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15 Chicago Landmarks That Light Up The Night

Chi-ghttime. Spend your summer nights with these bright beacons and brush up on your Windy City history.

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Also known as "Cloud Gate" and "The Electric Kidney Bean," this is that weird mirror thing you've seen on all your friends' Instagrams. The $23M art piece is washed about twice a year in 40 gallons of Liquid Tide.

2. The Palmolive Building (Near North Side)

Courtesy of Chris Smith / Via OutOfChicago.com

Atop this one-time home of Playboy Magazine is the Lindbergh Beacon, a guiding light constructed in 1930 to steer planes into Midway Airport. Its rotating light was bothersome as skyscrapers grew behind it, so it was removed in 1981. By 2007, however, a stationary version was reinstated.

4. Mary Bartelme Park (Near West Side)

Courtesy of Chris Smith / Via outofchicago.com

On a hot summer day, this "gateway" sculpture to the park sprays cool mist out of its steel frame. The park is named after the first female judge in Illinois, Mary Bartelme, known for her public service on behalf of Chicago women and children.

5. The Chicago Theatre (Loop)

Courtesy of Chris Smith / Via OutofChicago.com

Called "The Wonder Theatre of the World" upon its grand opening in 1921, The Chicago Theatre continues to spellbind passersby. Inside, you'll find A-list comedy tours and concerts with performers including, and not limited to, America's first Idol KELLY CLARKSON!

7. Adler Planetarium (Near South Side)

Courtesy of Chris Smith / Via OutOfChicago.com

America's First Planetarium is a stunning construction that juts straight into Lake Michigan. Adapting to a near century of scientific progression, the facilities are completely up to date, offering a space experience rivaled only by the real thing.

8. Crown Fountain (Millennium Park, Loop)

Courtesy of Chris Smith / Via OutOfChicago.com

Wowza. Commissioned in 2000 alongside Millennium Park, this one's hard to miss. Towering digital faces spit water over parkgoers, and at night, it's all the more spectacular — and bizarre.

Founding President William Rainey Harper dreamed of a university that was "bran splinter new" in 1929. Original buildings on campus have that age-old college Gothic feel, but the modern architecture has more than snuck its way in.

Courtesy of Chris Smith / Via OutOfChicago.com

Home of the Grant Park Music Festival, this sprawling concert venue can fit 4,000 people seated and an additional 3,000 in the grass behind. The structure is renowned for its ability to replicate the acoustics of an indoor concert hall.

12. Shedd Aquarium (Near South Side)

Courtesy of Chris Smith / Via OutOfChicago.com

Named after Chicago buisnessman John G. Shedd, this glorious getaway was designed by the same firm that did the famous Field Museum and Wrigley Building. Although Chicago is a coastal city, its freshwater lake did nothing for certain exhibits, requiring a shipment of saltwater north from Key West.

You have to break north of city limits to get to this one, but it's worth it. One of only seven Bahá'í worship centers in the WORLD, this imposing temple on the North Shore will do for your soul what an IMAX 3D movie does for your eyes.

15. Underground Walkway (O'Hare)

Courtesy of Chris Smith / Via OutOfChicago.com

Admittedly, not an outdoor space — but if you've ever had a layover in Chicago, you know it sparks your spirit! The lighting fixture, designed by Michael Hayden, is aptly titled "Sky's The Limit" and was designed to sync with the music composed by William Kraft. Cruising down this poppy passageway is your first glimpse into all that Chicago has to offer.

These night photos are from photographer Chris Smith. Chris runs the site www.OutofChicago.com where he highlights the best places to shoot in Chicago and gives advice for capturing amazing images like these. Chris Smith also runs photography tours and workshops around Chicago and wrote The Photographer's Guide to Chicago.


Locations distinguished by Official City of Chicago Community Area Map.

The sights don't stop in Chicago! This summer, explore all the impressive places you'll find in Illinois.

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