860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apts

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April 20, 2010

Ever since studying the works of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for my undergraduate degree in architecture at the University of Toronto, I have been in love with the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive apartments. When I learned I was heading to Chicago to attend the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), the top item on my to-do list after hitting the show floor was to visit the historic buildings, completed in 1951 and designated a city landmark in 1996. I headed up the Magnificent Mile, veered east, and in the warmth and sunlight of a beautiful spring day in the Windy City, beheld the two curtain-walled towers. 

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  The 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments by Mies van der Rohe, as seen from Chicago's Lakefront Trail.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments by Mies van der Rohe, as seen from Chicago's Lakefront Trail.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Another view of the apartment buildings, with the John Hancock Tower peaking through in the distance.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Another view of the apartment buildings, with the John Hancock Tower peaking through in the distance.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Near the base with the "N. Lake Shore Dr." street sign in view.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Near the base with the "N. Lake Shore Dr." street sign in view.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The entrance to 880 Lake Shore Drive.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The entrance to 880 Lake Shore Drive.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The view from 880 Lake Shore Drive to 860 Lake Shore Drive, with Lake Michigan in the not-so-far distance.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The view from 880 Lake Shore Drive to 860 Lake Shore Drive, with Lake Michigan in the not-so-far distance.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The lobby of the 860 tower, furnished with Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chairs.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The lobby of the 860 tower, furnished with Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chairs.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Looking up from the courtyard between the two apartment towers.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Looking up from the courtyard between the two apartment towers.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The steel details of 880 Lake Shore Drive with the John Hancock in the background on a glorious spring afternoon in Chicago.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The steel details of 880 Lake Shore Drive with the John Hancock in the background on a glorious spring afternoon in Chicago.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The view from the east side of the courtyard to the 880 tower, with hints of the apartment interiors through the above windows.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The view from the east side of the courtyard to the 880 tower, with hints of the apartment interiors through the above windows.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The view from the west side of the courtyard near the 860 tower, looking back toward the 880 building, Lake Shore Drive, and Lake Michigan.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The view from the west side of the courtyard near the 860 tower, looking back toward the 880 building, Lake Shore Drive, and Lake Michigan.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The covered courtyard between the two buildings.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The covered courtyard between the two buildings.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  The door mat to 860 Lake Shore Drive.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    The door mat to 860 Lake Shore Drive.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  One of the most remarkable things to me about Chicago and its architecture is the juxtaposition of styles and materials. Here, the view from the southwest corner of the 860 tower.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    One of the most remarkable things to me about Chicago and its architecture is the juxtaposition of styles and materials. Here, the view from the southwest corner of the 860 tower.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Looking out toward the lake and 880 Lake Shore Drive from the base of the 860 tower.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Looking out toward the lake and 880 Lake Shore Drive from the base of the 860 tower.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Four years after the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive apartments were completed in 1951, two more towers of Mies van der Rohe's design, the 900-910 Lake Shore Drive apartments, were built.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Four years after the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive apartments were completed in 1951, two more towers of Mies van der Rohe's design, the 900-910 Lake Shore Drive apartments, were built.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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  Nearby, Mies van der Rohe Way.  Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake
    Nearby, Mies van der Rohe Way.

    Photo by: Miyoko Ohtake

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