Friday, January 7, 2011

Enduring Art

This past Tuesday I got the chance to tour Chicago's Fine Arts Building on Michigan Ave along with one of the guys in program and our program therapist. It's a huge building 125 years old where many artsy types have their studios. Frank Lloyd Wright once had a studio there, as well as the illustrator for The Wizard of Oz book series. Today it's home to visual artists, musicians, art and movement therapists, massage therapists, violin and piano restorers, dance instructors, a leathermaker, and a software designer, among others.

We waited on the first floor for the elevator to come down. The call button for the elevator was actually a buzzer because an old man is the operator for it. He goes up and down the ten floors all day, listening for the buzzes from above and below. We got on and asked for the sixth floor. Off we went and with a lurch and a bouncing stop, we were there.

Each studio looks different from the others: some are tiny little rooms with just one window facing out opposite the door, others have skylights and lofts. We also saw a ballroom set up for a concert with a stunning view of Lake Michigan out its broad windows.

During this mini-tour, our therapist asked the lady showing us around if rent was crazy high due to the age of the building and awesome location. Her answer was that it was really reasonable taking those things into consideration...but I'm still curious as to what "reasonable" is.

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