Marina City – Why do I get hungry looking at these buildings?

Marina City

Marina City – An architectural achievement designed by the late Bertrand Goldberg which was completed in 1964.  These interesting structures are 587 feet (179 m) in height.  Do you see an uncanny resemblance to a food favorite?  Affectionately labelled as the “Corncob Buildings”, Marina City sits on the North bank of the Chicago River in the heart of downtown Chicago.  I took this photo on a recent architectural boat cruise.

Both buildings contain 65 stories, with the bottom 19 utilized for parking, one floor for laundry facilities, and the rest are condominiums.  Interesting note:  the parking is exposed (wiring prevents an accidental plunge into the Chicago River below), and cars are only situated by backing into the parking spaces.  You’ll love this:  parking is only completed by valets, not by residents.  I don’t know if I’d quite like that scenario.  It’s evening, you are hungry (and seriously, how could you not be when your building resembles a cob of corn 365 days of the year); but wait! No, I mean literally, “wait” for the valet to get your car out of its spot in order for you to drive to the nearest all-night diner.

As if living in a corncob structure wouldn’t in and of itself elicit hunger pangs, how’s this for an added foodie feature:  the units are pie-shaped!   Containing almost no interior right angles, the middle of each floor is circular, with 16 pie-shaped wedges adorned around the circle.  And yes, you guessed it, your unit is one interesting piece of the pie!  Say, Agnes, fancy a game of cards at my place?  Why certainly; but I can’t remember, are you at the apple or the cherry?  Silly girl, I’m at the key lime!

Many movies have been filmed with either the Corncob Buildings in the background, or actually in the movie itself.  The movie, “The Hunter” (1980) starring none other than Steve McQueen, had a scene in which Mr. McQueen participates in a high-speed chase through the parking garage in one of the Corncob Buildings.  You are probably ahead of me; yes, the car makes an airborne appearance straight through the parking space opening and plunges into the Chicago River!  For the film, a car was actually launched into the river!

So there you have it! Fun-shaped structures resembling food for a city that is known for its, “foodies” and fantastic fare! Corncob Buildings and pie-shaped living spaces.  I’d say we were in for one heck of a picnic, wouldn’t you?

  62 comments for “Marina City – Why do I get hungry looking at these buildings?

  1. May 25, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    A tasty post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      I am wanting a big pile of corn on the cob and a huge slice of cherry pie right now after writing this, John! *LOL* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm

        Excellent choices.

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm

        *LOL* Thank you, John!! 🙂

        Like

      • July 18, 2015 at 1:56 pm

        I once stayed near these and they gave me the creeps. 🙂 I kept seeing them in various thriller scenarios…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 1:58 pm

        Heeheehee, ah Lev! Yes, I cannot help but think that way myself when I meander past them! And of course the infamous, “car falling into the river” always comes to mind when I see the ‘corncobs’! 😉 Cher xo

        Like

  2. May 25, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    You are right, it is mouth watering… lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May 25, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I don’t get why they don’t make more of these buildings, It makes sense for decorations and who wouldn’t want panoramic views right? geesh 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 25, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      I know, right Andy? I agree! And the view from these buildings must be amazing!! And talk about fun living in a corncob!! ;-P Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 25, 2015 at 2:40 pm

        Ya! even cooler if it was the entire floor, with no walls in between, like literally one entire unit 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm

        *Quadruple clink for Andy on that one* ;-P Cher xo

        Like

  4. Ula
    May 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I had a window looking out at the corncobs when I was living in the SAIC dorms on State St. Fortunately, it never made me hungry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 25, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Ula, I am glad to hear that! *LOL* Every time I am downtown (which is a lot!) I cannot help but think corn on the cob when I see them!! 🙂 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Josh Wrenn
    May 25, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    They look a lot like the Westin in Seattle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Oh does it, Josh? I wonder if it was the same architect (Bertrand Goldberg)? Cher 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Josh Wrenn
        May 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm

        No, according to Wiki it is John Graham and associates.

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 25, 2015 at 3:02 pm

        Ah, thanks for looking that up for me, Josh! I’ll have to do some research on John Graham (and associates)!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. May 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    oh no… that’s it, i’m off to get a sandwich…
    don’t worry about the tea sweet heart, we’ll do it another day
    Nx

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      *LOL* Right then, another day it is! Enjoy your sandwich! Cher xo

      Like

  7. May 25, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Double cheese burgers!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. May 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I have seen The Hunter, so every time I look at Marina City, I just picture all the cars just shooting out of their spaces like the buildings were huge sparklers. Imagine the CGI in a movie like that, if you can get the twisting action.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 25, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      I cannot believe I haven’t seen this movie *yet*! *LOL* Funny you should mention the cars shooting out of their spaces; I often wonder if other people are thinking the same thing, as I picture that all the time when I stroll by Marina City! Oh yes, wouldn’t that be something!!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. May 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Cher, these buildings are quite different from the other downtown Chicago architecture. I’m not sure what to make of them but they do add more character to the cityscape. (As for food inspirations, I see stacks of waffles.) Best, Brett

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 25, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      They really are different from the other downtown Chicago architecture, aren’t they Brett? For some reason, it seems to work. In fact, we had some visitors here a few weeks ago (from Canada). They noted the same thing; although dramatically different from many other styles of architecture, it seems to work in a wonderful, cohesive way! Stack of waffles; why yes, I do see it, Brett! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. May 25, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    It looks like a corn in the cob… Hahaha! Nice architecture…!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. May 25, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I think I’m a little of a “feng shui” person. I like round shapes, and all my furniture in my house is either round or has round corners! However, I don’t know if I would like to have a pie-shaped apartment. Your furniture choice would be a huge task with no straight walls. Love this post, Cher. Very interesting buildings. But, it doesn’t make me hungry!! Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 25, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      Hi Carol! Well isn’t that cool! I know a person who lives in one of the ‘corncobs’, but I’ve never asked about living in a pie-shaped apartment! Why on earth I haven’t asked is beyond me! *LOL* Thank you, dear Carol! Hahahaha, I totally understand! Say, what if they had butter colored balconies? No? *grin* Cher xo

