As a photographer, there’s nothing more inspiring than capturing the essence of a building’s history through my lens. That’s why I was thrilled to photograph the Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago at 100 W. Monroe Street during my recent visit to the Windy City. It is a shining example of Chicago Architecture. It will also be a good addition to my Hotel Portfolio of photographs.
In the midst of 1920’s Chicago Heyday History
This building has a rich history that dates back to 1927 when it was first built as the Continental and Commercial National Bank. It was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, one of the most prominent architectural firms in the city. This 22-story building was the tallest building in Chicago at the time of its completion and was known for its stunning art deco architecture.
As I arrived at the Hyatt Centric, I couldn’t help but marvel at the building’s facade, which to me made it look quite modern. The geometric shapes that adorn the building are a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving its architectural heritage. Even though the exterior of the building was not on my shot list apart from one entrance shot, it was great to photograph the lobby, historic meeting rooms and hotel rooms. (See slider above)
Once inside the hotel, I was struck by the modern elegance of the lobby with its ornate panels and modern Hyatt Centric furniture. The sleek lines and contemporary design elements are a perfect complement to the building’s art deco exterior. I loved capturing the interplay between the old and new, which is a hallmark of Chicago architecture.
Immersed in the modern history of architecture
The Hyatt Centric’s location is also a photographer’s dream. It’s situated in the heart of The Loop, a bustling downtown area known for its iconic skyscrapers and stunning architecture. During my stay, I took advantage of the hotel’s proximity to some of the city’s most famous buildings, such as the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) and the John Hancock Center. I even got a couple of shots of the nearby Willis Tower from the rooftop bar. I have fond memories of going to the top of that building in the 1990’s when it was still the tallest building in the World. Although my trip up the Burj Khalifa last year whilst on a photography job in Dubai kept me up to speed with as far as accents up Worlds tallest buildings. I have my Nephew Simon Denham to thank for that.
Getting out to experience the Chicago Architecture
One of the highlights of my trip was a walking tour of the Loop’s art deco architecture organized by the Chicago Architecture Center. It was an amazing experience to see so many art deco buildings in one place, each one a testament to the city’s architectural heritage. I took many photos during the tour with my iphone, and I especially enjoyed capturing the intricate details of these buildings, such as the elaborate carvings and intricate mosaics. Overall the tour was well worth the $29.
Below are a few iphone photos from my phone to give you an idea of some of the gems you will see on the Art Deco Architecture tour.
I like trains! Who doesn’t?
I also loved exploring the city using the L trains, which offer a unique vantage point for capturing Chicago’s stunning architecture. Riding the trains allowed me to see the city from a different perspective, and I captured some amazing shots of the city from the elevated tracks. If you go to chicago I highly recommend getting the Ventra app on your mobile phone and purchase a 24 hour pass for $5.
If you fly into Chicago O’Hare ORD, you can catch the blue line train directly connected to the terminal building right into the center of the City, It cost me $5 and I had a ticket I could use for 24 hours after. The alternative is an Uber which would have cost me around $60. That’s both ways remember! You save enough money for a tour and a few experiences, whether it be a trip up the Willis Tower or a couple of Chicago meals. Maybe even Saganaki at the Athena Restaurant in Greek Town.
Enjoying the multicultural food in Chicago
When I wasn’t busy photographing the city, I enjoyed some of the local immigrant inspired cuisine. My Greek American friend recommended the Athena Restaurant in Greek Town, and it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. The Saganaki, a traditional Greek dish made with flamed cheese, was absolutely delicious, and the Gyro Plate was equally tasty. It was a great way to experience the city’s vibrant food scene and to connect with its rich cultural heritage. Although I wouldn’t recommend ordering the Saganaki if you don’t want to draw attention to yourself (Especially interesting when you’re dining alone).
As I look forward to my next trip back to the Hyatt Centric later this month, I’m excited to photograph the renovated Aire rooftop bar. I can’t wait to see how this beautiful space has been transformed and to capture its unique features through my lens.
In conclusion, photographing the Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago was a truly memorable experience. The hotel’s location and proximity to some of the city’s most famous landmarks made it an ideal base for exploring Chicago’s rich architectural heritage. I can’t wait to return to this vibrant city and to continue capturing its beauty through my lens.
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