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.
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.
This week, Cee has chosen Black & White as the colors for her Fun Foto Challenge. These days it’s relatively easy to convert images to black & white provided you have the right picture. Finding pictures of things that are primarily black & white without doing any kind of manipulation was rather more difficult but here are some random shots that seemed to fit the bill. I took several pictures of the young man playing the xylophone but although this one wasn’t necessarily the best, I chose it because I noticed that the woman crossing the street behind him was also wearing a black & white shirt.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Black and White
I’m a city girl at heart and although I’ve lived in the suburbs for many years now, there’s nothing I love better than a trip downtown, which is why I was so pleased to see the subject for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Cityscapes. Many thanks to Patti for providing us with this challenge. Although I was born in London, I now live near another great city, Chicago, which is where these images were captured.
For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge go to Cityscapes.
The subject for Nancy Merrill’s Photo A Week Challenge is Lit From Within and, although I hadn’t intended to participate this week, the opportunity to capture some appropriate pictures presented itself quite by chance and so here is my take on the challenge. For the past three weeks I’ve been spending much of the time at the hospital visiting my 93-year-old mother-in-law. Sadly she has reached the stage where nothing more can be done for her and has been moved to more comfortable surroundings in hospice there. The only bright spot in these rather gloomy days has been the sight of the Christmas Village that has been set up in the lobby of the hospital. Apparently, the man who owns all these lovely ornaments brings them in every Christmas for everyone to enjoy. Thank you, whoever you are! You have helped to lighten our load.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Lit from Within.