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U.S.A.: Magnificent Mile

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Magnificent Mile | U.S.A. | Americas

[Visited: May 2009 and several times before]

Chicago is the U.S.A.'s capital of architecture, and its Magnificent Mile is a perfect dressing window for it. Its actual name is North Michigan Avenue, which leads from Chicago River to Oak Street Beach, leading almost from the heart of Chicago towards the north, linking the Loop business district in the south to the Gold Coast area on Lake Michigan in the north. It was dubbed the Magnificent Mile, not only because the distance covered is roughly a mile, but also because Chicagoans are proud of their city and use superlatives to describe it. The nickname was given in the 1940s, and on it, you can find some of the tallest buildings of the entire USA, as well as many shops, restaurants, and remarkable and historically significant structures.

Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Skyline at the southern end of Michigan Avenue, Chicago Tribune tower on the left

Here, you can shop at all famous American stores, on both sides of Magnificent Mile.You can walk two miles with shops at your side all the time, only interrupted by a restaurant or an office building. You will not fail to notice that this is one of the most prestigious areas of Chicago. At the southern side of the Magnificent Mile, you will find some of the leading media organizations of Chicago, such as the Chicago Tribune. At the same time, you can enjoy marvelling at some fine examples of modern, art deco and Gothic architecture. A good start is the Hancock Building, which offers you a good view over the Magnificent Mile and the rest of Chicago's impressive skyline. This is one of Chicago's highest structures at over 1000 feet or 300 metres above street level.

Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Top of the Water Tower at Water Tower Place

From here, walking the Magnificent Mile towards Chicago River you can see the Watertower on the Watertower Place right below Hancock Building. Further on, you come across both modern and classical style buildings, with at the end of the Magnificent Mile, the Chicago Tribune building as a prime example of fusion between Gothic and modern architecture, and the Wrigley Building on the other side of the street. The latter towers over the street, has a very curious angle, and a skywalk between the two towers. In between the two ends of the Magnificent Mile, you might want to walk with your head in your shoulders, to appreciate the details of the buildings. Or appreciate the strip in the middle of Michigan Avenue, with flowers - but only in the right season.

Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Looking north at Michigan Avenue, also known as Magnificent Mile
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Detail of a building at the Magnificent Mile
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Wrigley building on the southern side of Magnificent Mile
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Several architectural styles at the Magnificent Mile
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Mix of skyscrapers at the Magnificent Mile
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Michigan Avenue with building and traffic light
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Looking up a street sign at the Magnificent Mile
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Side street of the Magnificent Mile: concrete everywhere
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Apartment block at the Magnificent Mile
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): View of a skyscraper from below
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): The tallest building on the Magnificent Mile, Hancock building
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Hancock building seen from Watertower Place
Picture of Magnificent Mile (U.S.A.): Wrigley building: clock tower

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