Chicago Regional Gathering October 2015

Tom Pierce and Lu Ann Dillon, David Eblen, Dave Redman, Susan Eblen, and Ned Perry take a break from exploring downtown Chicago architectural gems

Three Chicagoland Davids—Eblen, Allen, and Schulte—welcomed classmates and spouses to a whirlwindy weekend of stunning architecture and superb dining. The city literally opened it doors to the Williams ‘68 visitors, and to tens of thousands of visitors to Chicago Architecture Foundation’s (CAF) OpenHouse Chicago.

Early arrivals Ned Perry and Cynthia Wood, John and Judy Oppenheimer, Tom Pierce and Lu Ann Dillon huddled together on a cool Friday afternoon to jumpstart the weekend aboard an architectural tour boat on the Chicago River. Tom floated this observation: “The CAF docent gave a fascinating 90-minute lecture without one ‘um’ and without any senior-moment memory blips. Clearly, she was not a member of our class.”

Here’s a sample of buildings visited on Saturday and Sunday, including the architects who built them:

Aon Center, Edward Durell Stone, 1972. The view from the 71st floor of the third tallest building in Chicago, originally the Standard Oil Building, provided spectacular perspective.

AMA Plaza (originally IBM Plaza) Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1972. In 2009, architects Perkins+Will completed a LEED-platinum renovation of their 35th and 36th floor offices, incorporating sustainable design strategies with 360-degree views.

Blackstone Renaissance Hotel. Marshall and Fox, 1910. Twelve U.S. Presidents stayed in its quaint Suite of Presidents.

Chicago Motor Club, Holabird & Root, 1927. Now a Hampton Inn, this Art Deco skyscraper boasts a 29-foot-wide mural of early cross-country automobile highways.

Marquette Building. In 2006, Holabird & Root moved to the 1895 Marquette Building, which H&R had designed 111 years earlier. The lobby balcony’s extraordinary mosaic frieze, designed by Louis Tiffany and J.A. Holzer, depicts Father Jacques Marquette’s adventures in the 1670’s.

Walking tours create whopping appetites. The antidotes included a reception at the Chicago Yacht Club and elegantly fun dinners at Trattoria #10 and The University Club, where Ned Perry announced that David Eblen and David Redman had been added to the 1968 Class Spirit Award bowl. The bowl was passed around so all could see the engraved names of the 32 classmates recognized for their leadership of class activities since our 45th Reunion.

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