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Chicago Art Deco Overview

 

Carbon and Carbide Building

The Carbon and Carbide Building is a distinctive Art Deco skyscraper located at 230 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.  It is a striking example of Art Deco architecture, with its sleek and modern exterior, richly decorated lobby, and distinctive crown all contributing to its unique and memorable appearance.  Designed by architects Daniel and Hubert Burnham and built in 1929, the building was originally the headquarters of the Carbon and Carbide Company and is now used for commercial office space.

The building's exterior is made of black polished granite and dark green terracotta, which give it a sleek and modern appearance. Its tower is setback in a series of distinct stages, which help to create a vertical emphasis and give the building a sense of height and grandeur.

One of the most notable Art Deco features of the building is its ornate lobby, which is decorated with richly patterned marble floors, intricate plasterwork, and a striking mural by John Warner Norton that depicts a futuristic cityscape. The lobby is also home to a number of original Art Deco fixtures, including a set of bronze elevator doors with intricate geometric patterns.

Another distinctive Art Deco element of the building is its distinctive crown, which is made up of a series of setbacks and terraces that give it a jagged, crystalline appearance. The crown is finished with a green terracotta tile, which helps to unify the building's exterior and gives it a bold and distinctive look.

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Carbide and Carbon Building, Chicago Art Deco Example
Art Deco - Carbon and Carbide Building

 

Merchandise Mart Building 

The Merchandise Mart building is a prime example of the Art Deco style, with its emphasis on geometric shapes, stylized motifs, and intricate detailing. It remains a popular tourist destination and a beloved landmark in the city of Chicago.

The Merchandise Mart building, located in downtown Chicago, is an iconic Art Deco structure that was completed in 1930. It was designed by the architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and was built by Marshall Field & Co. as a distribution center for their retail empire.

The most prominent Art Deco feature of the building is its main entrance, which is located on the south side of the building facing the Chicago River. The entrance is a two-story arcade that is flanked by two towers, each topped with a pyramid-shaped roof. The arcade is adorned with stylized floral motifs and features a series of carved limestone panels depicting the various industries that were served by the Merchandise Mart.

The lobby of the building is another notable Art Deco feature. It is a grand, two-story space that features a marble floor and walls, a coffered ceiling, and a large, circular chandelier. The walls are decorated with elaborate murals that depict various scenes from the world of commerce and industry.

The Merchandise Mart building is located in downtown Chicago, specifically in the River North neighborhood, along the north bank of the Chicago River. The building covers two full city blocks, bounded by Wells Street to the east, Kinzie Street to the north, Orleans Street to the west, and the Chicago River to the south. Its street address is 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza.

 

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Merchandise Mart Building, Art Deco Example, Chicago
Merchandise Mart Building

 

The Chicago Motor Club Building

 
The Chicago Motor Club building is a prime example of the Art Deco style, with its emphasis on clean lines, bold geometric shapes, and decorative details. Today, the building is home to a variety of businesses and remains a beloved landmark in the city of Chicago. 
 
It is a historic building located in downtown Chicago, designed by Holabird and Root in 1928. The building is located at 68 East Wacker Place, on the northeast corner of Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue, in the heart of the city's business district.  The building is known for its distinctive Art Deco style, which is characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes, and bold, decorative details. The façade of the building is made of limestone and features a series of intricate, ornamental motifs that reflect the building's automotive theme. 
 
One of the most striking features of the building is its exterior sculpture. The façade is adorned with two large relief sculptures that depict early motorists driving through the countryside, surrounded by decorative detailing that includes a stylized grille and headlight motifs.  The interior of the building also features Art Deco details, including a grand marble lobby with a coffered ceiling and polished brass fixtures. The lobby is adorned with decorative relief sculptures that depict various transportation themes, such as cars, airplanes, and ships. 
 
One of the most notable Art Deco features of the building is the spiral ramp that leads to the upper floors. The ramp is decorated with a series of brightly colored panels that depict automotive themes, including racing scenes, vintage cars, and futuristic designs.
 
 
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chicago motor club, art deco example
Chicago Motor Club Building

 

The Rookery Building

 

The Rookery Building is a historic office building located in the Loop district of downtown Chicago. It was designed by the renowned architects Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root in 1888, and was later remodeled in 1905 by the architecture firm of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The building is known for its distinctive Romanesque Revival style, which features rounded arches, ornamental columns, and decorative stonework. The façade of the building is made of brick and terra cotta, with a series of ornamental motifs that reflect the building's avian theme.

One of the most notable features of the building is its central light court, which rises 12 stories and is topped with a glass ceiling. The light court is surrounded by balconies that are adorned with decorative metalwork, and features a grand staircase that leads up to the upper floors.

The Rookery Building also features a number of Art Deco details, particularly in its interior spaces. In 1931, the lobby of the building was remodeled by the Chicago architecture firm of Schmidt, Garden and Martin, who added a series of Art Deco elements, such as decorative lighting fixtures, streamlined metalwork, and a marble floor with geometric patterns.

 
 
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The Rookery Building, Art Deco example, chicago
The Rookery Building