The Historic Michigan Boulevard District is the stretch of Michigan Ave. between 11th and Randolph Streets and is one of the most recognizable one-sided streets in the world. The buildings within the district comprise most of the city’s skyline, considered to be one of the most visually stunning skylines anywhere.
The district as a whole is a designated Chicago Landmark. Many of the individual buildings themselves are either Chicago Landmarks or are in the National Register of Historic Places or designated National Historical Landmarks. Just consider this fact: the structures along this stretch of Michigan Ave. were designed by the world’s most important architects, including Adler & Sullivan, Louis Sullivan, D. H. Burnham, Holabird & Roche, Marshall & Fox, Henry Ives Cobb, S. S. Beman, and Graham, Anderson, Probst & White.
In the photo are the Metropolitan Tower (left) and the Santa Fe Building (aka Railway Exchange Building, right) with the famous porthole-like windows along the cornice. It was designed by Frederick P. Dinkelberg of D. H. Burnham & Company. He also designed the Flat Iron Building in New York City.
The Santa Fe Building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Two interesting bits of trivia about the Santa Fe Building: (1) it was on its top floor that Daniel Burnham is said to have created his famous 1909 plan for Chicago and (2) The Santa Fe sign was removed sometime in June of this year and replaced by the Motorola sign as it moved some of its work force into the building. The copy, illumination and color of the Motorola sign are similar to the old Santa Fe signage (as suggested by the city’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks). The Santa Fe Railroad Company which occupied the building once, had moved out decades ago.