Chicago River

Big changes at London Guarantee

Men working on the facade of the London Guarantee Building, Chicago, October 2014.
The London Guarantee and Accident Building, one of Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks, is being redeveloped.  The massive old building is more or less vacant, and crews are at work all over the exterior, which sports gaping holes where old windows and damaged stone have been removed. More

Cold-weather Chicago

Cold weather Chicago (35 East Wacker), © 2014 Celia Her City
It would have been such a lovely photograph had my camera not malfunctioned.

I was walking south toward the State Street Bridge after lunching with a friend at the Nordstrom Café.  It was cold and windy and had just begun snowing, but I stubbornly ignored the conditions and took a few photographs with my trusty Canon, because I so seldom find myself walking this way.  Plus, the weak grey light made the old grey skyscrapers look all the more showy.

In the viewfinder, the images looked normal, so it was distressing to get home and find that I had been abusing my camera and that each digital image was split between two different settings.

Nonetheless, I thought that, when processed as a black and white image, this one of the Jewelers Building at 35 East Wacker was still worth saving.  If nothing else, it’s a memento of a moment and a day.

Crossing the bridge was a sad reminder of the two young people who died in the river’s icy waters just a few days ago.  Yes, there is some hysteria about the weather, but there are also real hazards in cold-weather Chicago.

West-side industrial

West-side industrial

Yesterday we had to take our car in for service, which meant driving out to the west side on Division.  It’s an old industrial no-man’s-land, with a rusty old bridge over the Chicago River and an old paper factory made of aged red brick.

Crowded river scene

Crowded river scene

The Brown Line trains are running again now that repairs to the Wells Street Bridge have been completed.  It was quite a project!  When I took the train north across the bridge yesterday evening, the river was still crowded with repair barges and equipment.  A tour boat plied the waters, carrying its passengers toward an up-close view of the site.

Busy river (poster), © 2013 Celia Her City

View east of the Chicago River from the upper deck of the Wells Street Bridge.

Images have been ‘posterized.’
Click to enlarge.

One moment in Chicago’s long life

Repair barge in the Chicago River at Wells Street, © 2013 Celia Her City

The city is always building, leading to the complex vista that Celia, commuting, sees daily: the buildings, bridges, and balustrades rimming the River, offering a pleasing spectacle to the passing trains.  Cars, trains, boats, and pedestrians pass distractedly through a landscape that’s the work of many decades and thousands upon thousands of laborers’ hands.

The repair barge in the river, for fixing the bridge, is fleeting evidence of all that goes in to making this the home that we know.

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