The picture opportunities are always phenomenal. Here are some flashbacks to a few of my all-time favorite snapshots; these are from 2014 when Adam and I visited City Hall:
|Presiding over Chicago City Council|
|Taking charge at the Aldermanic Offices|
Now fast-forwarding back to 2016. I went to sites on both Saturday and Sunday, so let's talk about each day's visits.
In the last two years, I've focused on downtown sites. This year, I wanted to branch out a bit. I had seen some breathtaking snapshots taken from the Ukrainian Village, so this neighborhood was on the top of my list. Here's what I saw:
Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Of course, hearing this made me wonder whether my favorite Blackhawks player, Artemi Panarin, has ever been there. He is Russian and known to be quite religious, so it would seem to be the perfect fit, yes???
Saint Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
Onsite, I learned this is a remodeled German Lutheran church. It is intriguing to me when houses of worship are redesigned for different audiences, so to speak. I loved the multidimensional ceiling with the beautiful artwork.
Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral
I was stunned by the beautiful domes, paintings, stained glass, and blue ceilings adorned with what reminded me of a starry sky. I learned this building was modeled after St. Sophia Cathedral in the Ukraine.
Sts. Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church
Apparently St. Volodymyr is very prominent since the Ukrainian Village has two houses of worship that bear his name. Once again, I was awestruck by the lush blue and gold hues, the enormous and ornate chandelier, and the intricate artwork.
To conclude Saturday: The Ukrainian Village is a neighborhood in which I haven't done much exploring, but seeing these four spectacular churches definitely piqued my interest to spend more time there!
Today, it was back to the downtown area to see some sights closer to home. After seeing the four churches the day before, I was looking forward to mixing things up on Day 2. Adam joined me for the first four sites of the day. Together we saw:
The Chicago Board of Trade
Being a finance major, I was hoping to see the trading floor. I had been plotting out photo ops where I would be pretending to buy and sell futures and options. =D Unfortunately, we learned upon arrival that the floor is generally closed to the public. Bummer!
Nevertheless, we got to go into the CBOT's enormous vault. This was the vault door:
No messing around with this vault! It reminded me of the scenes from Ocean's Eleven. When I walked in, I had Basher's voice in my head saying, "Oh, leave it out. You tossers! You had one job to do!"
|Ocean's Eleven aficionados, you all recognize this scene, yes?|
Here are some of the lockboxes inside the vault:
Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture
This is a penthouse architecture office. I am guessing it is a very high-powered firm.
Based on what I've heard about architecture firms in general, I can imagine a lot of feverish late nights have been worked in these areas.
The space had fabulous city views and amenities, such as this little courtyard inlet:
I would enjoy eating lunch out there when the weather is nice! It'd be a great miniature escape from the computer.
From the Open House Chicago website:This innovative firm specializes in consumer neuroscience research. As people watch TV or view content on computer screens, state-of-the-art tools measure biometrics, facial muscle movement, eye gaze, reaction times and more. These metrics have become critical resources for many of the largest brands in the entertainment industry and beyond.
Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos, so here is a photo from the Open House site:
I got to try a biometric analysis using a computer that measured my facial expressions and eye movements. It was scary to witness how accurately the machines could detect what I was doing. Very sci-fi!
During our visit, we learned MediaScience was recruiting folks to participate in paid research studies using their systems. I signed up. =)
Adam and I both used to work less than a block away from the Loop Synagogue. During that time, I've probably walked past it a few thousand times, but never noticed it was there.
On the first floor, there was a smaller worship room of which I didn't take pictures. This room had a divider for traditional Orthodox Jewish practices, in which men and women did not sit together. From what I understand, such practices are not common in our current day and age, so this was a bit of a surprising discovery.
On the second floor was a much larger worship area, complete with stadium seats (Adam said this is since services can be quite lengthy):
Check out the gorgeous full-length stained-glass wall:
I loved the designs and can imagine how stunning the backdrop must be during worship.
At this point, Adam headed home to take care of a few things while I continued on to two more sites.
Many years ago, I worked for a firm who was a strong supporter of the Joffrey Ballet. The firm loaned staff to the Joffrey Ballet on a rotational basis, so I got to work in the Joffrey Ballet's development team for a few months. It was a really fun experience and it was unique to witness the operations behind the scenes. At the time, the Joffrey Ballet was located in a different building, so this was my first time seeing their new home.
Visitors saw a sampling of some of the stage costumes, and learned about the enormous amount of time and expense invested in the dancers' shoes and outfits:
Then we got to see one of the practice facilities, which had breathtaking city views:
It was interesting to learn about all the considerations that went into designing the practice studio. E.g., The ceiling were very high to accommodate jumps/throws; the floor featured softer landing surfaces to be easier on the joints; and each studio included sound-proofing such that multiple practice studios could operate simultaneously without side disturbance.
Marquee at Block 37
This was my final site visit. I thought this was an office, so I was surprised to discover it is a luxury residential building. Visitors got to see a studio and a one-bedroom apartment.
|Note the view of the colorful building artwork visible outside the window|
Staff even showed us the rental prices. They were high, but the downtown location obviously commands a very high premium. Further, the building has resort-like amenities. This picture of the pool deck definitely does not do it justice:
One of the best parts: The building had a perfect view of Daley Plaza. You could see the Picasso statue as well as the Daley Plaza fountains, which are dyed blue for the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs:
Pretty cool, eh?
That concluded my 2016 Open House Chicago site visits! I managed to see a total of ten sites over two days, which is an Open House PR for me. The two days were such a fun experience. I am already looking forward to next year's Open House Chicago weekend!
Linking up with Lauren, Van, Isabel and Marcella for Wanderful Wednesday; with Chris and Heather, Lauren, Ashley, Amanda and Brian, and Carolann and Macrae for Weekend Wanderlust; and with Lyn, Arnie and Jo, Sally-Ann, Anda, and Anisa and Katherine for The Weekly Postcard.