Just like everyone has a favorite sports team or favorite restaurant, they also have a favorite building. Whether it’s the Chicago Board of Trade Building, the Tribune Tower, or my favorite, the Smurfit-Stone Building, the city’s skyline has something for everyone.
Upon moving to Chicago, I have discovered some other really great buildings, but my heart will always belong to my first love, which I always referred to as the “Adventures in Babysitting” building. When I was a child, my family would drive up to Chicago from Champaign every other month to shop, visit the Art Institute or buy bagels in Skokie. We’d round the corner on Lake Shore Drive and the city would welcome us, and the Smurfit-Stone Building would look down at me as I’d awake from my nap ready to enjoy the city. Then, when Adventures in Babysitting came out in 1987, a time when not that many movies highlighted the beauty of Chicago, my destiny with the Smurfit-Stone Building was sealed. Now that I’ve seen both the sentiments “Go Cubs” and “Go Bears” on that distinctive diamond-shaped roof, I know that no other building can take its place in my heart.
Our ever-changing skyline can be spotted from miles away and creates a distinct look that belongs to our city and our city alone. There are so many great spots it’s impossible to name everyone’s favorite, but I did learn that our art director Kevin loves Contemporaine, while assistant editor Amanda likes the Harold Washington Library with its gargoyles.
In Chicago Agent’s first issue on architecture, we wanted to showcase some locals doing great things to our skyline in terms of residential buildings. We also took a look at what’s going on architecturally in the suburbs. You might think that this will just be an issue with some pretty pictures, but you’re wrong. Knowing what is happening architecturally might not be a requirement as a Realtor, but it certainly gives you a leg up over the competition. It is your job to gain the trust of your client and prove that you are the expert of all things residential, and knowing your Chicago architects is a must.
If you haven’t picked a favorite yet, that is your assignment for the week. While hustling through the city on your way from this appointment to that one, take a moment to look up at the concrete and steel landscape that surrounds you, and pause to remember why this city is so beautiful.
Zipporah Porton is senior editor of Chicago Agent and Miami Agent magazines. A native of Champaign, she has been writing professionally for more than 10 years. In additon to a Masters in Fine Arts degree in playwriting from the University of Southern California, Zipporah brings both enthusiasm for the real estate industry and rich publishing experience. Send comments and questions to [email protected]