Water Tower, Chicago

By the 1860s, Chicago’s water supply was inadequate for its growing population. To solve the problem, Chief Engineer Ellis S. Chesbrough looked to Lake Michigan. Near-shore lake water was too polluted to be used because of runoff from the Chicago River. This prompted an innovative solution. Chesbrough designed a water supply tunnel system running nearly two miles offshore to an intake crib. When the tunnel was completed in 1867, lake water was pumped back to shore through a pumping station. Because the original pumps produced pressure surges and pulsation in the water, a standpipe system was added in 1869.

William Boyington designed both the pumping works building on the opposite side of Michigan Avenue (then Pine Street) and the Water Tower that houses the standpipe. Both buildings were built with distinctive yellow Joliet limestone, a very popular building material in the city at the time. Built in Boyington’s signature castellated Gothic Revival style, the buildings look like something out of a fairy tale.

This copy was provided by The Chicago Architecture Foundation. The site is well worth a visit.

Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago

In the beginning Holy Name was not a cathedral church. The history of Holy Name Cathedral Parish is as much the story of Catholic immigrants and their new city, Chicago, as it is the story of bishops and seminaries. The Chicago Fire, the Chicago Subway, and most importantly, the dynamic changes within the city’s population and the Church itself, all left their mark on the Holy Name community. From the Holy Name Website

Poetry Foundation of Chicago (granted, a small piece of it)

The first space in Chicago dedicated solely to the art of poetry, the Poetry Foundation building realizes Harriet Monroe’s dream, set out in her very first editorial, that the magazine would help poets pursue their art, increase public interest in poetry, and raise poetry’s profile in our culture. It also is Poetry’s first permanent home in its 100-year history. Designed by the Chicago firm John Ronan Architects, the building helps the Foundation to carry out its mission: to discover and celebrate the best poetry and place it before the largest possible audience. This text taken from Poetry Foundation Website

More great photos and information.

Butch McGuire’s Irish Pub, Christmas Day, 2016

From McGuire’s website

By Bobby McGuire

I was raised the son of a Chicago Irish saloon keeper. I believed that everyone grew up the same way I did: always surrounded by a very large extended family… a traveling party if you will. Wonderful people were always around during holidays, birthdays, weekends, and vacations. As I grew older I realized I was not living the average life but a very unique one; one I wanted to carry on. I never dreamed of being anything but an Irish saloon keeper. I have always felt that it was my job in life to follow in my father’s footsteps and carry on his many wonderful traditions. Although, I think I will leave out the part where I fire my son at least a dozen times for crimes against humanity! All the firings and other traditional irish expressions of affection did not deter me; today I am my father’s son and living the legacy that is Butch McGuire’s. Butch taught me a great deal about this business and I often remember his words of advice. He also gave me the confidence to find my own way and that is the most valuable lesson of them all. To those of you have been coming here for the last 50+ years, I hope you find Butch McGuire’s as inviting as ever, and for those of you just discovering us, welcome to the world famous Butch McGuire’s, please come in and say hi. I am the big guy by the front door.


Lake Michigan begins its transformation from water to ice

People from throughout the Midwest and beyond flock to Lake Michigan in the warm summer months. Although not quite as comfortable, exploring Lake Michigan during the winter is much more dramatic. Normally ice starts to cover the lake in January and begins its big thaw in March. The ice on the lake is getting a head start this year, which doesn’t mean much. Or it could mean it’s going to be the coldest damn winter in the history of Chicago. Near the lower third of my photograph you’ll see a flock of white birds. I have no idea what those are. For some mind-twisting photographs of ice on Lake Michigan, check out the work of photographer, Tom Gill.

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