Tim Foolery

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Chicago: Behind the Clock Tower

I am involved with a great organization called the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). I’ve been involved since I moved to Chicago nearly 11 years ago.  The specific group in the CAF that I am involved with is organized to be a fundraising arm of the umbrella organization. One of the added benefits to being a member of this smaller group is that we get some great behind the scenes tours throughout Chicagoland area.

In the past we’ve taken hard hat tours of buildings currently under construction, met with architects and designers to discuss their new projects and gained access to private spaces that are otherwise unreachable to mere mortals.

Tuesday night was another event (technically, it was our annual meeting) where we were given a great behind the seasons tour. This time we visited the World of Whirlpool Design Center at the Chicago River on LaSalle Street. This building is from 1914 and was the former home Chicago Traffic Court.

Obviously, the most prominent aspect of this red brick building is the central clock tower.  I really love this building – it is surrounded by modern high rises, but sits majestically along the river.

We were able to tour the penthouse space as well as the clock tower.  The view of the clock tower from the inside is amazing.  I’ve never seen the inside of a clock tower before – so beautiful.

The Design Center also has a great outdoor entertaining space where we had a lovely dinner.

The views of the Loop and the River North area were so great and unique.  It might not be the tallest building in the area, but it offers a view that you can’t get anywhere else.

Sorry for the poor quality pictures, I had to take these shots with my phone. Why wouldn’t I bring my camera to an event like this?  You’d think that after 10 years of taking these amazing once in a life time tours, I’d remember to bring a camera. Oh well, next time.

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