How architectural superstars Strawn and Sierralta see Chicago

Published On 09/12/2013 Published On 09/12/2013
© Jeremy Atherton, 2006
© Jeremy Atherton, 2006
Neal Jennings
Julie Qiu/
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1. McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum 376 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601

Honor Chi history by starting at river level, gazing up at the massive gears that make up our most famous moveable bridge, then spiraling your way up the five-story bridgehouse to catch picture-perfect views, all for a totally-worth-it four dollar admission fee.

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2. S. R. Crown Hall 3360 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616

Completed in 1956, this Mies van der Rohe stunner -- which he once described as "almost nothing" because of its simplistic design -- not only rocks Landmark status, it's home to the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

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3. Smith & Wollensky 318 N State St, Chicago, IL 60611

If you prefer your steaks dry-aged and butchered on site and a your wine lists lengthy, and if you prefer enjoying those steaks and wines with a scenic view of Chicago while you sit along the water in Marina City, you might want to hit up this classic.

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4. House of Blues 329 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654

Fans of R&B, Gospel, Jazz and Roots-based Rock & Roll migrate to this venue inside historic Marina City on the reg. Even if you're not a music fan you should get the all-you-can-gorge Gospel Brunch every Sunday, because it's all-you-can-gorge.

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5. The Matchbox 770 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

As the self-proclaimed "most intimate bar in Chicago" at only 460sqft, The Matchbox is not for those who require substantial personal space. It is, however, for folks who enjoy high-quality cocktails like fresh lime juice gimlets and Manhattans garnished with tasty french cherries, paired with emphatic conversation with friends and strangers at very close range. Having stood at the corner of Ogden and Milwaukee for over 75 years, the divey hallway-eqsue space is a Chicago staple, with red tin ceilings, a dark-wooded bar, and ever-present rows of christmas light dangling above shelves crammed with liquor. The place serves a handful of bar snacks -- panko-crusted mozzarella, bacon-wrapped-scallops, wings -- and in the warmer months, there is side walk seating available (with far more space and far less character than the joint's interior).

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6. 1871 222 Merchandise Mart Plz, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the rebuilding of one of America's biggest cities are the inspiration for this community of digital entrepreneurs who call this shared environment their office. Want to see it for yourself? Get a tour.

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7. GT Fish and Oyster 531 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

Headed up by Michelin starred chef Giuseppe Tentori, this eatery has been taking seafood out of its shell since 2011 with inventive, progressive, and surprising takes.



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