View Full Version : Chicago 50 years later/Where to stay

Merg Ross
21-Sep-2015, 21:42
Hope my friends here can help. My wife and I are planning an air trip to Chicago in a few weeks and then on to New York. Probably only a week in Chicago. I was first there in 1959 visiting Aaron Siskind. And last time not quite there in 1970 as we ended up sleeping in our van at a truck stop. Now, we are looking for a bit more comfort and culture! From what I see, the architecture should be an inspiration for photography, and I want to visit the AIC again. Thanks in advance for any suggestions where to stay.

Randy Moe
21-Sep-2015, 23:39
I last stayed at the renovated Palmer House in 2008 for a major poliical event. Shop carefully and you may find a bargain. I prefer old and historical hotels. I like the location as the soon to change Jewelers Row still exists. Central Camera is there and thriving. ARTIC (AIC) and Milinium Park also close. Be aware that Wabash EL stop is under construction and heralds change. Use the Water Taxi for cheaper tour boat, get a day pass on board. See the backside of Chicago. Visit CSO and the Auditorium Theater. Look up mdarnton here on the forum. Visit him. Have an Italian beef at Al's next door to Central Camera, dipped with sweet peppers.

Wecome back!

Kirk Gittings
22-Sep-2015, 07:02
The Palmer house would be my first choice in the loop, for a more cost effective choice is this.
The top three floors of suites are leased by SAIC for visiting artists, scholars etc. When I teach there this is where they put me up and I am there for almost 7 weeks. So I have stayed there a lot-probably a year all together. It is very convenient, has a hot breakfast, near to Millennium Park and AIC, the lake North Pier etc.

Richard Wasserman
22-Sep-2015, 07:28

You have received some good suggestions. I strongly recommend a boat tour of the Chicago River, but of course I am biased. The Chicago Architecture Foundation runs tours that leave from Michigan Avenue and are led by people knowledgeable about the architecture and history of the city. The tours provide a unique view of Chicago, which I think you will find to be a bit different than it was in 1959. The buildings are somewhat taller...

Don't get me started on the Art Institute—I am not a fan of the newish photo curator. The rest of the place is of course top-notch.

22-Sep-2015, 08:07
Yes, visit me! I can see the front steps of AIC from my shop window, so it's not out of the way. http://darntonviolins.com and http://darntonhersh.com
My first hotel choice is the Hotel Burnham, http://www.burnhamhotel.com/ , but I don't know if it's expensive or not. I've stayed there a couple of times for fun. It's a nicely-remodeled landmark office building.

Water taxi
Art Institute
Central Camera
are all good.

For photography, close by, there's also
Gage Gallery (documentary photography)-- http://www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery
Columbia's Museum of Contemporary Photography-- http://www.mocp.org/
If you're into Leicas, but not close to me, http://www.tamarkin.com/

Merg Ross
22-Sep-2015, 15:07
Randy, Kirk, Richard & Michael -

This is exactly the information I was looking for.

Thank you all very much for the tips!

Unfortunately, we have had to revise our schedule and it now only includes NYC for October with Chicago on the calendar for Spring. I have noted your suggestions for when the time comes.


Richard Wasserman
22-Sep-2015, 15:14
Spring can be a very nice time to visit. I hope you'll let us now when your coming

Merg Ross
22-Sep-2015, 15:50
Spring can be a very nice time to visit. I hope you'll let us now when your coming

Richard, will do.

I was wondering re the AIC if you are familiar with the name Hugh Edwards. He was Curator of Photography from 1959 to about 1970. I met him by accident at Eastman House in 1959 and it was the beginning of a long friendship. Hugh was a curator with an understanding and appreciation of different genre of photography and I suspect responsible for obtaining much of the quality work presently in the collection. And he did it with only a high school education!

Richard Wasserman
22-Sep-2015, 16:12

I know of Hugh Edwards by name only. He is a bit before my time. I am more familiar with the work of David Travis who was photo curator from 1972-2008. He had a large role in forming my aesthetic outlook as a photographer. Mathew Witkovsky is the current curator and seems to be interested in the most contemporary of contemporary photography. To me the work tends to the boring and banal, which of course can often be the point, but it often leaves me cold and bored. I like involvement and commitment in pictures. I've met Mr. Witkovsky socially and he is a very pleasant fellow, but we certainly don't share the same taste in art. It could be that the world has moved on and I have been left in the dust...

22-Sep-2015, 20:44
Palmer House is amazingly beautiful. Definitely worth the consideration. It's only about 3 blocks or so from the Art Institute and a block from Central Camera, which still carries large format stuff!