David Zivan 2014-07-26 04:45:45
I was fortunate, recently, to take the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. If you've done the trip—and if you're reading this, I'm betting you have—then you know there's good reason it enjoys a reputation as one of the best things to do with visitors from out of town. First of all, it's fun to ride on a boat, with a captain in uniform who seems pretty serious about his business. You're never in any danger, probably, but there's a little zing of adventure. The guides are trained, fluent with terms like "International Style" and "Italianate," and able to explain contextual architecture, so you can learn a lot. For years now I've gone every summer, often more than once, and I still learn something new every time. That was the funny thing I especially noticed a couple of weeks ago. Not only had more than half the people on the top deck taken the tour before, but at least that many were locals! There are other boats, other tours, other rivers. Why are we so drawn to our own? That's rhetorical, of course. We have so many architectural treasures here that we can't help but care. On some days, no doubt, we take the splendor for granted, but that does not diminish the achievement, which extends to our domestic realms as well. I was asking some colleagues at lunch the other day why they thought we have so many spectacular places to live. The most common answer at the table, funnily enough, was the weather. Our winters can be so rough, they reasoned, that we need to make our domiciles cozy and stylish, places to invite friends and family in from the cold, to share a meal or a celebration. And once we are released to the outdoors, we want to make the most of it. I know my porch and the table I made last summer with a friend have seen a lot of use this season. A stronger case in point is in our home feature this month, "Where Earth Meets Sky," elegantly written by Katie Ann Orr. It's on a tranquil penthouse, right in the hubbub of River North. The inside has been beautifully refreshed, and the entire place welcomes in the broad Midwestern sunshine. Outside, though, the home is surrounded by gardens designed by Hoichi Kurisu, one of the great living masters (a decade ago, for instance, his Anderson Japanese Gardens project in Rockford, Ill., was named the finest Japanese garden on the continent). And there's one of his works—right over our heads! I'd meant to talk about real estate. There's plenty to say, and we've covered a great deal in "High- End On the Rise," our main feature. One thing's for sure: The developers and realtors here will have us looking up for years to come.
Published by Modern Luxury. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/Editor%E2%80%99s+Note/1770787/219037/article.html.