Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chicago's Grocery Store in the Sky

This article is from our sister blog, The Chicago Architecture Blog.  For more information about Chicago and more than 1,000 of its buildings, visit our sister site, Chicago Architecture Info.

There are a lot of rumors about special places in Chicago that most people don't get to see.   Today I thought I'd demystify one of them.

A lot of what people assume about the residents and residences in the John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue) is not true.  But some of it is.  For example -- there is an urban legend that the Hancock residents have their own grocery store.  This is true.

It's officially called "Potash Gourmet 44," and is not surprisingly located on the 44th floor of the building.  To access it, you must be a resident of the Hancock Center, or an accompanied guest.  You have to go past the security checkpoint on the ground floor lobby, and then the receptionist on the 44th floor sky lobby.

Down the hallway, past the mail room is the grocery store.  It's larger and better stocked than a convenience store, so it earns its "grocery" title.  The space was entirely gutted and rebuilt in 2008, and has a produce section, a small selection of housewares, health and beauty aides, the usual aisles of canned and boxed goods, a self-service coffee area, and seating so one can admire the view while having a quick nosh.

The most active portion of the grocery store is the deli.  Hancock Center office workers can access the deli via a freight elevator and the back door.  The deli offers the usual selection of sliced meats and cheeses, as well as a choice of hot entrees and sides that change daily.  At one time there was made-to-order pizza, but it wasn't very good and has since been discontinued.

Unfortunately, the grocery store doesn't photograph very well.  In the daylight, you can't see what's in the aisles.  And at night, you can't see out the windows to prove that the store is in the sky.  But I did what I could with these couple of pictures.

Potash Gourmet 44 is undoubtedly the city's highest grocery store.  But is it the world's highest?  It's hard to say.  It is traditional for people in the Chicago area to declare things the "first" (as in mall), "biggest" (as in block party), or some other superlative without it actually being true.  So in the interest of localism, I formally declare Potash Gourmet 44 is the world's highest grocery store.  Challenges are welcome.

Monday, June 28, 2010

TweetEcho: June 28, 2010

For those of you who don't subscribe to our Twitter feed, here are the tweets we posted over the last week or so:

  1. The house of the future will be like living in an #iPad:
  2. The American Swedish Institute in #Minneapolis unveils new glass addition by HGA #architecture #MN#MSP
  3. New Abu Dhabi #skyscraper leans 4x more than the Tower of Pisa: #architecture #UAE
  4. Latest #FreedomTower construction picture. Taken yesterday (26Jun2010): #WorldTradeCenter #WTC#NYC #911
  5. Towrs building of the day: The Pomaria in #Vancouver,#BritishColumbia
  6. Transport for #London no longer first tenant at #skyscraperas #Shard backs out of agreement | Needofficespace
  7. Added another 30 buildings to the #SanFrancisco section of Towrs: #SFO
  8. Towrs building of the day: The First Church of Christ Scientist in #Houston#Texas
  9. Towrs building of the day: 1001 McKinney Street in #Houston,#Texas
  10. Fantastic photo of lightning plowing into the Willis Tower and Trump tower in #Chicago #nature#lightning #skyscraper
  11. Towrs building of the day: The AIG Tower in #HongKong,#China
  12. Wow! Larimer Square is shutting down the street for dining under the lights & live CO symphony tp:// (via @DowntownDenver)
  13. Towrs building of the day: Pantages Hollywood Theatre in#LosAngeles#California
  14. The U.S. Capital Building dome is getting a fresh coat of paint #Capital #Architecture (via @CCBGArchitects)
  15. The latest 1 World Trade Center construction photo, taken yesterday: #WTC #FreedomTower #NYC#architecture
  16. Towrs building of the day: The Edgett Building in #Vancouver,#BritishColumbia
  17. Just added another 399 (!) new #photos of #SanFrancisco to the Towrs photo pool on Flickr:
  18. Towrs building of the day: Tradition Bank Plaza in #Houston,#Texas
  19. A seaplane buzzes over the Experience Music Project on a gloomy Monday morning in #Seattle.
  20. Towrs building of the day: KPMG Tower in #LosAngeles,#California