One of the great things about commuting home on the bus is how slow it is. Sometimes I take the so-called express bus up out of LaSalle that travels along Wacker to Lake Shore Drive. Along Wacker, with all the lights, we lose lots of time. But this time to admire the buildings and even take pictures if I’ve got the right seat and the windows are clean.
So it was today as the bus stood in traffic near the Wrigley Building. Everyone who love this building is happy these days because the new owners of this grand old structure are renovating it. (Read Blair Kamin for all the details.) Its terra-cotta facade has been cleaned and restored, while at the street level it’s been stripped of a recent, anachronistic modification that desecrated the plaza in between the two buildings. (The Wrigley is actually two towers connected only by a covered walkway on the Michigan Avenue side.)
The Wrigley Building has one of the city’s best locations, with open sight lines from along the River, the Michigan Avenue Bridge, and distant Lake Shore Drive. The Wrigley greets visitors to the Magnificent Mile, projecting an image at once dignified and fun. Its funky trapezoidal shape, wedding-cake trimmings, and angular clock tower remain commanding, despite the proximity of many other eye-catching (and some substantially taller) buildings. (The Intercontinental Hotel and the Tribune Tower are two, at right.)
Such was the moment, as we waited for the light.