Wednesday, January 02, 2008

ChicagoRound: City Hall

Chicago's City Hall, built between 1905 and 1911, is a classical revival structure that's both imposing in its heft and nondescript in its standard-issue city-hallishness. It's situated as the old-school corner of a triangle of downtown government buildings that include 1965's black-box Daley Center and 1985's spaceship-in-a-bowl-of-tomato-soup Thompson Center. I've never been beyond the first floor of the City Hall building, but I've always loved its vaulted hallways that maintain their austere symmetry as far as you can see:

Chicago citizens have a range of reasons to visit City Hall, but in my case it's always to clear up fuckups related to owning a car. I spent the last business hours of 2007 traversing these vaulted hallways to pay fines on a license plate sticker that had expired because the renewal form had been sent to my old address. Even though I went in person last January to make sure my address had been updated in every possible city database. Even though I asked repeatedly for confirmation that there was no possible way my old address still existed on something important like maybe a sticker renewal form. But the city's fuckups are always our fault, and I'm now $148 poorer for it all. Which probably was needed to offset the cost of the holiday displays:

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