This week, Patti has chosen Street Art as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge so I decided to revisit my trip to downtown Chicago for the Air & Water Show last summer. There is always so much to see in the city and you can bet you will come across some street art in one form or another. Thirty-three of these brightly-painted police dogs, placed mostly along the Magnificent Mile, helped to raise money for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
This week, Patti has chosen History as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Coming from a country so rich in history, I deeply regret not taking up photography while I was still living in England. From the majesty of London’s past with its towers, bridges and cathedrals to the Roman ruins of Verulamium in St. Albans and the mysteries of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, I saw all these historic places yet have nothing to show for it, at least no pictures for which I can take credit. A few years after arriving in Chicago my husband bought me my first SLR camera and ever since then I’ve tried to document all the places of interest that we’ve seen, if for no other reason than to look back at the images in the years to come, perhaps with the grandkids and hopefully their families, and say, “This is part of your country’s history.”
An important part of Chicago’s history was the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. It destroyed so much of what had gone before but led to one of the greatest revival stories in American history. The sculpture shown above is part of the southern bridgehouse of Du Sable Bridge or the Michigan Avenue Bridge as it is more commonly known. Entitled ‘Regeneration’ and created by Henry Hering, it shows workers rebuilding Chicago after the Great Fire. Below is the iconic Chicago Water Tower, the only public building to survive the fire.
On a recent trip to Texas we visited another of America’s famous historic sites, The Alamo in San Antonio. I don’t pretend to understand the rights, wrongs or reasons for many of the wars that have been fought, down through the ages but, as in all battles, men died at the Alamo fighting for a cause that they believed in.
South Dakota has its share of historic sites, even prehistoric ones, including the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs and the Indian Village archaeological site in Mitchell. Something a little more recent, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, designed by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, depicts four U.S. Presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln representing the birth, growth, development and preservation of the United States.
Speaking of Abraham Lincoln, one of the first places I photographed when I got my Minolta film camera was the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois. Later images captured with a Canon EOS Rebel show the old State Capitol Building and Lincoln’s law offices, both in Springfield.
Continuing with Becky’s Spiky Squares themed photo challenge, here are a few sculptures and plants that were just a bit on the pointy side at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
After dabbling in architecture for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, I decided to look up for my 3rd entry in Becky’s Spiky Squares photo challenge. Here are a few spikes and spires from Chicago, Milwaukee, Asheville, Bartlett, Marion, Oak Brook and Green Bay.
This week, Amy has chosen Architecture as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I like to visit historic houses when we go traveling so there are lots of building images in the photo files but for this challenge I decided to go with just a few examples of architecture close to home that, for me, stand out in the crowd. The first building is the Ward W. Willits House in Highland Park, Illinois, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1901.
Next up is the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois. This place always takes my breath away, it’s so beautiful! And the facts and figures involved in the building of this architectural marvel are mind-boggling. The limestone and marble stones were quarried in Turkey and Italy and shipped to India where 70,000 cubic feet of stone was carved by 2,000 craftsmen. 40,000 pieces were then shipped to Bartlett where they were fitted together over a period of 16 months.
I love the architecture in Evanston and especially on the Campus of Northwestern University. Perhaps it’s because it reminds me a little bit of the college towns back home.
Another impressive piece of architecture that incorporates all kinds of symbolism is the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois.
One of the wonderful things about downtown Chicago is the diversity of its architecture, an interesting blend of the ornate past with the bold lines of present-day designs.
From mighty projects to children’s playthings, construction is in full swing for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week. You don’t have to go too far to come across construction of one kind or another in downtown Chicago. Onward and upward!
It was an extremely gloomy day when we visited Heartland of America Park in Omaha and I was finding it difficult to get enthusiastic about taking pictures. I was desperate for some color but it wasn’t until we were about to leave when the familiar bright yellow of a construction crane, down by the railroad tracks, caught my eye (which is rather ironic considering I’m using this picture in a black & white photo challenge.)
Why is it that so often when we visit places of interest they’re undergoing renovation or repair! Imagine traveling hundreds if not thousands of miles to take a picture of something only to find that it’s swathed in scaffolding! Of course, these days with modern technology at our fingertips, we can visit websites ahead of time to make sure everything is as it should be, but years ago photographers didn’t have the benefit of Google.
One can imagine Felix Bonfils arriving at the Sphinx at Giza after a long and exhausting journey only to be told that they’d ‘got the builders in.’
“Sorry about this, mate, but someone knocked a bit more off his conk last week and we’ve had to bring the scaffolders over from one of the pyramids, although frankly I don’t know what they expect us to do about it.” Bonfils would throw his tripod down in the sand in a fit of Gallic fury and mutter, “Sacre bleu!”
Fortunately, the Old Courthouse wasn’t our only reason for visiting St. Louis, although we did get a good view of the work in progress from the top of the Arch.
Sometimes construction can involve a bit of destruction too. Is it the child in us that enjoys watching things being knocked down? I made sure to take some pictures when they demolished the old village hall in Arlington Heights to make room for the new, much larger one.
Maybe some of the operators of these giant cranes, bulldozers and mechanical claws got their start at the Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview. I imagine many a tot’s hand that eagerly grasped the controls in this construction exhibit has gone on to bigger things, perhaps even the next giant skyscraper in downtown Chicago.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Anything Construction Related.
It’s all about colors just recently. This week, Nancy Merrill has chosen Contrasting Colors as her topic for the Photo A Week Challenge and, using the color wheel in her post, orange and blue would appear to be quite a good combination for this subject. images include a stained glass window by Marc Chagall at the Chicago Art Institute, a table top in a coffee shop in Evanston, restaurant umbrellas in Texas, and a table setting at The Flower & Garden Show in Rosemont as well as scenes from the Chicago Botanic Garden, the 63rd Annual Chicago Powwow in Elk Grove Village and Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm in South Barrington.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Contrasting Colors.