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Chicago’s most photographed building has to be…

July 30, 2009

Corncobs or to be more accurate sunflowers. Sear’s (Willis) Tower doesn’t come close because the more accessible and attractive building to photographers are these tasty pieces of architecture. The twin cobs of corn may not be Chicago’s tallest landmarks but they’re not the shortest either. Both being sixty five storeys high, they stand side by side — like middle-aged giant sunflowers — overlooking the river. Somehow the architect must have envisaged Van Gogh or driven past fields of the brilliant yellow flowers fourty five or so years ago.

Unusal in design, the Corncobs don’t claim to be sexy in any other form. Solid concrete structures, carparking on the lower levels and inner-city living on top, they are replete with texture, lines and angles, making them photogenic layer upon layer and as a whole.

by Cate

by Cate

Chicago certainly does captivate with its icons and features, while the city possesses the tallest building in the US, it’s also in possession of awe factor: old meets new, glass versus steel, river fun and rail grime, what more can a visitor ask for particulary one with a camera, sketch pad or writer’s notebook.

by Cate

by Cate

And the ‘Corncobs’, as affectionatley labelled by the locals, are true examples of  the ‘dare to be different’ thinking from the 1960s. Even the more contemporary buildings have to conform this level of thought.

by Cate

by Cate

To the newcomer, these twin tower corncobs are easy to see, located right on the riverfront in Marina City within walking distance from most major hotels. If you’re curious and need to know more about the history of thse towers click here: Chicago Corncob Towers

I really loved these buildings so you’ll be seeing these feature on and off through my photos on Chicago. For more photos and inspiration go to Photo Friday @Delicious Baby

Caffeinated Traveller

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  1. July 31, 2009 10:15 am

    I always take the architectural boat tour when I’m in Chicago, and the Corncobs are one of my favorite sights from the water. Such an imaginative and effective solution to the need for downtown residences…
    Your photos are terrific!

  2. July 31, 2009 12:34 pm

    Your pictures are great. You have captured the beauty of geometry.

  3. July 31, 2009 1:04 pm

    Very cool pictures. Had not seen the Corncob. Thanks for stopping by and rating my site. Yea, the comments issue is a real problem with blogspot. I wasn’t happy with wordpress either. Oh well.

  4. July 31, 2009 1:32 pm

    Thank goodness for good bloggers and photographers. I was just in Chicago and spent way too much time in the hotel. I feel like I need to go again, just to appreciate the scenery that all of you are picking up. Fascinating photos!

  5. July 31, 2009 1:36 pm

    Great shots. I love those buildings, too. All of these Chicago pics on Travel Friday are really making me want to plan a trip. It is such a great city.

  6. July 31, 2009 3:45 pm

    I noticed those buildings when I was in Chicago but never put together the corncob connection. Thanks for filling in the story for me.

  7. July 31, 2009 3:45 pm

    great photos. i love wandering around chicago, looking up!

  8. July 31, 2009 4:04 pm


    You captured Chicago in these. I was intrigued by the scalloped parking structure.

  9. July 31, 2009 9:02 pm

    Ok, this is the like 1000th post about Chicago, however, non captured it’s architecture like you have!!! it’s amazing.

  10. July 31, 2009 11:05 pm

    I loved the architecture boat cruise and these buildings, too. That last photo looks very much like one that was on the wall in our room at the Swissotel (where we stayed after the conventions).
    I’m thinking Marina will see a few more Chicago posts before too long 😆 I’ll probably string mine out a bit, though 🙂

  11. August 1, 2009 2:40 pm

    Nice job Cate! You certainly took your time after before-during-after the conference to snap some great photos.

  12. August 2, 2009 11:50 am

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. These buildings are pretty easy to take some good shots or should I say forgiving.

    Lorraine – next time you might want to get out of the hotel and into the nice sunny weather but make sure you do it before the heat hits in the afternoon.

    Minnemon – I think I read about the buildings in one the hotel city guides which got me thinking.

    Tim – kind of neat looking edges aren’t they?

    Marina – sorry for being part of the Chicago overload but at least I added something different to it.

    Dominque – you and I both stayed at the Swissotel. I saw the photo and had to find out where it was taken. Of course mine isn’t as good though.

    Sharon – I think I may ahve spent more time out of the conferece and on the streets than attending. SEO sessions were weighed up with photographing Chicago. BlogHer will be held in NY next year, who knows what ‘ll be doing if I attend.

  13. Zowie permalink
    August 2, 2009 7:48 pm

    Those buildings do look amazing. It would be cool to see what other buildings they have there. After all if there is that much thought into a parking garage, they must have other inspiring ones tucked away elsewhere.

  14. August 3, 2009 12:53 am

    Love Chicago’s architecture. You are making me miss it! Love your photos as well. Lovely.
    : )

  15. Bear permalink
    August 3, 2009 10:09 am

    I wonder how long that it might take for a driver to get accustomed to backing into a space when the view is actaully space, not a wall ???

    • August 3, 2009 10:37 am

      Bear – you wouldn’t want to sneeze as you’re reversing back would you?

      Zowie – carparks and apartments. You will have to make a trip here soon and take the river cruise

      Jackie -Thanks!!

  16. August 3, 2009 7:25 pm

    Reminds me of the Jetsons 🙂

  17. August 5, 2009 10:49 am

    L♥ve photography myself , I’d follow some blogger sure you captured one of the most amazing photos …Good luck ☼ You Done a very excellent job more power to you …. J♥

  18. August 5, 2009 6:52 pm

    Cool pictures! I love buildings with interesting artchitecture and this one is high on the list of buildings with intrigue. Your writings about the cafés in Chicago, their buildings etc, makes me want to visit one day 🙂

    • August 6, 2009 9:58 am

      Cheryl, I think you would enjoy Chicago, and could easily write some good stories on some of the yummy foods there. The city is a little windy which reminds me on NZ.

      Thanks J♥ for your positive comments here and on twitter.


  19. August 11, 2009 2:47 am

    I like the architecture design it is the most tallest and beautiful building of chicago.
    Chicago is a biggest city of US. It is a main business hub and city of universities many luxury and wonderful things are there especially food is really fantastic.

    • August 11, 2009 3:06 pm

      Thanks for your comments 🙂

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