The Tallest Exoskeleton Building In the World

2016-04-12 Pic 1
Image used under Creative Commons license. See Notes (1) for attribution.

Chicago is a tall town.  We have something like five of the ten tallest buildings in the world, or some such.  We no longer hold the distinction of the tallest building, but our urbanscape is filled with feats of architecture and engineering, enough to make any urbanscape photographer ecstatic.

Take this monster, for instance.  It’s the tallest exoskeleton skyscraper on the planet.  What’s an exoskeleton?  Well, you’re lookin’ at it.  Those cross bars are the load-bearing joists that hold that puppy up.  As you’ll remember from high school physics, that diagonal shape can hold up a lot of mass.  And stacked like that, it can hold up a giant skyscraper.

2016-04-12 Pic 2
Image used under Creative Commons license. See Notes (2) for attribution.

The Powers-That-Be in Chicago didn’t trust that the Hancock would stay up, way back when it was built, so before they issued the permits they required a rough draft.  I tried to find some clear shots of it, because sadly I can’t find my own pictures of the building in question.  You can see if in the left of this image, the black “X” over the windows.  The building is located at the Chicago River and Jackson, downtown, just across from Union Station.  It’s actually the entrance to Union Station; what you’re looking at here, in terms of the street, is the roof of the station underground.

It’s a big place.  There are trains under there.  Big ones.  It’s a cool place to explore.

But, that’s not my topic for today.  The John Hancock is.  Fun facts about the building – it’s supposedly the birthplace of Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan.  Because of its metal exoskeleton, there are all sorts of legends that the building is a focal point for magical or otherworldly energies, that it’s a portal, and that it’s haunted.  ~shiver~

I actually went to a job interview in there once.  It wasn’t a good fit, and was one of the few times I’ve experienced direct racism in my life.  I found the experience enlightening because it’s what my friends who can’t pass go through and live with every day.  But that’s not the building’s fault, now is it?

One can go inside it as a tourist and venture all the way to the top where one can see several states on a clear day – Illinois, (since it’s standing in Chicago, and Chicago is in Illinois, that follows); but also Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  It’s right on the lakefront, so the views of Lake Michigan are spectacular.  It’s an anchor of the world-famous “Magnificent Mile,” the avenue of shops, eateries, and historical buildings along Michigan Avenue to which tourists come from all over the world.  And, if that’s not enough, there’s a restaurant at the very tippy-top called The Signature Room where one can dine on the 95th floor.  Many a marriage proposal have been made in this historic location.

Hmm.  That sounds like a plot bunny waiting to happen, doesn’t it, Dear Reader?

Stay tuned tomorrow where we visit Koreatown.  I know, I know; I said we’d do that today, but that’s because apparently I can’t remember the alphabet song and the fact that J comes before K in English.  Coffee.  Coffee will fix this problem.

Until tomorrow.


(1) Image used under Creative Commons license, retrieved from the following link 04/12/2016.

(2) Image used under Creative Commons license, retrieved from the following link 04/12/2016.

Thank you for joining us for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave us a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

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The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

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Write on, and Happy Blogging!

Monday Morning Pages

Morning Pages.  Three pages of longhand writing in the morning.  Not meant to be written, in the sense that they’re a exercise in getting the brain onto the page and giving voice to what the Chinese call monkey mind – that bouncing, scattershot squirrel of thoughts that natters on throughout the day behind the scenes.

I’ve been doing Morning Pages since 1995 and they’ve quite literally changed my life.  It’s to the point, now, where I don’t even argue their effectiveness, because I know they’re effective – I just assign them, teach them, preach them, do them.

They’re most effective when we do them, I’ve learned.

When I came up with the theme for Mondays as “Monday Morning Pages,” I did it more for the sense of transliteration than anything else.  But as I type, I find it fitting that Mondays would be this sort of post – a Zen wander through my mind and, in the case of today, my camera.

The morning was gorgeous.  The light had a golden quality with the oncoming sun that made the snow sparkle.  It was really cold, only about 8F, but lovely.

My lunch serves as a rest for my craft bag, which right now carries the Emerald Keep Scarf and my story binder, which has two in-process novels in it, Sealed by Duty and Sapphire Dream.  It’s got the story grid, setting triangle, and GMC for all of the characters.  I’ll expand on what those things are in another post, but for now, I’m just sharing what’s in my bag.  The cup is my cold coffee for the morning.  A necessity.  I didn’t have time to make hot coffee, so this is some cold stuff that I made yesterday.  It’s caffeinated, that’s all I care about before I’m all the way awake.

There’s no school today, since it’s President’s Day.  But the school had a light on, making me wonder who went to school today?  A hardworking teacher?  A lonely janitor?  A homeless person sneaking in out of the cold?  An alien, hoping to take over the building as the new command center of an invading force?

Hey, man.  It’s Monday, and this is the Morning Pages.

You have been warned.  🙂