CHICAGO: THE WINDY CITY, Salih Gider | 22.10.2015

In the north of the United States, in the state of Illinois, on the banks of Lake Michigan stands Chicago, known as "The Windy City", and the third biggest in the United States.

The things that come to mind when one hears the name of Chicago are the parks full of works of art, musicals, blues, Michael Jordan's NBA team the Chicago Bulls, and the skyscrapers. The first city to construct a skyscraper, Chicago is still home to 3 of the world's 10 tallest buildings.

The most popular skyscraper of the city is the 110-story Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower), which was completed in 1973, and until 1998 was the tallest building in the world. This skyscraper has become the symbol of both the city and the state.

Located on the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower, and made completely out of glass, the Sky Deck Chicago terrace is one of the most popular tourist spots. In this observatory, you feel as if you are walking in the air, and posing for pictures really takes guts.

For me, a more interesting building in terms of its architecture is the Tribune Tower, located on Michigan Avenue. This fascinating piece of architecture was the result of a design competition hosted by the Chicago Tribune in 1922 to construct the most beautiful and distinctive office building in the world. It was built by John Howell and Raymond Hood. The discussions over the competition and the winning project remained in the news for a long time.

On the lowest levels of the Chicago Tribune, there is a stone collection, composed of pieces of rock and brick collected from many important places around the world. Among the stones collected from sites such as the Egyptian Pyramids, the Berlin Wall, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the most interesting one for me obviously was the one from Istanbul. The plate of this stone reads "Mosque of Suleiman The Magnificent 1557 ISTANBUL – TURKEY". Seeing a piece of stone that was carried all the way from my own country to Chicago really moved me.

Another symbol closely identified with Chicago is The Bean, located inside Millennium Park. Known also as the "Cloud Gate," this bean-shaped monument is a center of attention for the tourists. Chicago, with its many monuments in parks and squares, as well as its museums, is a city that is completely integrated with the arts.

There are lots of museums around the Museum Campus district. One of the most significant among these is naturally the Art Institute of Chicago, the second biggest art museum in the United States. Located in Grant Park, the museum features the most important Impressionism and Post-Impressionism collection in the world. 

Lastly, if you do happen to visit Chicago, you should definitely give the famous Deep-Dish Pizza a try.


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