• Karen Seiger

Visiting Chicago With "111 Places" In Hand


Our editor-in-chief for North America visited the Windy City with our latest guidebook, "111 Places in Chicago That You Must Not Miss" in hand. Here are the places she visited.]

I recently spent a long weekend visiting friends in Chicago. Having read 111 Places in Chicago That You Must Not Miss many times during the editing process, I had an important list of places in mind that I simply had to see despite our short amount of time in the city. I had been to Chicago only once before for business, I had no time to do any sightseeing except for the sites I could see from inside the L. So we set off into the city with our book in hand.

Our first stop was Place #100 Tribune Tower Façade. The outside of this gorgeous Gothic building is festooned with bits of other historical buildings, like Westminster Abbey, the Parthenon, the Great Wall of China, and many others. Read the chapter to find out how these pieces came to reside in Chicago.

Emons Verlag, publisher of the 111 Places books, is based in Cologne, Germany. So it was nice to see a fragment from the glorious Gothic cathedral of Cologne, although it appears to have fallen off the cathedral during one of the 14 bombings it endured during WWII.

We went on an architecture boat tour with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, which is an absolute requirement for every visitor and resident. We passed under multiple bridges, including Chapter #60 McCormick Bridgehouse, which houses the Chicago River Museum.

The young lady at the front desk was extremely kind and happy to see the bridgehouse in 111 Places in Chicago.

One of the place on my "must see" list was Chapter #28 Cindy's Rooftop. Author Amy Bizzarri calls it, "the shining, steel-framed crown jewel perched atop the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel." It was bustling with locals and visitors from around the world.

The views from Cindy's Rooftop of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan are truly breathtaking, especially on a warm, clear day.

The next place we visited was Chapter #1 The 3 Arts Club Courtyard for lunch. Formerly an artists' residence, the building is a showcase for Restoration Hardware, with a beautiful and comfortable cafe in the center. The food was excellent, and the atmosphere was relaxed and enjoyable.

After lunch, we strolled through the floors of Restoration Hardware's home furnishings, and we took a moment with our friends to enjoy the rooftop furnishings and views. (Consider this story a pitch to the 3 Arts Club to add a bar to the rooftop offerings.)

The final place I absolutely had to see was Chapter #4 The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Lincoln Park, which, to be honest, was the single place I did not want to miss. It is a Victorian garden with Japanese structures. The pond is indeed filled with water lilies.

The Lily Pool is as secluded and delightful as Amy describes it in the book, and we spent some time with our friends thinking our own thoughts alongside the the water.

I want to thank Author Amy Bizzarri and Photographer Susie Inverso for creating such a wonderful book to share Chicago's best secret places. I was only able to visit a small percentage of the places this time, but they were special and memorable indeed. And I know I must go back and see much more of the wonderful city of Chicago.

111 Places North American Editor Karen Seiger, Author Amy Bizzarri, and Photographer Susie Inverso

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