Engineering Building in Chicago

Photo of Engineering Building in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Engineering Building in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

Chicago, Illinois

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Engineering Building

205 West Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60601
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The orientation of this building shows where the real power in Chicago used to be. Rather than face the now-prestigious Wacker Drive, the entrance to this skyscraper is around the corner on Wells Street. At the time this building went up, Wells and Lake Streets were two of the main shopping districts in Chicago, but have long since been replaced by State Street and Michigan Avenue.

The building, itself is standard early-20th century fare, but the ornamentation at the top resembles castle battlements. The upper reaches are adorned with reliefs that few will be able to see and appreciate. The former front entrance still sports the stars and stripes on a large flag pole rising through a light shaft. But the light is long gone -- thanks to shadows from the Builder's Building across the street. The nearly perpetual darkness lends an air of sadness to this portion of the street. The El still rumbles by, but it's not the clatter of commerce anymore -- it's the sound of time passing this building by.

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