I looked at an online exhibition created by the Chicago Architecture foundation called Skyline Stories. The exhibit provides an introduction intro into some of Chicago’s most important and interesting buildings.The idea is to inform visitors, but also entice them to visit CAF or taking one of their tours. Nearly every architectural period and style is covered by the site.
The included buildings are:
Chicago Board of Trade Building
Harold Washington Library
Inland Steel Building
James R. Thompson Center
The architectural style, architect, history, and the construction are all briefly discussed through a series of four videos. Each video is only a few minutes in length. A combination of interviews, graphics, and stock building footage makeup each video. The videos are hosted on youtube, but embedded directly on the site. The videos containing interviews and graphics that detail the architecture and construction are interesting and well done. However, there is usually one video that contains general shots of the building, with textual facts overlaid. The only audio seems to be elevator music. These videos could be improved by changing the audio. The facts could be voiced over or the actual audio from the video, the sounds of the city, could be played.
On the page of each building there are short blurbs about the architect, architectural style, and location in the city. These are accessed by clicking on a non invasive icon on the bottom of the page. The pages and videos are easy to navigate. The home page and each building page are clean and sleek looking. The ambient background noise is sounds from the city.
The content only provides overviews, but it is a decent, well executed introduction to these structures and Chicago’s architectural history. Hopefully CAF will continue to add buildings and further develop this exhibit.