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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Seen From Above - U of C


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Well, I did another post on that google overhead sightseeing blog. Just in case they don't use it I am going to list it most of the relevant information here and add some personal details.

As you might guess, some of this information come from actually walking around and being there.

Since the blog I posted this at was all about the aerial photos
I didn't mention the joys of eating at Medici on 57th Street. The Annual 57th Street Children's Book Fairs or Arts Fairs. The great music at the 10:00 mass at St. Thomas, or eating at Mellow Yellow on 53rd Street. But you can't see those things from the sky, now can you?

Nor can you see all the good times you had with friends who now live far away and you wish would write more, as if you did, of course, that is one of the reasons for this blog. Hope this brings back some happy memories.

Especially for Paul and Virg who just had a little girl, Jane Marie! Congrats!

The Court Theater and The University of Chicago Campus.

University of Chicago Seen From Above

If we use the Midway, the grassy line on the bottom as a reference, the main quadrangle of the U of C is the copper topped square of buildings with a bisected circle in the middle in the center of the photo.

The Midway itself, gets its name from the strip's role as the Carnival Midway during the Columbian Exposition of 1869. The world's largest Ferris Wheel once stood here and thousands gathered to ride it.

The Fairgrounds extended all the way to Jackson Park and Lake Michigan to the East and the Museum of Science and Industry Buildings include statuary and perhaps building sections from the fair.

On the far west end of the Midway, just across Cottage Grove Avenue, you can see Sculptor Lorado Taft's Fountain of Time which marks the West end of the Midway. The East End is theoretically marked by the Illinois Central tracks and the 59th Street station, but in fact, if you follow the street it will take you through the park to the Museum of Science and Industry (see previous link).

Just North of the Quad through the gargoyled Quad gate onto 57th street that you can only see from ground level is a massive grey building which is the Regenstein Library known as "The Reg" (Rayg). Inside are wonders to make a researchers heart throb, but you better be one to have a hope of getting in past the main desk.

Underneath the quad, linking all of the buildings, are in fact a series of heating tunnels that link all of the underground labs in the quad. Essentially, you can move from one lab to another without going above ground, not a bad thing at 3 am in the morning in Hyde Park, even if the U of C does have the World's largest Private Police force and a sharp one at that.

World Famous Court Theatre is just right of the marking on Ellis Avenue. To the left of it is the New Stagg Field. A much airier and open place than the original Stagg field under which the world's first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction occurred. A statue marking the spot,
(Photo and Map to Nuclear Energy Sculpture) is on the west side of the Regenstein Library between 56th and 57th. From the sky Moore's sculpture appears as a black dot in white square just north of green tennis courts north of the Reg.

One block North of the Quad is Woodlawn Avenue, Stag Field and Court Theatre are on the South Side of Ellis. On the North East corner of Ellis and 55th is a long thin black building that hosts Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap. Hardly and architectural landmark except that in the comedy back room some comic greats got their start including Ed Asner, and Stiller & Meara.

Just East of Jimmy's is an architectural treasure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's student Barry Byrne, St. Thomas the Apostle Church and Rectory, which are elegant both indoors and out. The Church faces east. The building that faces Woodlawn avenue to the west is the parish school.

The park east of St. Thomas is known locally as "Egg Park" because of the large marble egg statuary that makes its home there and sometimes goes missing.

If you move South a few blocks out of the scene you will see one more thing of interest. Where a CTA streetcar turnaround once stood, is a two building high rise condominium complex with underground parking designed by famed Japanese Architect Minoru Yamasaki, designed to take advantage of the street design where the street bends around the building in each direction.

I also did not mention my favorite chill out spot in the submission,
Promontory Point where I used to love to go to sit in the sun, ride my bike, play our own version of field bocci, or just have a picnic. The point's configuration made cool breezes coming in off the lake a sure bet. Even commemorated a wedding there. My friends and I spent many happy times there.

That closes this file.

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