Posted on Nov.14, 2013, under Architecture

The top floor of the Jeweler’s Building was, at one point, a location known as the ‘Stratosphere Lounge’. This location has a commanding view of the city of Chicago and during prohibition was rumored to be a speakeasy run by Al Capone. The shape of the building made it easy to station observers who could keep an eye out for cops. Turning to today, the top floor is used by the architecture firm JAHN for special events. One of the changes made to the space was to raise the floor. The ceiling is quite tall and with the original floor height, the windows were quite high and harder to look out of. With the new floor height, there is still plenty of headroom and it makes looking out the windows a much more enjoyable experience. This location was part of Open House Chicago 2013.

For processing I wanted to keep things simple. The space is quite monochrome by itself so converting to black & white seemed like a natural thing to do. I wanted to emphasize the space and the patterns and getting rid of color helps to get rid of distractions. I did keep color in one place, however, and that was on the JAHN name itself. I thought the bit of red added a nice touch contrast to the black and white space. Other changes were done basically to improve the brightness and contrast of the image.

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Copyright © 2013 James W. Howe – All rights reserved

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