Marina City

Marina City Chicago

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> The corn cob shaped towers known as Marina City have been featured in movies like The Hunter, The Dark Knight, and The Blues Brothers

> A car was shot out of the window for an Allstate commercial.

> The has been occupied since 1964, and many of the original residents still reside in their pie-shaped condos with expansive balconies and views.

Marina City is affectionately known by locals as the corncob towers, but the designer apparently modeled the towers after sunflower petals stacked on one another. Architect Bertrand Goldberg's idea was to create a self-contained city. In addition to the iconic pie-shaped apartments, the building has restaurants, parking, a gym, a theater, and a boat dock. The building is completely powered by electricity, and when the towers opened they were the tallest residential building in the city at 558 feet high. In total, they cost $36 million to build.

It's earliest residents in the 1960s were primarily flight attendants and pilots, most of whom still live in the building. However, the idea behind the self-contained city was to encourage to draw middle-class Chicagoans back to the city who were moving out to the suburbs. Goldberg's design did succeed in a sense because most of the residents in Marina City work close by. With a population of just over 900 people, Marina City is larger than some Illinois municipalities. While it did take two tries, Marina City achieved Official Chicago Landmark status in 2016.

Ready, Set, Action

Marina City has a number of film credits to its name. In Steve McQueen's last film, The Hunter, a pivotal car chase ends with the villain's green 1980 Grand Prix Pontiac drives into the Chicago River. It was actually this scene that was recreated for an Allstate commercial in 2006. Besides The Hunter, Marina City is featured in Batman Begins, Captain Ron, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Contagion, Divergent, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, I, Robot, Stranger than Fiction, The Blues Brothers, The Break-up, The Dark Knight, and Transformers 3: Dark Side of the Moon. However, its first big screen opportunity was in the 1964 movie Goldstein, a black and white film just under an hour and a half long.

Did you know?

The building's design takes a lot of inspiration from nature. That's why there are no right angles.

Cover image source: Sean Davis, CC BY-ND 2.0, Flickr.

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