Friedman Fine Art presents remarkable contemporary and historical photographs taken by Chicago photographers. The Congress Hotel is a historic Chicago hotel on Michigan Avenue, which was originally built to accommodate visitors to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Located across South Michigan Avenue from Grant Park in Chicago at 520 South Michigan Avenue, this 14-story hotel serviced our nation’s Presidents, foreign dignitaries, movie celebrities, and housed many conventions. The guestrooms and suites of the Congress Hotel are spacious and decorative, with stunning views of Lake Michigan.Designed by architect Clinton J. Warren, the 11-story structure was originally constructed for an annex to the Auditorium Theater across the street. The two buildings were linked by Peacock Alley, a marble underground passage. In 1902 and in 1907, the firm of Holabird & Roche oversaw construction of two additions, making the entire complex 1 million square feet.
In 1940, Chicago artist Louis Grell was commissioned to paint thirteen murals for the lunettes, architectural features around the grand lobby. The murals had popular scenes in Chicago at the time. In 1955 Pick had Grell paint three walls for the Pompeian Room which also housed the Louis Comfort Tiffany glass fountain. The building also features the famous Gold Room, one of Chicago’s most beautiful ballrooms. Find more Old Chicago Photos.
Once referred to as Polk Street station, the historic Chicago landmark Dearborn Street Station was one of six local Chicago train stations in 1883. Designed by Cyrus L.W. Eidlitz, Dearborn Station located on the corner of Dearborn and Polk opened May 8th 1885. The building is comprised of pink granite and pressed red brick forming a three story structure with a gargantuan twelve-story clock tower with train platforms that were once located behind it. Constructed at an estimated cost between $400,000 and $500,000, Dearborn station hosted 25 rail lines with 122 trains and serviced approximately 17,000 passengers daily.
On May 2, 1971 the station was closed to consolidate all of Chicago’s stations at the nearby Union Station. As a part of the city’s urban renewal efforts, the area surrounding Dearborn Station (train tracks and shed) was transformed into housing and the Printers Row district while the Station now operates as a series of retail spaces and restaurants and business offices. Pictured is a vintage image of the original Dearborn Station with its classic Romanesque Revival styled pitched roof.
If you would like to purchase or view other contemporary or historical photographs of Chicago please follow this link Historical Chicago Photos.
Pictured is an image of the historic Chicago River. Named “Chicagoua” after the smelly garlic plant found on the banks of the river once used by Native Americans. However, this would not be last time the Chicago River would have an odor problem. Pollution was a major issue for the growing city in the 19th century specifically in the river; in addition to businesses dumping their waste into the river, raw sewage flowed into is as well which in turn began to pollute the city’s clean water supply. Later, a proposal to reverse the flow of the river and to form a commission dedicated to sanitation.
By 1900 the Chicago River was cleaned of all the major impurities. Over the years, smaller rivers and canals were built to join the river together giving it a length of about 156 miles divided into two branches, North (as far north as Niles) and South (the downtown Chicago area) that converge at Wolf Point (Fulton Street) to form the main stem (Lake Michigan). Bridges that could move up and down for the passage of tall ships and boats were built to facilitate their passage and tunnels were built for traffic to not be disrupted during these periods are still in use today.
In 1915 Chicago’s most devastating tragedy occurred on the river when the Eastland boat overturned killing 844 people.
Formerly known as Meigs Field, the now Northerly Island and McCormick Place locations were the home grounds of the 1933 World’s Fair. Stretching from 12th street to 39th street, the Chicago World’s Fair (also called the Century of Progress Exposition) of 1933 was to intended to celebrate the centennial of Chicago and represent the progress to come for not only Chicago, but the world as it related to technology innovations and business.
With the motto of “Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Adapts”, this fair was to be a great contrast to the previous one of 1893 with its all white buildings; this fair was a lively event with brightly colored buildings of modern architecture with exhibits and entertainment to inspire wonder and awe. With the great depression over, President Roosevelt supported the reopening of the fair and encouraged it leading to a second opening of the fair a year later in May of 1934 with immense popularity. Exhibits and entertainment such as live babies on display in incubators, automobile showings, the Skyride and a striptease act were intriguing welcomed sites while others such the Graf Zeppelinwere not.
Upon the Fair’s end in October of 1934, Chicago had welcomed over 40 million people and effectively generated enough money to pay off all of its debts and have a profit. This is a vintage photograph of one of the main buildings at Chicago Fair.
Built in 1927, Buckingham Fountain is one of Chicago’s many historic landmarks. Commissioned by Kate Buckingham in memoriam for her late brother Clarence Buckingham, the fountain was inspired by the large public fountains of Europe, specifically, the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles. Its design is based on the Rococo art movement mimicking the layers of a three tiered wedding cake, sits twenty-three feet high and is decorated with four sea horses to represent the four states surrounding Lake Michigan: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Located in Grant Park on Columbus drive and Congress Parkway, Buckingham Fountain (officially named Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain) is made of Etowah marble (also known as pink Georgia marble) and was designed by architect Edward H Bennett with its statues created by French sculptor Marcel F Loyau. The final price tag was $750,000 and now operates from the months of April to October. Since the 1920’s, the fountain has seen major renovations including: restorations to weathered leaky basins, new drainage, landscaping and a computerized water pump system to replace the manual operation of the fountain that ceased in 1980; the pump pushes 1.5 million gallons of water daily and between 1,600 and 7,000 gallons of water per minute with its three pumps and 134 jet streams.
The Chicago Board of Trade building stands at the end of LaSalle Street. The structure was designed by the famous and prolific architectural design firm Holabird and Root, and completed in 1930. The gray limestone throne like tower is 45 stories tall and is adorned in the Art Deco style. At the top of the building is the sculpture of Ceres, the ancient Roman goddess of agriculture. The beautiful and spacious two story interior of the lobby is detailed with scalloped curves, metal sculptural banding, and dramatic illumination.
The architects Holabird and Root set the Chicago Board of Trade on a nine story core that originally included a six story trading area. Slightly above the entrance, well over the trading floor, sits a large clock sits facing north, book-ended on either side by two exceptionally carved limestone personifications of wheat and corn, rich with Art Deco symmetry. These beautiful works were executed by artist Alvin Meyer.
As basic as the exterior ornamentation appears, the interior design features are intensified and extravagant in the luxury of materials used. The three story lobby is a masterpiece of Art Deco with its passion for sleek, polished and burnished surfaces and contrasting marble finishes. The mellow light shines and shimmers off fixtures of translucent glass and nickel, two essential ingredients of the period’s brilliant architecture. The spectacular ornamentation is both geometric and modern. There is an additional touch of Egyptian influence with the building’s interior, conveyed in a zigzagging decorative pattern. This marvelous design is aristocratic modernism at its best. The Chicago Board of Trade building and its timeless design is a flawless expression of the era.