November 27, 2016
by David Ryan
If you happen to be driving through Chicago on one of its expressways, you can’t help but to notice the number of church steeples soaring above the surrounding trees and houses. There are so many of them that it seems like there could be a church on every block. The only way for you to find out for sure is to get out of your car and start walking.
When you do this, you’ll not only find an answer to your question; you’ll also have the opportunity to walk through the urban landscape to see what else you might notice. Your walk could give you some idea about the community’s geography, history, or culture. You might even spot something that you wouldn’t readily find anywhere else.
Last month while on a whirlwind trip through the Midwest to take some photographs to complement research that I have been doing on the urban landscape of various cities, my dog Petey and I did get off a Chicago expressway to see how close together those churches actually were. We spent a good part of a Saturday walking around an area not too far from the long-gone stockyards. One hundred years ago Chicago was in deed the “Hog butcher of the world” and meat packing along with the stockyards was one of its defining industries. Continue Reading →
October 31, 2016
by David Ryan
After walking up and down stairways in Milwaukee (please see the previous post), my dog Petey and I headed toward Minneapolis to get some photos of Minneapolis’ famous downtown skyways. This would be our first visit to the Twin Cities since we went there to climb stairs three and half years ago. (Please click here to read about that visit.)
If you look closely, you can three of Minneapolis’ dozens of Slyways. Almost every building in downtown Minneapolis is connected at the second floor level by a Skyway bridge. There are over eight miles of walkways connected at the second floor level in downtown Minneapolis.
Ironically, one week after that previous visit, I ran across an Internet article by Andy Sturdevant describing two stairways in Minneapolis that we missed. (Please click here to read that article.) Needless to say, we planned on finding those stairways while we were in Minneapolis. Continue Reading →
October 19, 2016
by David Ryan
Last week while on a whirlwind trip to the Midwest, my dog Petey and I ran into a string of stairways in Milwaukee that we were not expecting to find. We had stopped in Milwaukee to take pictures of buildings made out of Milwaukee “cream style” brick. In the late 19th century Milwaukee was known as the “Cream City” because of the prevalence of the brick.
After taking some photos, We wandered into a one-time industrial area a little northwest of downtown Milwaukee that is rapidly being converted into housing. Ironically, We parked our car across the street from an old cream style brick tavern undergoing renovation and started walking.
Right across the street from the tavern was a relatively new stairway at the intersection of Vine and Hubbard.
This is a nice example of a cream style brick tavern. At one time, there was always a tavern within walking distance in the Midwest.
This stairway is right across the street from the tavern and an extension of Vine Street.
Continue Reading →