Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Lobby blog.

It's a measure of my acclimation to Northern winters that I could walk in 20-degree weather from Michigan Avenue to Union Station, as I did this evening, without being bothered much. Not sure how far it was; over a half mile, but less than a mile. In my youth in subtropical Texas, I'm sure I would have thought a walk like that impossible, or at least not worth it.

I was returning from a real estate event in the lobby 233 S. Michigan, originally known as the Railway Exchange Building, later the Santa Fe Building. It's one of the finest lobbies in town, done in impressive white marble with an opaque white skylight held up by ironwork, three stories above. The Chicago Architecture Society likes the building so much that its store, chock full of interesting architectural gewgaws, is located off this lobby.

I get to travel to Michigan Avenue. My nephew, Sam, a student at Washington University in St. Louis, will be going further afield soon, starting exactly at New Year's, when he goes to Italy for a semester overseas. This from his father -- my brother Jay -- not long ago:

"He departs for Italy on January 1, 2004, flying Lufthansa to Florence via Frankfurt. The semester begins on the 4th, I think, and runs to the last week of April. He and two other boys will be sharing an apartment on a street in the old part of town. I can't recall the name, but reportedly Michelangelo's family lived on the same street towards the end of the 15th century. After that he proposes to knock around Europe for a few weeks -- he has said, inter alia, that he'd like to visit Scotland -- possibly in the company of certain of his colleagues.

"A couple of days ago he announced that he would also like to participate in a itinerant drawing course that one of the professors at Wash U. has scheduled for the month of June (and possibly the first part of July; I can't remember its duration.) By itinerant, I mean that this course starts in Helsinki and works its way south and west to Barcelona. I don't know what path they propose to take. I assume that they'll be drawing pictures of building as they go, but I'm not sure about that either. We'll see."


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