Red 'To Chicago' sign in a black and white photo
Architecture,  Chicago,  Monochrome Madness,  Photographic techniques,  Travel galleries

Gallery: seeing Chicago in black and white

Chicago’s one of the rare places where architecture is more visible

Frank Gehry

As one of my abiding memories of Chicago will be of the architecture, especially the variety in age and style of its skyscrapers, I can’t help but agree with Gehry.

But his contribution to the city wasn’t a skyscraper. In Millennium Park on the Lake Michigan waterfront is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an open-air music venue designed by Gehry. It was designated a work of art rather than a building, to circumvent planning restrictions. And indeed it as much sculpture as it is structure.

As well as the pavilion, Millennium Park is also home to the Bean, properly known as Cloud Gate. This sculpture by Anish Kapoor has become something of an emblem for the city and must certainly be among its most photographed sights. Unfortunately when I was there it was undergoing major renovation and was fenced off, so my photography was somewhat restricted, but I managed to get a half-successful shot.

These are both included in my gallery below along with an example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work that appeared in a previous post. There are plenty of skyscrapers too, both old and new, and a few random details that caught my eye. All were taken in or near downtown Chicago apart from my feature photo which was taken at the station in Hammond. This city borders Chicago to the south and is part of the metropolitan area, but actually lies in Indianna rather than Illinois.

I’m sharing these images of Chicago for Leanne’s Monochrome Madness. As always with these galleries, colour versions of the shots are likely to appear in future posts, and one has already done so. All were edited with Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Modern structure with curved metal beams and metal plates

The Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park

Old and new skyscrapers with a modern curver metal sculpture in front

Cloud Gate aka the Bean, Millennium Park

Looking up at concrete building with angles and decorative touches

Unity Temple, Oak Park

Older building in front of a modern skyscraper

Old and new in the South Loop, Chicago

The Chicago Water Tower, one of very few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Brick tower with turrets

Old stone house surrounded by tall skyscrapers

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum in the former Nickerson Mansion (1858), now surrounded by skyscrapers

Looking up at an ornate skyscraper

The 1920s Tribune Tower

Some of the newest skyscrapers

Three skyscrapers

Traffic lights and skyscrapers part hidden by clouds

Our one rainy morning in the city (just for a couple of hours), looking towards Downtown from River North

City of skyscrapers viewed across water

The downtown Chicago skyline and Millennium Park from Museum Campus

Cluster of skyscrapers, old and new

Downtown skyscrapers viewed from the river

People standing in front of windows overlooking the city

The Tilt experience at 360 Chicago, the observation deck at 875 North Michigan Avenue

Curved concrete structure

Parking ramp for 875 North Michigan Avenue, formerly the John Hancock Center

Detail of the Spearman, one of a pair of sculptures (the other is the Bowman) at the Congress Plaza entrance to Grant Park

Sculpted head and torso of a native American in battle headdress

Large ornate metal hinge

Door hinge of St Michael’s RC Church in the Old Town neighbourhood

I visited Chicago in September 2023


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