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Since its addition in 2004, the Millennium Park's Crown Fountain is one of the star attractions of the the city. This interactive art piece with its dual glass towers of 50 feet (15.2 meters) in a huge black granite pool has LED screens that projects digital close-up faces of Chicagoans. The display lasts for five minutes which ends with an illusion of water spouting from the mouth much like a classic gargoyle fountain. Water cascades down the towers when the video is not on and is recycled to be used again. A must visit, especially to beat the heat on a summer day.
The Chase Promenade is a splendid pedestrian walkway that stretches across Millennium Park between Monroe and Randolph Streets. Formerly known as the Bank One Promenade, this walkway is a popular venue for festivals, fairs, exhibitions and other popular events. The promenade can be divided into three separate sections that are available for private hire as well. Laid-out beneath the cool shade of close to 200 trees, with permanent tent anchors along the way, Chase Promenade is a popular choice for outdoor events throughout the year.
Preston Bradley Hall is nestled in the cultural hub of the city called Chicago Cultural Center. The main attraction of the hall being the recently renovated ornate and spectacular 'Tiffany Dome'. While in Chicago, do visit this amazing and unique hall.
Towering 912 feet (278 meters), One Prudential Plaza, then known simply as the Prudential Building earned the distinction of the first skyscraper to be built in two decades in downtown Chicago. Besides this, it also had the highest roof in the city when it was completed in 1955. The building, along with the connected Two Prudential Plaza towering above it, is host to numerous high profile corporate headquarters, and is one of the most recognizable high rises of the city.
Take a free 40-minute tour of Chicago's business district where internationally renowned buildings reach the sky. Learn about the area's 100-year history and the city's elevated train system, known to Chicagoans as the "el." The tour is presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Admission for the tour is free. Obtain tickets at the Chicago Cultural Center Visitor Information Center, 77 East Randolph St at Michigan Ave.
Running through the heart of downtown Chicago is State Street, a major shopping and dining thoroughfare for the past 100 years. Flagship stores located along this famous street include Macy's, as well as numerous other boutiques and chains such as Nordstrom Rack, Urban Outfitters, H&M and Forever 21, to name a few. A walk along State Street also finds notable landmarks and historic buildings such as the Harold Washington Library and the Reliance Building.
Rising 1136 feet (346 meters), Aon Center is one of the dominant features of Chicago's skyline and is one of the tallest buildings in the city. Originally constructed as the Standard Oil building in 1973, it broke records to become the tallest in the city, and in a span of four decades, only two others have been able to top its height. The 84-story building got its current name in 1999, when it was sold to The Blackstone Group.
The Reliance Building is a major architectural landmark whose design foreshadows the skyscraper designs of Mies van der Rohe by more than 50 years. This Daniel Burnham landmark is a lean, sleek testament to the grace and simple elegance of the Chicago school of architecture. The Reliance's former glory has been restored in all its authenticity, and the building now serves as the classy Hotel Burnham.