Monday, March 9, 2009

Chicago's London Guarantee and Accident Building

An image of one of my favorite Chicago buildings -- The London Guarantee and Accident Building. This picture is actually of a model of the building found in a remarkable diorama of downtown Chicago that is part of the model railroad exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on the Southside lakefront. As an aside, the museum's building is one of the few remaining structures from the 1893 World's Fair.

The unusually-shaped London Guarantee building is located at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, just south of the Chicago River, on the site of historic Fort Dearborn, and looks across the river at the Wrigley Building.

The architectural beauty, unique shape, and historic location make this building a must-see. Judith Paine McBrien writes in the Pocket Guide to Chicago Architecture: Designed by Alfred Alschuler and completed in 1923, "a 22 story building made of Indiana limestone using classical references throughout, from the three story columns
marking the entrance, repeated above the fifteenth floor, to the Greco-Roman tempietto on top. Note how the rusticated base matches that of the Wacker Drive Esplanade below and how the unusual concave facade accommodates the semicircular plaza defining the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive."

This great photo on the left and more can be found here.

Addendum June 2010:

This is an image of a vintage linen postcard from my collection.

Richard Balsamo