Posts Tagged ‘Old St. Patricks Church Chicago’

Many structures highlighted in this Chicago architectural running tour are found within the first couple miles. The remainder of this tour will highlight buildings on the remaining 24 miles of the marathon route. If you missed the earlier posts, visit the Chicago Marathon architectural tour Mile 1 and the Chicago Marathon architect tour Mile 2

The third mile of the marathon begins as you turn off State Street onto Jackson. The next  building on the route to watch for is the massive Monadnock Block Building (53 W. Jackson  Blvd.) at the corner of Jackson and South Dearborn. This 197-foot tall building lays claim as the world’s first skyscraper, and is the tallest building that is fully supported by load-bearing masonry walls. Burnham & Root designed the north portion of the building that was completed in 1891. The south half was constructed in 1893 and designed by Holabird & Roche. When the south portion was complete, Monadnock Block was the largest office building in the world. Chicago Board of Trade

You are on Jackson for just three blocks before turning onto LaSalle. On your left at the corner of Jackson and LaSalle is the Chicago Board of Trade (141 West Jackson Boulevard). The Art Deco building was designed by Holabird & Root and completed in 1930. Look up to the 13-foot diameter clock and then look all the way up to the top of the building, where a 31-foot-tall sculpture of the Roman goddess Ceres is perched. At 605-feet tall, the 45-story Chicago Board of Trade was the tallest building in Chicago until 1965.

While on LaSalle, between 3.5 and 4 miles, look east and up to see the John Hancock Building (875 N. Michigan Avenue). John Hancock is an excellent example of structural expressionist style. Look for the X-bracing distinctive exterior, an architectural technique that made its record height possible. This 100-story, 1,127-foot skyscraper was the second tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1970, topped only by the Empire State Building. The John Hancock Building is now the sixth tallest building in the U.S., and the fourth tallest in Chicago. Willis Tower, Trump Tower and Aon Center are all taller than John Hancock.

You may have caught glimpses of the Willis Tower earlier, but you will run right past it as you turn from Franklin onto Adams just before Mile 13. The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower, and affectionately referred to now as “Big Willy”) at 233 S. Wacker Drive was completed in 1974 and reigned as the tallest building in the world until 1998. It is now the ninth tallest building in the world, but still the tallest U.S. building.

Four blocks after you cross the Chicago River, on the right side is the 1856 Old St. Patrick’s Church at 700 West Adams Street. This Romanesque architectural style building is one of only a few structures in the line of fire to survive the Chicago Fire of 1871, making it one of the oldest public buildings in Chicago.

The next buildings of note will be at Mile 23. Settle in and enjoy the run through Greektown, West Loop, Little Italy, the Illinois Medical District, Pilsen and Chinatown. There is plenty to capture your attention. Enjoy the views.

After Mile 22 as you turn onto 33rd Street to run over the Dan Ryan, you will see two red brick and granite Victorian-era buildings. The Illinois Institute of Technology’s Main Building and Machinery Hall are prominent Romanesque Revival buildings that are in sharp contrast to the many examples of Miesian architecture found throughout the IIT campus.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a pioneer of modern architecture who coined the phrases “Less is more” and “God is in the details.” His glass-and-steel architecture is known for its minimalist simplicity. The Illinois Institute of Technology campus has a number of outstanding examples of his work. There are 20 Mies buildings on the IIT campus and we will run past six of them;

  • Wishnick Hall,3255 South Dearborn
  • Perlstein Hall, 10 West 33rd
  • Siegel Hall, 3301 South Dearborn
  • Crown Hall, 3360 South State
  • Cunningham Hall, 3100 South Michigan
  • Bailey Hall, 3101 South Wabash

At 33rd and Dearborn you will run between two metal and glass buildings; Siegel Hall will be on your right and Wishnick Hall on your left. Perlstein Hall is set back from the road next to Wishnick.  One block after you turn on State Street, you will pass Crown Hall on your right. Many regard Crown Hall as Mies’ finest work. Three buildings comprising the Institute of Gas Technology complex is on the next block, on the same side of the street as Crown Hall.

Cunningham Hall is about five blocks from the Institute of Gas Technology complex on the corner of 31st and Michigan. It will be on your left. Look behind Cunningham Hall and you will see Bailey Hall, a similar structure that is also a Mies design. Mile 24 is two blocks from Cunningham Hall and Bailey Hall.

At Mile 25 you enter the Prairie District. Second Presbyterian Church, located at 1936 S. Michigan Avenue, is on the corner of Michigan and Cullerton. This Gothic Revival building with a limestone and sandstone exterior was constructed in 1874. Architect James Renwick also designed New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C. The building features 20 stained glass windows by artists Louis C. Tiffany, Sir Edward Burne-Jones and others.

After the Second Presbyterian Church, you have just one mile to go. Let’s face it, at this point you probably could care less about anything other than getting to the finish line. You will hit a rise in elevation as you turn right onto Roosevelt. Walk it if you must, and enjoy the fact that you will see the finish line as soon as you turn left onto Michigan.

Good luck!