O is for O'Hare

There's a reason I chose O'Hare to represent the "O" in my A to Z Challenge and that reason isn't that I'm married to a pilot.

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is consistently ranked as one of the busiest airports in the world. When construction began in 1959 it was the largest public works project ever undertaken in Chicago. Even while still under construction in 1960 it served 13 million passengers. That's a lot of miniature bags of peanuts! Throw in the fact that it is comprised of award-winning buildings designed by some of Chicago's (and the world's) best architects and it's undeniable that in Chicago, "O" is definitely for O'Hare.

CTA O'Hare Station | 1984 Murphy/Jahn

I took a little field trip out to O'Hare yesterday and brought my camera along for the ride. But, I ran into a problem. We're living in a post-9/11 world. Airport access isn't exactly given to just any average joe(ly) blogger. And I'm pretty sure TSA's first priority isn't making its airport structures easily photographable from the tops of parking garages (although I tried). Getting great shots of the airport wasn't as simple as I thought it was going to be.

I considered buying a ticket to say, Phuket or Barcelona so that I could have access to Perkins and Will's International Terminal. Or I even would have been willing to grab a ticket to NYC so I could check out Helmut Jahn's United Tunnel. But the handsome (and VERY frugal) hubby didn't think that was a reasonable "blog research" expense.

O'Hare Control Tower O'Hare Hilton
Former Control Tower | 1970 I.M. Pei and O'Hare Hilton Hotel | 1972 C.F. Murphy Assocs

Instead we will all have to settle for the pictures I was able to snag and cross our fingers that the next time we fly we will arrive several hours early so I can explore this treasure trove more thoroughly.

Did you know that O'Hare sits on the sight of what was once a very small airport called Orchard Place? That's where it inherited its call letters ORD.