Chicago: The City Built by Geniuses

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  07.15.10 | 11:34 AM ET

Photo of the Wrigley Building by Wallula Junction, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Inspired by Justin Kern’s beautiful photos of the “University of Chicogwarts,” Roger Ebert has written a terrific post on Chicago architecture and the tension between beauty and commerce.

I walk around Chicago, and look up at buildings of variety and charm. I walk into lobbies of untold beauty. I ascend in elevators fit for the gods. Then I walk outside again and see the street defaced by the cruel storefronts of bank branches and mall chains, scornful of beauty. Here I squat! they declare. I am Chase! I am Citibank! I am Payless Shoe Source! I don’t speak to my neighbors. I have no interest in pleasing those who walk by. I occupy square footage at the lowest possible cost. My fixtures can be moved out overnight. I am capital.

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