a wandering woman writes

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Home Sweet Skyline

Time for good news from home, which I'm ashamed to say I've picked up late. (You'd think I was living in Spain or something.)

I read in the IHT that sweet home Chicago is getting a new star skyscraper smack dab in the middle of the world's most spectacular skyline. (Don't argue, I have an Irish-American temper. Plus I'm right.)

At 2000 feet, it'll be the tallest in the US, beating the (yet-to-be built) Freedom Tower at Ground Zero in NY, at a very patriotic 1776 feet, which really doesn't interest me as much as the nifty sleek design by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Here's the IHT article and look! it already made the Chicago Architecture Guide, modified skyline image and all.

It's a spindly, twisting glass needle of a building. And I like the inspiration; it suits an overgrown, swampy trading post. Calatrava told the Sun-Times:

"I know that Chicago is an Indian name, and I can imagine in the oldest time the Native Americans arriving at the lake and making a fire, with a tiny column of smoke going up in the air. With this simple gesture of turning one floor a little past another, you achieve this form." -Santiago Calatrava, Chicago Sun-Times, July 26, 2005.

Check out my 2 favorite Chicago buildings here and here. Before moving to Salamanca (ok, also a fabulous skyline) I lived in the ugly (taller) monstrosity behind the Wrigley (which, yes, has a tower modeled after La Giralda in Sevilla, photo at the top of this post) in the first link.

What started all this skyline nostalgia? A-9 Maps. I came back from my daily pincho the other day to find my coworker touring Chicago. I joined him and we virtually walked home from my old job on Jackson to that highrise behind the Wrigley. Beats google maps, if you ask me. You can get a street level view of a pretty good collection of cities. Just in case anybody else is feeling city nostalgia. Or virtual wanderlust!



  • I'm not sure how I feel about that skyscraper! I think the skyline is gorgeous as it is... but that's just me!

    This is my first comment on your blog, but I've been enjoying it for about a week now after stumbling across it. (Don't ask me how -- it's very six degrees of Kevin Bacon!) I lived in Spain (primarily Madrid) for about three months last summer and blogged about my adventures. It wasn't nearly long enough and I can't wait to go back! You write beautifully and I have really loved reading your entries -- they bring back great memories!

    By Blogger Angie, at 10:08 PM  

  • Hi Angie!
    Thanks for the visit (and the compliment!)

    I know what you mean..but its Chicago! I feel like Chicago's always changing, except for the Cubbies, no? What if they had said it was gorgeous enough 50 years ago or 20 or 10? I hate the new Gehry thing at Millenium Park on Michigan, (have you seen it?) now that I think about it, but I'm liking this design....

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 10:42 PM  

  • I´m live in a small city and I enjoy it. I often go to my village which is even smaller and I enjoy too. But, I really find amazing the sensations you make me feel when you talk about this enormous buildings. What it´s more you have been living in one!
    I would feel small ant near them, I suppose.
    It wasn´t until I heard of NY and american cities than I discover there was a thing called "skyline". Actually, I doubt spanish cities had it.

    Sorry for my spanglish, I try to do my best.

    By Blogger Nomadita, at 4:01 PM  

  • I haven't been to Chicago in about a year and a half (I live in northeastern Indiana), so I haven't the "Gehry thing" of which you speak. :) I'll check it out next time.

    I was thinking about this, and I remember that before I went to Madrid, I saw photos of the Torres Kio in Plaza de Castilla and I thought they looked ridiculous. But the first time I saw them in person, I was blown away. I usually ended up taking the bus from our apartment in the northern suburbs to Plaza de Castilla every day, and I always loved walking into the sunlight (and it was always sunny!) from the Subway tunnel entrance and seeing those towers. They're just awesome to see in person, as I'm sure you know. So, I'll reserve judgement on the Chicago tower until I see it! :)

    And those Cubbies... I wish they WOULD change and start winning! But it won't be this season, lol.

    By Blogger Angie, at 5:12 PM  

  • Thank you for commenting, Ana!!! In English, not an ounce of Spanglish. Salamanca had a famous skyline a lot longer than Chicago, and Toledo, too, no?....I like skylines, seeing a whole city in one view, knowing nobody really planned it that way (100% anyway.)

    Angie, I have to tell you-- I grew up a BoSox fan, then moved to Chicago and just felt right at home with perennial losers in a beautiful old ballpark.
    And I had the world view shift of my life when the Sox finally won the series. And when I thought for a little while that they might play each OTHER in a world series - existential crisis. Luckily it didn't happen.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 7:56 AM  

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    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 7:57 AM  

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