Saturday, October 24, 2009

Geology of Michigan Avenue - Friday Field Trip

The mixed architecture of downtown Chicago includes a variety of building stones. These provide conveniently located and accessible "urban outcrops" The rocks used in Chicago architecture come from all over the world and represent a wide variety of rock types. Each group of students will observe buildings on Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago and observe limestone, dolomite, basalt granite gabbro, brano-diorite, marble travertine and serpentine.

Part I. Buildings of significance for study of geology:
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington
Crowne Fountain, Millenium Park
Aon Building, 200 E. Randolph
Carbide and Carbon building, 230 N. Michigan Ave
343 N. Michigan Ave
Wrigley Building, 410 N. Michigan Ave
Tribune Building, 435 N. Michigan Ave
Woman's Athletic Club 626 N. Michigan Ave
Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station
John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan

In the rain on Friday, students worked in small groups on a walking tour of these buildings and are responsible for studying one buildin in-depth and reporting back to the class using a photo journal/powerpoint presentation.

Part II. Architectural and Photo Reflection Tour

What architectural features and styles seem to dominate the downtown area? What does Chicago's downtown reveal about our relationship with nature? What attitudes about wealth, consumption and progress are revealed through downtown Chicago's architecture and layout? What is distinctly Chicago about Chicago?

Using your background in local geology, Chicago history, architecture and Chicago poetry and literature make some connections as you explore:

The Rookery
Board of Trade Building
Reliance Building
The Monadnock Block
Marina City
Inland Steel Building
The Marquette

What a marvelous experience; I loved my role as a chaperone!

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