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10th Nov 2017
Farewell to the Windy City

We took a 3.5h bus and walking tour of architectural highlights this morning, which included visits to the campus of the University of Chicago housing the 1906 Robie House of Frank Lloyd Wright, buildings by Mies van der Rohe at The Illinois Institute of Technology, and even a peak at the Obama home. We could spend days longer exploring this city, but finished with a quirky curiosity: the Sky Chapel. The First Methodist Church (called the Chicago Temple) in the city is a 23 storey building, with a church on the ground floor, many levels of commercially rented space, and atop all that a gothic tower and steeple. In the hexagonal tower are three floors of accommodation for the senior pastor and above that a tiny round chapel of wood and stained glass, that holds only 30 people and is used for just occasional weddings or special services. It is the highest worship space in the world - i.e. highest from the ground - and open daily for tours at 2pm. The chapel was built in 1952 funded by the Walgreen family (a famous pharmacy chain in the US).

See Geoff’s photos for a taste of what we saw today. Tomorrow we leave very early to fly to San Francisco, leaving behind this lovely place. It doesn’t have the picturesque geography of Sydney, and is very flat, but for those who love architecture it is definitely a place of pilgrimage.

PS: almost every day we have been asked “Are you Twins?” We are bemused by this, but we are thinking of getting a T-shirt saying “No We Aren’t!”

Next: Back on the Pacific Rim
Previous: The Sweet Life

Diary Photos

A model of Chicago downtown.

Frank Lloyd Wright lobby makeover of The Rookery building.

Entrance to a Chicago bank.

Gold opulance - the many delights if you know where to look.

FLW Robie House at Uni of Chicago.

Robie House fireplace.

FLW didn't believe in curtains or blinds. Inside looking out.

FLW Robie House has a Japanese feel.

Outside Robie House (1906)

Robie House is on a lovely street in the Uni of Chicago.

Entrance pedestrain boulevard at the Uni of Chicago.

A glimpse at the Uni of Chicago library as we drove by: mostly undergorund.

I put down my gun to take this photo! Are rifles allowed?

Fantastic Illinois Tech student center. The architects enclosed the elevated rail line.

The rail line from inside.

Student Center magic.

A wonder of colour: Illinois Tech Student Center.

Illinois Tech Student Center.

Illinois Tech Student Center: You only see these faces after the photo is taken! Magic.

The other side of the Illinois Tech Student Center.

Chicago, Chicago ...: what a great city.

You would have to have a large finger!

Tiffany glass ceiling: Chicago cultural center.

A different view of the Gehry wonder.

Intricate work inside the Chicago cultural center.


The theologian and the poet.

The Methodist church making some good business decisions in the past.

Ceiling of the Methodist sky chapel (on top of a 23 storey building owned by the Methodist church).

Beautiful carved wooden alter frontal: Jesus weeping for the city.

Out of one of the stained glass windows: a long way down.

The sky chapel.

The pastor has his own terrace with a view, 23 storeys up.

The Methodist Chcago Temple main church on the ground floor with a 3 million dollar organ.

Outside wall of the Methodist Chicago temple with Miro sculpture and stained glass windows.

Chicago downtown mural

Chicago Maceys getting ready for Xmas.

Inside Chicago Maceys: another temple?

Waiting for our train: farewell Chicago.

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