River City Architecture From Above: Foto Friday

By Amanda on June 6, 2014


Earlier this week I took the photo below of the River City apartments. I was working for a special event at the Willis Tower. It was a group of Italian doctors in town for the ASCO annual meeting (American Society for Clinical Oncology) in Chicago. While usually the special events I coordinate are curated private tours, in this case it was my Italian language skills that were needed.

I have lived in and traveled around Italy for a total of a few years, first as a student stumbling through simple phrases. Later I was hired with the Rick Steves tour company as a professional tour guide, and then my Italian got really good.

Despite that I speak fluent Italian, I rarely get to take Italians on architecture tours around Chicago. One is simply that for Italians, Chicago is not a top American destination for them. They are much more familiar with stories of Al Capone than our top-notch restaurants, beautiful beaches and parks, and cultural attractions that I know many Italians would love. And secondly, Italians tend to still vacation during their traditional month of August. It’s pretty much the only month of the year that I get booked for private tours in Italian of Chicago.

So enough of my rambling about Italy. The reason I am telling you all this is because this is why I ended up on the top of Willis Tower. I was helping out for an event of a meeting and dinner with Italian doctors. While the clients were occupied, I had some moments to snap photos of the Chicago architecture, and here is one that I particularly enjoyed.

chicago architecture river city gold

I love this snippet of the Chicago skyline for a few reasons:

1. It’s a rare area of undeveloped land.

2. It includes the Chicago River and boat parking.

3. River City looks like a backwards letter “S.”

Architect Bertrand Goldberg built his River City in the ’80s. It’s of course modeled after his iconic Marina City.

I tried really hard to get a good picture of the spider crawling around on the outside of the window I was photographing through on the 99th floor, but my iPhone just couldn’t snap quickly enough to capture his little legs without a blur.

— Amanda Scotese, Executive Director


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