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Iconic Chicago | Marina City

June 3, 2014

I first took note of Chicago’s Marina City – nicknamed the Corncob Towers – long before I lived in Chicago.  They appeared on the cover of my favorite Wilco album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and I was instantly intrigued. The 64-story twin buildings, located on the banks of the Chicago River, were designed by Bertrand Goldberg (1913-1997) and completed in 1967. They were built in response to city dwellers fleeing to the suburbs post WWII. Goldberg intended to create a “city within a city,” allowing residents the opportunity to live and work in the same area while maintaining the cultural aspect of urban living. The mixed use buildings include commercial functions on the ground floors, followed by 20 floors of parking and 40 floors of condominiums (previously apartments). The elevator bank is at the core of each building, with wedge-shaped residences fanning around the center. The buildings offer studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom condos and every living room and bedroom has a balcony (click to see the unique floor plans of floors 21-52 and floors 53-59 in the east tower). Full scale models of the apartments were built and tested to be sure that the layouts were functional and appealing to residents. Goldberg’s vision lives on almost fifty years later with Chicagoans still making Marina City their home.

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