Thursday, May 14, 2009

Roosting at the Rookery

The Rookery Building (209 S. LaSalle St.) is landmark that makes architecture buffs all weak-kneed. Burnham and Root built it in 1888, and Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the atrium 19 years later. Its magic is that while it looks like an imposing fortress on the outside, its interior is just the opposite – as bright and airy as a spring daisy.

The building inherited its name from the previous structure on-site, which was a favorite of roosting pigeons. The architects incorporated the bird motif. Check out the crows carved into the arched front entrance.

Learn more about it on the Chicago Architecture Foundation's tour today at 12:15pm. Actually, CAF runs sweet 45-minute tours every Monday through Thursday at lunchtime, which provide access into famous buildings' nooks and crannies you wouldn't get if you strolled in on your own. The price is a mere $5.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lake Delton's Re-appearance

Visitors see a lot of magic shows when they go to the Wisconsin Dells, but Lake Delton's disappearance wasn't part of the program. The man-made lake, home to various resorts and the Tommy Bartlett Water Show, vanished in June 2008 during a massive storm. The shore gave way, and all the water drained out and tumbled into the Wisconsin River below. Luckily no one was hurt.

The town refilled the lake, and today it's set to re-open – complete with back-flipping waterskiers – in spring 2009.