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Here Now, A Fine-Grained Old World Illustration of Chicago

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Artist Phil Thompson must have it bad for Chicago. Thompson spent a year building a supremely detailed illustrated map of Chicago, tracing the lakefront from 41st Street to Addison. The east-west axis only goes from the lake to somewhere near Canal. But pretty much every structure in Thompson's field of vision is accounted for. The project is called Lakefront Currents and belongs to Thompson's Cape Horn Illustration. From the website:

Places like Amsterdam, Stockholm and Venice have long histories and illustrated maps from the Age of Discovery, 15th to 17th century. Chicago's a newer city but I thought it needed something similar to recognize the photogenic lakefront and architectural legacy. There are nods to Louis Sullivan and Art Deco. Special thanks to the Chicago Architectural Foundation's walking tours for giving great insights and peeks into the city's best buildings and ornamentation.

We caught up with the artist, who peppered us with a little more background info: The process was built upon satellite imagery, aerial photography, and a canvasing of select rooftop decks on the lakefront. "There are a few Easter eggs — one of the more obvious is the figure blowing the clouds, a nod to the city's political reputation," adds Thompson. "The guys in the lower right, in the canoe, are Joliet and Marquette." And the Deco and Sullivan mentions? Those influences appear largely in the border design. In other Chicago-centric works, Thompson pays homage to the city's best beer bars and organizes a "taxonomy of local homes" beginning with Ravenswood. Purchase stuff on the website, play with an interactive version of the map, and look for it at the Chicago Architecture Foundation store.
·Lakefront Currents [Cape Horn Illustration]