Chicago is located on the west side, the Wisconsin side, of Lake Michigan. A seven and one-half hour crossing of Lake Michigan is required to reach Chicago from St. Joseph, MI. Finally, a day with calm waters occurred, though it was a hazy day. Given the choice, smooth waters will always win out over beautiful views.
Adding a bit of color and a few challenges, a sailing race was taking place off Chicago's shores.
Clear skies on our departure from the harbor brought gleaming buildings to view.
Chicago is the world capital of skyscrapers. Many of the tallest building across the country and around the world were designed by Chicago architects. A visit to this city is incomplete without time spent studying and viewing the architecture, old and new.
|An Irish Pub wins the award for decorating with flowers|
Two architecturally interesting buildings are the old and new libraries located in downtown. The old library now serves as an art and visitor information center. One of the features in this building is the Tiffany glass dome. The images below are the entire dome, then the close-ups of the segments within the dome.
The new library wears an architecture vastly different than any other building in Chicago.
An architectural feature of many buildings is an ornate clock, often mounted on the corner of a building at the intersection of two streets. One should always know the time in Chicago without much effort.
The citizens of Chicago are unhurried, warm, friendly, and giving. The atmosphere on the streets was more comfortable and welcoming than many large cities. One resident described Chicago as a large city with a mid-westerner attitude. While studying the unstaffed ticket machines in the subway, attempting to determine how to purchase the correct amount of ticket needed for a trip, a woman with a violin walked up to assist. She explained that the small amount of fare that we needed to purchase was not available on the machine that accepted credit cards and that the machine that accepted cash only should be used. But, the cash machine did not give change and the crew did not small bills. She insisted, and continued to insist after argument, that she would buy subway tickets for us. Wonderful people.
A wide variety of sculpture adds to the parks and downtown areas in Chicago. Traditional and very innovative new styles and techniques add greatly to the beauty and interest of this city.
Leaving Chicago through the Bridges
Heading south from Chicago on a boat is an adventure and an amazing tour of architecture. Part of the adventure is navigating the bridges - 50 bridges in the 23 mile long Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal. (The first 94 miles of the Potomac River had one bridge, one that was over 90 feet tall.) Most of the Chicago bridges are designed to open, but opening a bridge would snarl traffic for hours. And, one bridge that has only 17' clearance from the water, does not open. So, to travel the canal, boats must be shortened to less than 17 feet.
|The Skyline Viewed While Leaving DuSable Harbor|
|Entering the Lock|
|Approaching DuSable Bridge, Michigan Avenue|
|Not Much Clearance|
|Close Enough to Touch|
|Approaching the Columbus Avenue Bridge|
|Another Tight Squeeze|
|The Buildings Create a Canyon|
|Looking Back after Passing Under a Dozen or More Bridges|
|Must Wait for Commuter Train Lull to Have Bridge Raised|
|The Railroad Bridge That Does Not Open, Looks Much Too Low|
|Looks Even Lower as Distance Closes|
|Bent Girders Indicate Some Boats Were Too Tall, Inches to Spare for Last Dance|