Today we headed to the Chicago Architecture Foundation for their Downtown Deco tour. I've always thought the art deco style was cool but never really knew what defined art deco so I was really looking forward to learning more about the style made popular during the 20's, 30's and early 40's. In short, the style was first defined in France shortly after World War I and then made its way onto the international stage. The characteristics of art deco are rich colors, bold geometric shapes and ornate designs.
One of our first stops was the Chicago Board of Trade which sits a the end of La Salle Street. The building is an excellent example of the deco style with its vertical lines and lavish medallions attached to the building. The center setback became popular in Chicago as it was important for the city planners the city did not feel closed in with all the skyscrapers.
Other examples of art deco from our stroll...
The One La Salle Street Building is an example of the over the top glamor of art deco...
While Chicago is known for its amazing architecture, it is also the starting point for Route 66. Back in the day, you could start in Chicago and follow Route 66 all the way to Los Angeles.
After our tour, we headed to the Russia Tea Time for some beets, piroshkies and dumplings pelmenis. The Russian tea was delish...particularly loved the silver-clad glass tea cups.
When in Chicago, a visit to Second City is a must! Book your seats early so you can sit at the rail...it's where all the cool kids sit. I don't know when I have laughed so hard for so long! The show was great...who knows, maybe we saw the next Tina Fey or Dan Aykroyd.
We ended a fabulous day with cocktails, apps and dessert at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Building. On the 95th floor is the Signature Room where they serve dinner but you definitely need a reservation and must dress for the occasion. The lounge is a little more casual (though there were some folks that were way too casual in our opinion) and you do not need (nor do they take) reservations. Depending on how busy they are, the wait in the lobby of the building can be long...for us it was about 30 minutes. Then you get in a very speedy elevator up to the 96th floor where you have the most amazing view of Chicago! We arrived just before sunset and had a fabulous table...definitely AOH worthy.