Every great city possesses a magnificent seat for its government. The Windy City of Chicago is no exception as its city hall stands out as one of the metropolis? most recognizable landmark. The Chicago Coty Hall occupies fifty percent of a massive structure constructed during the first part of the 20th century which spans an entire city block located in Chicago?s central loop area. The second 50% of the same building is currently used as the administrative headquarters of Cook County.
The striking Chicago City Hall was built in neo-classical style and was constructed for six years from 1905 to 1911. The blueprint of the building was created by homegrown architectural outfit Holabird & Roche. The city hall has a breathtaking colonnaded exterior made of granite and features colossal Corinthian pillars. Each of these Corinthian columns is unfilled and is made up of 15 granite divisions. These columns towers at 23 meters or 75 feet. The Chicago City Hall is crowned with a sunken terra cotta floor. Originally, a grand central dome was supposed to top the building. The plan was never concretized since the construction of the dome was considered very costly.
The design of the building where Chicago City Hall is housed is basically one big office building composed of two symmetrical structures. The west wing is the City Hall while the east wing fronting the Daley Plaza hosts the administrative operations of the Cook County. The portion of Cook County administrative seat was finished earlier in 1908 and the City Hall was finished three years after in 1911. In January of 1982, the structure was recognized as an official Chicago landmark.
A roof garden was added in 2001 to the Chicago City Hall as part of the government?s effort to encourage residents to create their own roof gardens, as well as to cut down of the city hall?s energy use. Unfortunately, the roof garden is not accessible to the public which is adorned with beautiful prairie flowers.
Aside from the structure of the City Hall itself, visitors can also go to the Daley Plaza in front of the Cook County Building which was established when the city block which used to front the building was torn down and substituted with the Civic Center which is now called the Daley Center. Before the Daley Center, this was a densely occupied area with 14 individual structures. Now, only one skyscraper towering at 846 feet and was once the tallest structure in Chicago occupies 35% of the area giving way for the establishment of the Daley Plaza.
Found at the heart of the Daley Plaza is an untitled sculptural masterpiece made by Pablo Picasso. An interesting fact about this sculpture is that it is made from the same steel used in building the Daley Center. The creation of the public structure was initially met with controversy but later on, it proved to start a trend since many more contemporary public sculptures have been put up across the city ever since.