The Society of Architectural Historians has created an innovative walking tour that enables Chicagoans to download building histories on their web-enabled cell phones. With the permission of building owners, SAH has installed signs in the lobbies of ten early Loop skyscrapers that feature Microsoft tags that look like this: Your browser may not support display of this image.
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To access the tour information, which is free to everyone, download the free Microsoft application for your phone at: http://gettag.mobi Then photograph the tag on one of the lobby signs, and a photograph and the buildingâ€™s history will appear on your cell phone. The lobby signs also will include a tag that links to a custom-designed Google Earth Map that shows the locations of all the buildings with tags. Another way to access the information is to visit the SAH website at www.sah.org
The ten buildings that have been tagged are the following:
- Gage Group, 18, 24-28 & 30 S. Michigan Avenue
- Carson, Pirie Scott Store, SE Corner of Madison and States Streets
- Chicago Building 7 W. Madison St.
- Marquette Building, 141 S. Dearborn St.
- Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson St.
- Fisher Building, 343 S. Dearborn St.
- Old Colony Building, 407 S. Dearborn St.
- Second Leiter Building, 403 S. State St.
- Auditorium Building, NW Corner of Michigan and Congress
- Railway Exchange Building, 80 E. Jackson
- Information on the Rookery 209 S. LaSalle and Reliance 32 N. State can be accessed through the Google Earth Map tag or on the SAH website www.sah.org.
SAH developed the free cell phone tour in conjunction with its 63rd Annual Meeting which will be held at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza from April 21-25, 2010. The meeting will bring nearly 600 architects, preservationists, and architectural historians from around the globe to Chicago where they will participate in more than 125 lectures, dozens of tours, and an April 24 fundraising benefit that will take place at the Merchandise Mart. Members of the general public are welcome to register for the meeting. For additional information, visit the SAH website at www.sah.org
Advisors who helped SAH create the building tagging system were computer experts at ICHASS, the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For additional information about ICHASS, visit their website at http://www.chass.illinois.edu/Home/Home.html