Author: Lins/Davis (+ MR.PAM)--- Date: 11/10/95--- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC

Chicago Architecture Foundation: River Cruise
Tour info (312) 922-TOUR

The boat tour offered a lesson in presence. Chicago has built for it's river.

Chicago is a city with a mighty architectural presence. In comparison I viewed New York as being laid to waste because of the likes of Donald Trump, people with casino taste.

Chicago's skyline is best viewed from the river. It wasn't always that way. It was an unplanned typhoid nightmare before the fire. Then, they reversed the flow of the river, whisked all the disease and garbage towards the Mississippi and started rebuilding.

Katherine said; "from the beginning, at least from the time of the great fire of 1871, Chicago has made architecture, especially the skyscraper, an important part of it's urban planning, not in the sense that it sought to develop a Chicago style, but rather an architectural vision."

Katherine was our guide. Make sure you get Katherine - she's good. She's architecturally savvy and has that wry mid-western sense of humor and fashion (she wore a hooded sweatshirt and jeans with pleats). She was much admired for her ability to fend off non-related questions, such as the ones asked by people not paying much attention or wearing headphones.

She took what by itself was already a breathtaking view of the city and made each example come to life and relate to the other buildings around it. Even though she had to stop talking mid-building because the boat was moving out of range, she deftly picked up the thread later, on the way back and fitted some other piece of info into the stream of the tour.

Of course the activity of this tour - the boat ride - is all pleasure. The buildings and the views are the spectacle. Nothing beats the Marina Towers (the Corn Cobs) by Bertrand Goldberg Associates, 1964. The bottom half of the towers is used for parking - a Matchbox Museum. Also look for:

Helena Curtis International
Lawrence Hallberg, 1927 (renovated in the late '80's)

333 West Walker
Kohn Pederson Fox; Perkins and Will, 1983

This tour provides a rare opportunity for anyone to get off the sidewalk.


Rhythms, Resolutions, and Clusters (cd)

Thrill Jockey Records
P.O. Box 476794
Chicago Ill. 60647-6794

available in NYC at Throb,
201 E. 14th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)

A soundtrack for a river boat cruise to go building watching. Dub intro sits you and I down and we put on sunglasses for some exceptionally bright fall sun.

Not a trip, but the soundtrack for a trip. Lo-Fi ambient sends us on down the river.

Goopy goopy funk groove, so we turn around and head back to First Lady Landing. These buildings are Quite lovely.

Nothing but bass, not sampled, tape-loop as we get back to the landing.


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Ex Chicagoan --

333 West Walker? How about WACKER. You might add that there is East, West, North, and South as well as upper and lower Wacker Drive.