings of narrower windows. The arrangement fools the eye into thinking the north and south portions are set back from the main facade. The stylish building has an art-deco lobby with vaulted ceilings, walnut paneling and limestone floors.
The top of the structure used to support a ten-story tower, topped with a three-story pyramid, a temple, and a weather vane in the shape of the female form. Now that is the way the headquarters of a merchant prince should look! At the time it still sported its glorious tower, it was the headquarters of the Montgomery Ward company; a major player in the American Midwest until the late 20th century. But as Ward's fortunes would crumble, the tower had to be taken down for safety reasons. The observation deck, encased in glass, is still intact. It is now the grand living space of the Penthouse residence of 6 N. Michigan.
October 23rd, 2012
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