As a native of Chicago, I can’t help but look forward to the summer months, when the city comes alive with tourist and natives enjoying all that the city has to offer. Chicago is famous for its architecture, unique skyline, and preserved green space along the beautiful lakefront, in the parks and now on the new elevated Park 606 on the old Burlington train line. The architectural strength of Chicago comes as no accident, it has been through careful planning by architectural visionaries for over 100 years. Chicago has been home to architectural pioneers dating back to the “Chicago School” of architects. In the 1880’s the skyscraper was introduced to the skyline, due to the strength, flexibility and beauty of steel. Chicago has attracted the world’s best architects to continue that tradition of pioneering and to continue pushing the limits of steel to produce some of the most amazing buildings, artwork, and public spaces.
For over 100 years, Chicago Metal Rolled Products has worked hand in hand with architects, builders and engineers to create a more beautiful Chicago. As you wander the streets and neighborhoods of this dynamic town, see the influence Chicago Metal Rolled Products and the other visionary pioneers of our great City.
Starting in the center of the city, as most tourist do, is a great way to get your bearings. The Cloud Gate sculpture, or some call it the “Bean” is a great way to begin an outdoor walking tour. It is hard to believe that the sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor was fabricated from over 150 stainless steel plates, with no visible seams. It’s bright, organic shape sits in contrast to the skyscrapers all around, and welcomes you to Millennium Park.
One of the most interesting skyscraper projects was the award winning addition to the Blue Cross-Blue Shield building just to the north of Millennium Park. Here over 20 stories were added to the original building, which needed cambered beams, supplied by Chicago Metal Rolled Products, to support the weight of not only the additional floors, but to give the building vertical strength as well.
Within Millennium Park, just to the east of Cloud Gate towards the lake is the beautiful Pritzker Pavilion. Chicago Metal Rolled Products was excited to be selected to fabricate the trellis above the grassy seating area. We were delighted to work with world recognized architect Frank Gehry, not only on this project but also for Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis. This pavilion hosts a variety of free, and paid concerts all summer.
Staying in the center of the city, both Maggie Daley Park, and Navy Pier can provide hours of family entertainment, and again beautiful views of the city. The fabricated square tube entrance to Navy Pier, and as well as the channels and bars that were rolled to provide shelters along the pier, were are all fabricated just a few miles away at Chicago Metal Rolled Products. Notice the organic shaped planters, and see how plate was rolled to look as though it was made from a material much more pliable than steel. Using our advanced plate rolling technology we were able to create a seamless freeform feeling to these planters. One of our newest City parks, Maggie Daley Park, named after the former Mayor Richard Daley’s wife and patron of the arts in Chicago, has a spectacular children’s play area, and ice arena. Both have the mark of Chicago metal Rolled Products in the rolled railings, and play area.
Heading south to the Art Institute, you can glide up the 620 foot Nichols Bridge, from the park across 212 tons of rolled plate to a 10ft radius.
Chicago boasts over 77 different “communities” or “neighborhoods” each with their own very unique feelings. Just to the west is Humboldt Park, which is home to the “Paseo Boricua” or the Puerto Rican Promenade. You know you have found the park when you see the fifty-nine foot tall Puerto Rican flag made of curved pipe.
The newest park to open in Chicago, Park 606, boasts 2.7 miles of trails above the street level, on the old Bloomingdale train line, and stretches between Ashland and Ridgeway avenues, just north of North Avenue, on Bloomingdale Avenue. This park has bike trails, park benches, and beautiful walking trails traversing through four different neighborhoods: Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park.
Chicago is filled with art and entertainment everywhere you go. Enjoy our sights and sounds and don’t forget to look up and around. No doubt you will be passing through some of our contributions to this beautiful city.