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Wanderlust

Explore Chicago's Architecture Gems Through New Database

Forget the John Hancock Tower. Chicago Architecture Data catalogs the Windy City's under-the-radar historic architecture.

  • <p>Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, a single-family home in Hyde Park designed in the Prairie style.</p>
  • <p>Ryerson Physical Laboratory, a Gothic building built by Henry Ives Cobb in 1894, once housed the University of Chicago's physics department. (It's now a computer science building.)</p>
  • <p>A 1903 mixed-use building on the Near South Side built in the classical style.</p>
  • <p>Merchandise Mart was the largest building in the world when it opened in 1930.</p>
  • <p>The Fisher Building was one of only two buildings in Chicago that reached 18 stories at the time when it was built in 1896, and is the only one still standing.</p>
  • <p>A residential building in the classical style on the city's north side, designed by Benjamin H. Marshall in 1931.</p>
  • <p>The Art Deco Anti-Cruelty Society building, built by Leon Stanhope on the city's Near North Side.</p>
  • 01 /07

    Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, a single-family home in Hyde Park designed in the Prairie style.

  • 02 /07

    Ryerson Physical Laboratory, a Gothic building built by Henry Ives Cobb in 1894, once housed the University of Chicago's physics department. (It's now a computer science building.)

  • 03 /07

    A 1903 mixed-use building on the Near South Side built in the classical style.

  • 04 /07

    Merchandise Mart was the largest building in the world when it opened in 1930.

  • 05 /07

    The Fisher Building was one of only two buildings in Chicago that reached 18 stories at the time when it was built in 1896, and is the only one still standing.

  • 06 /07

    A residential building in the classical style on the city's north side, designed by Benjamin H. Marshall in 1931.

  • 07 /07

    The Art Deco Anti-Cruelty Society building, built by Leon Stanhope on the city's Near North Side.

Building buffs face a plethora of choice when it comes to visiting Chicago, one of America's great architecture cities (and home to a new architecture biennial starting next year). You can visit the site of the world's first skyscraper, admire some of the best-known work by Mies van der Rohe, or check out Aqua, the curvy tower that made a name for architect Jeanne Gang in 2009. But for those who would rather ditch the architecture boat tour to find their own architectural magic in the lakefront city, there's a new resource.

Merchandise Mart was the largest building in the world when it opened in 1930.

Chicago Architecture Data, a newly launched site documenting Chicago's significant and historic architecture, was created by John Morris, a contributor to the photography blog Chicago Patterns. The site catalogues more than 13,000 buildings designed before 1940, pulling from the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, the county assessor's office, tax records, and more.

Searchable by neighborhood, style, landmark status, and keywords, the database lists information on icons like Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House in Hyde Park next to lesser-known gems like the Art Deco headquarters of the Anti-Cruelty Society designed by Leon Stanhope or the city's far-reaching swath of historic bungalow residences. Native Chicagoans and visitors alike can rediscover the city's considerable impact on architectural history without ever stepping foot in a museum.

[via ArchDaily]

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