      Like

  12. May 25, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    They caused me to think of … I forget the name of it now. But they have it at Cost Plus World Market and it’s some kind of extremely light Italian biscuit/cookie with waffle pleating, and if you don’t eat the entire package in one go the natural humidity makes the cookies too soggy to have later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      We have a Cost Plus World Market fairly close by, Joseph. I’m going to check out those cookies and then I’ll see what you mean! Well eating the entire package to save the cookies from sogginess is my kind of biscuit!! *grin* Cher xo

      Like

  13. May 26, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I’ve grown up seeing these things for years, but never knew all this information about them. Thanks for sharing! I feel like I might get to know Chicago better by way of your blog than I did by personal experience–funny the things we overlook when they’re readily available.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 26, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Well that is really cool that I am helping you re-discover your home town! I agree; we do overlook things when they are readily available. Well said! If you have the chance, please check out some of my other posts, as you will see ‘your town’ here, and in the future, a lot more! Blessings, Cher 🙂

      Like

  14. May 26, 2015 at 10:16 am

    The Corncob Buildings could also be the Pancake Stack buildings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 26, 2015 at 10:25 am

      They very well could be! If you see Brett’s comments from yesterday (Monday, May 25th) that is what he thought, too! Cher xo

      Like

  15. May 26, 2015 at 10:31 am

    What a fantastic looking building! I can’t wait to read more of your blog and discover Chicago. Maybe you get asked this a lot but have you bean to The House Of Blues?

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 26, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Ah, thank you so much, Chrissie! They are a brilliant landmark, I must say! For example, I might say to someone, “Okay, if you walk toward the “Corncobs”….. Hehehe. Believe it or not, I’ve never been to The House of Blues, but I am wondering if you already know it is below the Corncobs!! I must get in there sometime! Cher xo

      Like

      • May 26, 2015 at 12:56 pm

        No way! I didn’t know, I just love the blues 😄

        Like

      • May 26, 2015 at 4:47 pm

        Yes, I figured you knew that since you mentioned it in the same post as the “Corncob Buildings”! *LOL* How cool! Well they don’t play a lot of ‘blues’ there anymore, so I’m told. But Buddy Guy’s, “Legends” is still going strong. Buddy comes out and visits with people with the exception of two things: 1. If he’s on tour (of course!) and 2. If there is a Chicago Bulls game on tv, no Buddy (it’s a basketball team and his favorite)! Cher xo

        Like

      • May 27, 2015 at 11:09 am

        Oh that’s sad to hear but I’m glad Legends is still going strong and so is Buddy! x

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 27, 2015 at 2:48 pm

        That’s a big YES to both!! 🙂 🙂 Cher xo

        Like

  16. Kev
    May 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Love fresh corn on the cob! 😀 I think they ran out of butter, though. 😉

    Like

    • May 26, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Me too, Kev! And yes, I quite agree! I think I should speak with the management, don’t you? 😉 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  17. May 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    They have a name, I always called them the Corn Cob buildings and did a cartoon once about aliens dropping melted butter on them and eating them. Don’t worry, they used salt too. lol 😉
    Thanks Cher and hope this week is being good to you. 🙂
    Big hugs, Donna xo

    Like

    • May 26, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      You didn’t did you, Donna? Well I absolutely love it! You are a creative soul, my dear! Whew, I am glad you added the salt! *biggest grin* Thank you Donna, and to you as well!! Cher xo

      Like

  18. May 29, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    As soon as I saw the pic, I thought “I’d be too scared to have to park my car there” so the valet appeals to me!! 😀 I saw waffles initially but now see yes, they are very corn on the cob-like!! Cool buildings, great post!x

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 29, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      *LOL* Me too! In fact, that is exactly what I thought until I found out about the valet parking! Hehehehe Yes, several people have ‘seen’ pancakes or waffles thus far! I can’t imagine what it must be like to live there!! Thank you, Laura! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  19. June 1, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I always wanted to live in Marina City when I was growing up in Chicago. Never thought of ears of corn, though, although I can see it.

    WFLD and WCFL (now I think it’s AM 1000 The Score) used to be based in the east building.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 1, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      Oh did you, John? When I first moved here a ‘local’ commented something like, “Oh you mean the Corncobs?” After that, that’s all I hear them called! *LOL* I will have to check that out and see what station in one of the ‘cobs’! *grin* Cher xo

      Like

  20. July 18, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Ohh, these buildings always used to puzzle me. They kind of look like really high stacked piles of lady fingers. There is another set of buildings over on the lake front that are all curvy – no corners. A family friend had a condo there, said it was a nightmare to decorate. I can’t remember the name of them (Lakefront Towers – no that would too easy).

    Like

    • July 18, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Yes, they are extremely interesting, I must say! *LOL* Piles of lady fingers! I love that! Ah, you mean the “Aqua” Building I think? Or is it Park Tower? There are several that I think you might be referring to. The Park Tower on Lake Michigan is without corners, so perhaps that is the one! I have no idea how one would decorate, that’s for sure! *LOL* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 7:23 pm

        And when it snows on the lady fingers building we could pretend it was powdered sugar or whipped cream. Yummm!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 7:30 pm

        That’s it, I have to go and buy some cookies!! *LOL* *LOL* Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 7:32 pm

        May I have some too please. And can you get some ice cream as well?

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 7:33 pm

        Absolutely on both accounts! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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