An intriguing blend of sculpture and structure, the round, “corn-cob” shaped apartment buildings, the towers rose from the plaza and, as described by critic Allan Temko, supported themselves as they ascended, “uncommonly strong and efficient.” — Bertrand Goldberg
During my endeavor to Chicago, the building that stuck out to me the most was Marina City, designed by Bertrand Goldberg. It sits comfortably right along the Chicago River, and serves as a famous building for its aesthetic. It was originally designed to be a “city within a city”, but is currently used for apartment spaces as well as a hotel on the towers. Behind it was Chicago’s House of Blues, with many restaurants lining the riverside just below.
This tower is on the cover of one of my favorite albums, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but has been shown in movies and television shows as well. Currently the towers have been landmarked.
According to the Chicago Architecture Foundation website, “when architect Bertrand Goldberg envisioned Marina City, it was an urban experiment designed to draw middle-class Chicagoans back to the city after more than a decade of suburban migration.” Its development was ahead of its time because people began to stop migrating to the suburbs because they were able to walk to work, or even live in the building they worked in. It was considered to be a huge success, freeing individuals of their time by letting them live in a closer distance to their occupation.
And while that’s good for employers and the employees, it allowed people to live and grow in the city without having to travel as much. Originally, a theatre, skating rink, and restaurants were also inside of the tower so that people could have some recreational fun.