Nov 29, 2022 - News

The best buildings in downtown Chicago tournament: Elite 8

Tribune Tower (left) and the Wrigley Building. Photos: Robert Knopes/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Boy, do you love your downtown buildings. Our Sweet 16 for the best Chicago building is complete, and a record number of you voted — 1,325!

  • Now it's time for the Elite Eight.
Tribune Tower vs. Wrigley Building

In a surprising upset, it turns out voters are afraid of heights! The Wrigley Building easily defeated Willis Tower.

  • This round features the battle of two iconic North Michigan Avenue neighbors, both built in the 1920s.
The Rookery vs. Marina Towers
Photo of two buildings side by side.
Rookery Building (left) and Bertrand Goldberg's Marina Towers. Photos: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Rookery is the lone 19th-century representative left in the tournament. The building's lobby, redesigned by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905, is an architectural stunner.

Smurfit Stone vs. Merchandise Mart
Photo of two buildings side by side.
Smurfit Stone Building (150 N. Michigan Ave) and the Merchandise Mart. Photos: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Even though the building is no longer called Smurfit Stone (hat tip to Dennis Rodkin), the iconic diamond-shaped skyscraper is a crowd favorite, narrowly defeating the Thompson Center in the first round.

  • You know what's not a crowd favorite? Trump Tower. The beautiful skyscraper may be in need of a marketing overhaul, because it got the least votes in the entire first round.
  • The Merchandise Mart moves on. Maybe we don't like heights, but we love widths.
Aqua vs. Carbide and Carbon
Photo of two buildings side by side.
Architect Jeanne Gang's Aqua (left) and the Carbide and Carbon Building. Photos: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Jeanne Gang's masterpiece had little trouble winning its first round matchup against The Reliance Building.

  • Aqua may have a harder time with this round's opponent, the Carbide and Carbon building, which surprisingly dispatched the skyscraper formerly known as Hancock Tower with ease.

🗳 Elite Eight voting is now underway! Polls close at 4:30pm.

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