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The Jeweler's Building

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 2 October 2009 in Architecture.

Located at 35 E. Wacker Drive, this building was created for the city’s diamond merchants and had an unusual security procedure. To reduce the chances that its tenants would be mugged walking between their cars and their offices, the building featured a central auto elevator. People would drive into this elevator and it would take them to the floor where their office was. Jewelers loaded down with precious stones and metals wouldn’t have to be exposed to a potentially hostile exterior environment. Though innovative, it was an arrangement that didn’t last very long. By the Second World War the auto elevators were abandoned and decked over to make more office space.

The four turrets at the corners of the building were not for mere decoration, but were part of the building's original fire suppression system. Each turret holds a cast iron tank that would have been used in case of fire. They have since been decommissioned and the space at the base of each turret is now used as conference rooms.

The building's terra cotta-clad, classical design marks it as one of the most prominent high-rise statements of the so-called City Beautiful Movement. It is also the most notable work of the partnership of Joachim Giaver and Frederick Dinkelberg, who had spent most of their architectural careers with the firm of D.H. Burnham & Company. This was designated a Chicago landmark on February 9, 1994. You can see the Chicago River Walk in the foreground with the Vietnam Memorial front and center.

Photo taken September 13, 2009.

SONY DSLR-A300 1/160 second F/6.3 ISO 100 18 mm

New photos posted on most Mondays through Thursdays.
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Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Great shot, well done !

2 Oct 2009 7:29am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

wow.. I like it very much... excellent work.

Thanks for adding me to your blog watch :).

2 Oct 2009 7:41am

Theys from Charleroi, Belgium

Excellent work, Steven !

2 Oct 2009 11:44am

marc from granby, Canada

very nice crisp clear.....

2 Oct 2009 1:23pm

Bishop from Houston, United States

Another good HDR... why is there a halo around the buildings? :)

2 Oct 2009 2:34pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Very nice composition.

2 Oct 2009 2:42pm

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

That is a gorgeous building. Why don't they make them like that anymore? Oh, yeah. Money.

2 Oct 2009 3:44pm

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Excellent !!! Super POV and amazing processing !

2 Oct 2009 4:26pm

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

the reflections in all those windows are very nice...

2 Oct 2009 4:41pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Cool shot.

2 Oct 2009 5:34pm

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

Though the architecture is monumental, this actually seems to be a cosy place, owing to the small park.

2 Oct 2009 5:38pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

You have developed a very particular style with your HDRs and I cannot get enough of them.

2 Oct 2009 6:40pm

bekkah from Pennsylvania, United States


2 Oct 2009 7:20pm

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

In your processing, this building is a jewel in itself.

2 Oct 2009 7:35pm

Barbara from Florida, United States

Well I was about to write the same as Viewfinder that this building is a jewel in itself.
A magnificent piece of architecture, it is wonderful to see it preserved. The history of the building is quite interesting.
I have a passion for these old landmarks.
The processing gives an interesting effect.

3 Oct 2009 2:11am

Onlymehdi from Wayne, United States


3 Oct 2009 1:34pm

Earnest from Oklahoma, United States

Really enjoyable, Steven!

3 Oct 2009 2:51pm