Category:Buildings in Chicago

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Featured Building: Optima Views

University in Evanston

Optima Views is located on a site that used to be the Levy Senior Center. The center relocated in 2001 due to the Northwestern University / Evanston Research Park. The new facility had a great amount of support from the senior community and a 26,000 square foot structure was completed a year later.

Going further back into history, and looking at a broader scale, Optima Views is located on what used to be nothing but a swampy forest prior to the 1830s. The Potswatomi Indians had trails along the dryer ridges with semi-permanent settlements.

French explorers first discovered the land and named it "Grosse Pointe" after the fact that it is a point of land jutting into Lake Michigan. In the 1840s, the land was still unsettled, there were a few hotels and taverns along the ridge roads, but nothing more.

In 1851, a group of business leaders founded the Northwestern University and Garrett Biblical Institute on the lands. The chose the area on the bluffed and forested site along the lake. In 1854, the men submitted to the county judge their plans of a city to be named Evanston after one of their leaders.

Evanston was incorporated as a town in 1863 and became a city in 1869.

Today, Evanston is home to roughly 75,000 people. The median age of people living in the are is 34.4 and there is a small percentage of people over 65.

Point of interest in Evanston include the Evanston History Center, Fountain Square Tower, Frances Willard House, and Grosse Point Lighthouse. [1]


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John Hancock Center - A band of white lights on the 99th floor of the building is visible across Chicago at night and changes colors for different events, such as Chicago-area sports teams' colors and Christmas time colors.

Legacy at Millennium Park - The Legacy addresses sustainability by adding density to downtown without taking even one square foot of ground level space. 356 residences in a suburban area would take up approximately 150 acres for the houses alone and with the roads and other infrastructure.

Aqua - From a distance, the curved and swerving balconies of Aqua gives this building an appearance of rippling water, unlike the square rectilinear buildings that Chicago is usually known for.

Bristol - Bristol has emulated features from the classic skyscrapers of the 1920s with has a series of setbacks; one occurring at the 9th floor, the other at the 41st; serving to break down its bulk and divide it into a three part composition of base, shaft and top.

Library Tower - Library Tower is located in the Printers Row neighborhood just south of the Loop, Chicago's downtown core. It has easy access to the elevated, also called the L, which is the rapid transit system servicing the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Winchester at Belmont Harbor - The Winchester at Belmont Harbor will be a 12-storey concrete condominium, with two sides of the building facing major roads. The center orientation of the building to the corner of the conjoining streets will create a triangular-oriented building.

Fordham - Looking over the Holy Name Cathedral on a tree-lined street, just steps away from Chicago's Magnificent Mile, The Fordham melds the charisma of vintage elegance with a host of cosmopolitan amenities.

Water Tower Place - The Water Tower Place skyscraper is a sleek concrete high-rise building containing 74 floors and 260 condominium units. It was the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world in 1975. It stands as the eighth tallest building in Chicago.

Superior 110 - The glass tower sits atop a concrete commercially used base of seven levels that is a wide caisson foundation. Residences begin at the seventh level with balconies and a more residential appearance.

Vetro - Vetro, which translated from Italian means, glass. The building was named because of the unique use of blue tinted glass to cover the entire exterior of the condominium.


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