Building buffs face a plethora of choice when it comes to visiting Chicago, one of America’s great architecture cities (and home to a new architecture biennial starting next year). You can visit the site of the world’s first skyscraper, admire some of the best-known work by Mies van der Rohe, or check out Aqua, the curvy tower that made a name for architect Jeanne Gang in 2009. But for those who would rather ditch the architecture boat tour to find their own architectural magic in the lakefront city, there’s a new resource.
Chicago Architecture Data, a newly launched site documenting Chicago’s significant and historic architecture, was created by John Morris, a contributor to the photography blog Chicago Patterns. The site catalogues more than 13,000 buildings designed before 1940, pulling from the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, the county assessor’s office, tax records, and more.
Searchable by neighborhood, style, landmark status, and keywords, the database lists information on icons like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in Hyde Park next to lesser-known gems like the Art Deco headquarters of the Anti-Cruelty Society designed by Leon Stanhope or the city’s far-reaching swath of historic bungalow residences. Native Chicagoans and visitors alike can rediscover the city’s considerable impact on architectural history without ever stepping foot in a museum.