Architecture in the Windy City Compared to Bay City

While visiting Chicago I was amazed at all the immaculate buildings. Every where you looked there was yet another stunning building. I began to think about how you don’t see anything like that around here. But then I began thinking; we do have some buildings around here that are pretty incredible as well, I just over look them. Chicago was new and exciting, and made me really pay attention to everything. And although the buildings we have around here can’t quite compare, they’re still architecturally significant. Seeing them so often though, made me unconscious of their significance. So, when I came back home, I began paying more attention.

While I was in Chicago, one building in particular really caught my eye, the Water Tower.


The Chicago Water Tower was built in 1869 by architect William W. Boyington. It stands 154 feet tall. The Water Tower was one of few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and is one of just a few buildings that are still surviving today. The tower was built to house a large water pump, which was intended to draw water from Lake Michigan. The Tower is the second-oldest water tower in the United States. It mostly interested me for it’s gothic style architecture. There is something about the gothic style that really catches my eye, it’s just so clean cut and to the point.

When I came back home, I began to think of buildings around here that had a similar gothic style architecture. I thought of Bay City, and all the really interesting buildings there. I then thought of the Church on Center Street. The First Presbyterian Church.

Bay CIty church

The First Presbyterian Church, where it is located today, was built in 1891. In 1941, for it’s 50th anniversary it was remodeled and refurbished. Later, in 1979 it was remodeled yet again, this time giving it’s Gothic architecture style a slightly more Victorian architecture style (you’ll notice the windows in the Water Tower have a pointed arch, ogive, whereas the First Presbyterian Church’s windows are completely round.)  After all these years, the church is still in use today, which I thought added even more significance to the building.

Although architecture around us here isn’t quite like the incredible buildings one would see in Chicago, we still have some pretty great buildings, with a great history to be known.

8 thoughts on “Architecture in the Windy City Compared to Bay City

  1. I really liked the point you made about just being passive about your environment. I’m sure that when we see beautiful buildings or unique architectural styles in our home towns we provide very little time to admire them. Just being in a new environment like Chicago really changes that perspective.

  2. I like how the trip really opened your eyes and made you realize that you were over looking buildings in your home town. I really believe thats what traveling does, helps you understand where you come from better. This was a good read. Very personal opening.

  3. Great comparison, your vision of how a big city with incredible structures can open your eyes to really see and appreciate what we have in our own home towns, even if it is on a smaller scale. Your mixture of personal notations and voice with the historic backgrounds and research blended great. I really got an idea of how you felt about them and learned about them, while learning even more about them myself.

  4. Wow the church you chose is gorgeous! I like that your post was personal but wish you would have dived into the history a little more. Overall great perspective on viewing our surroundings!

  5. Very Good comparison! I liked because both building are built in the Gothic style and you got a pretty good historical part. It is interesting because you are right! We do have in our hometown pretty nice building but they are harder find and sometime we are so used to them that we forget about them and don’t pay attention to their beauty. I am sure people in Rome or Paris often forget to appreciate their architecture.

  6. Great history behind the buildings, but I would have loved to hear your thoughts on their reasoning for the architecture choices for the buildings. It’s nice to see too that some of these buildings are still in use instead of them just being demolished.

  7. I liked how your blog was informational, yet personal. You really took a look at the city you’ve lived in your whole life and found a new perspective. It was smart how you tied that in with the stunning architecture of Chicago.

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