Category: March, 2019

Jewelers’ Building, Chicago: What a Gem!

What a beautiful building! This is the “Jewelers’ Building, located at 35 Wacker Drive in Chicago. Built around 1927, this neoclassical style structure was designed by architects Joachim Giaver and Frederick Dinkelberg. It has 40 stories, and sits at 523 feet (159.4 m) high. The Jewelers’ Building has had quite an interesting history. For its first 14 years in business, the building had a car lift which served the first 23 floors. It allowed for the safe transfer of jewelers (and the jewels they were no doubt carrying) to their offices.

In 1937 the dome at the top of the building contained a restaurant called, “The Stratosphere Club”. The urban legends placing mobster Al Capone as its proprietor are erroneous at best. Mr. Capone had long been in prison for ‘tax evasion’. Nonetheless, the association with his name no doubt sparked public interest that, at the very least, prompted patrons to have a libation (or two) in the domed restaurant.

Lots of movies and television shows have been filmed inside and outside of this fantastic structure: Batman Begins, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and The Good Wife, just to name a few.

If you look closely in the photo at the top of this post you might just see the sun’s ray playing on various portions of the building, making a lovely and unique pattern. I always enjoy seeing sunlight bounce off buildings, creating its own perspective.

Since I had the pleasure of taking a moment to snap a pic of this building, it dawned on me (yet again) how much we take for granted in our familiar spaces. Those rushing past these magnificent structures should take a minute just to look up once in a while. Who knows, you might just see Batman or some ‘spare jewels’ laying about! *grin*

Dr. Eric Perry, PhD

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