Art Deco Architecture

The Old Modern - Then and Now

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16 notes &

Chicago Motor Club Building, Chicago, IllinoisVintage Advertisement via Forgotten Chicago
Ad placed placed in the Chicago Tribune for the grand opening of the Chicago Motor Club Building, now known as Wacker Place and per the last update on this "Forgotten Chicago" article (May 2011) is currently vacant, after a plan to convert to residential fell through with the country’s economic crisis.
This building has an interesting history. A few highlights, from the article:
The Chicago Motor Club building was designed and completed within 265 days in 1928 and opened January of the next year.
The day prior to the building’s formal opening, which was January 28, 1929, the Chicago Motor Club building was lauded by an anonymous Chicago Tribune reporter as a “temple of transport” and a “monument to the progress of motordom.”
The edifice rises a total of 17 stories — the first is a service floor below the main entrance on Wacker Place. The next two stories contain the lobby, the top floor is a penthouse, while the remaining thirteen are comprised of office space. 
The building is situated on an oddly-shaped small triangular block bounded by Wacker Drive, Wacker Place, and Michigan Avenue. 
In the lobby, the main attraction is a twenty-nine foot wide mural punctuated by three elevators on the west wall. Designed by the notable muralist John Warner Norton, it depicts an abstracted geometric map of the United States which includes major national highways, parks and cities of that time. 
The Chicago Motor Club relocated its headquarters to Des Plaines in 1986, citing the need for less costly storage space, a more economical floor plan, and a centralized location to facilitate more efficient dispatch of emergency services.

Chicago Motor Club Building, Chicago, Illinois
Vintage Advertisement via Forgotten Chicago

Ad placed placed in the Chicago Tribune for the grand opening of the Chicago Motor Club Building, now known as Wacker Place and per the last update on this "Forgotten Chicago" article (May 2011) is currently vacant, after a plan to convert to residential fell through with the country’s economic crisis.

This building has an interesting history. A few highlights, from the article:

  • The Chicago Motor Club building was designed and completed within 265 days in 1928 and opened January of the next year.
  • The day prior to the building’s formal opening, which was January 28, 1929, the Chicago Motor Club building was lauded by an anonymous Chicago Tribune reporter as a “temple of transport” and a “monument to the progress of motordom.”
  • The edifice rises a total of 17 stories — the first is a service floor below the main entrance on Wacker Place. The next two stories contain the lobby, the top floor is a penthouse, while the remaining thirteen are comprised of office space. 
  • The building is situated on an oddly-shaped small triangular block bounded by Wacker Drive, Wacker Place, and Michigan Avenue. 
  • In the lobby, the main attraction is a twenty-nine foot wide mural punctuated by three elevators on the west wall. Designed by the notable muralist John Warner Norton, it depicts an abstracted geometric map of the United States which includes major national highways, parks and cities of that time. 
  • The Chicago Motor Club relocated its headquarters to Des Plaines in 1986, citing the need for less costly storage space, a more economical floor plan, and a centralized location to facilitate more efficient dispatch of emergency services.

Filed under chicago motor club chicago motor club building motor club chicago illinois art deco architecture highrise 1920s advertising vintage advertising chicago history automobile history history downtown chicago

26 notes &

View from Illinois Central Freight Terminal, Chicago, Illinois Historic 1943 photo - Library of Congress
View of Chicago from a rail yard that later, someone notes on Flickr, became the site of Millennium Park. The tall Deco tower on the right is the Pittsfield Building.
From LoC:

Delano, Jack, photographerGeneral view of part of the South Water street Illinois Central Railroad freight terminal, Chicago, Ill.1943 April

This photo comes from an extraordinary photo collection available on Flickr — "1930s-40s in Color." Very few of the photos are anything Deco, as much of the photos are  documentary photos of rural farm workers, WWII factory workers,  Depression-era shantytowns, etc., but I found a few I’ll be sharing.

View from Illinois Central Freight Terminal, Chicago, Illinois
Historic 1943 photo - Library of Congress

View of Chicago from a rail yard that later, someone notes on Flickr, became the site of Millennium Park. The tall Deco tower on the right is the Pittsfield Building.

From LoC:

Delano, Jack, photographer

General view of part of the South Water street Illinois Central Railroad freight terminal, Chicago, Ill.

1943 April

This photo comes from an extraordinary photo collection available on Flickr — "1930s-40s in Color." Very few of the photos are anything Deco, as much of the photos are documentary photos of rural farm workers, WWII factory workers, Depression-era shantytowns, etc., but I found a few I’ll be sharing.

Filed under railroad trains freight trains rail yard illinois central freight terminal chicago illinois 1943 1940s downtown chicago chicago history architecture industrial transportation pittsfield building history skyline