I went to several new Chicago high rises that are LEED Certified and asked if we could visit their green spaces on Friday. They all wanted exacting information for appointments but agreed to let us call and see if our timing will work with their security and schedules.
I went to visit The Claire At Water Tower, a new high rise Retirement home built on Pearson next to Loyola University. The Claire has three roof top decks. One on about the 7th floor there is a large deck called an INTENSIVE roof because it has a deep organic substrate resembling a garden on the ground with its mature trees, bushes and many different grasses and flowers. They have a grilling and outside dinning are next to an inside deli. The building manager, Vince, said that on a nice day the area is full of people out visiting, eating and just going for a walk around the exterior of the building. The two higher decks are are EXTENSIVE green roofs, vegetated with a simple mat of sedums or grass in less than 6 inches of inorganic substrate. In the winter no one goes out on the roof top because of strong winds and ice. All three decks have glass walls several feet tall, surrounding them and irrigation systems.
The North Michigan Ave. Apple Store has a roof top garden and it is done with the plan life in large trays that can be individually planted, cared for and replaced. Andrew, the store manager said they are redoing the roof top this year and they are removing the irrigation system and trying different plant types. The brick wall has protected the planted roof are but they said it would be impossible to go out side in the winter due to the cold and high winds even thought they are only on the 5th floor.
The Peninsula Hotel on 108 E. Superior has a beautiful 6th floor roof top "piazza" the roof top is planted and arranged with many beautiful sitting areas and surrounded by the hotel on 3 sides and a glass wall on the 4th side. Even with its beautiful protected area the roof top is too cold to use year round even with space heaters. The hotel staff at the front desk said we may stop and visit the area.
The Affinia Chicago Hotel is known for the Highest Roof Top, on the 25th floor, garden type area. It was their swimming pool that they covered. It has a high glass wall and they said in good weather it is a popular bar are but they are in the process of converting a large 7th floor area into a "Piazza Type" area. Sietse, their manager will be glad to show us any time and would also like to show us their newly remodeled contemporary European style restaurant. It is great! He did say that their summer side walk cafe is very popular particularly because they are next to N.W. Hospital.
North Western new woman's hospital, has an EXTENSIVE roof top but Maria Guerrero of Special Affairs, said we are not able to visit as a group unless the school makes arrangements in advance and we all sign waivers. She suggested we can look on line at photo's she will email but we must also sign a faxed waiver to receive those photos. She just returned my phone call today.
I have not been able to walk over to Chicago's City Hall building and I was not able to reach anyone by phone, I will try again for next week. I understand it is a beautiful but very high maintenance INTENSIVE roof top that has no protective wall around the roof top. I may need Liz's help to arrange this visit.
See You Tomorrow, Anne Marie
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