Marina City
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Unique architecture for a building complex as its own self-contained community.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Near North Side
How to get there
  • State/Lake • 4 min walk
  • Clark/Lake • 5 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles166 reviews
Excellent
56
Very good
83
Average
23
Poor
3
Terrible
1

BrakiWorldTraveler
Belgrade, Serbia18,666 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
I see I'm in a big minority here, but this is my opinion.
Contrary to that my wife likes them.
First we saw these two corn cobs on our architecture boat tour. Guide explained these were the first self sufficient buildings in a city effort to bring people back downtown. They had everything packed in these corns from the garage on lower levels (that's definitely the ugliest thing), washing facilities and gym to residential apartments further up.
Next morning we walked the Riverwalk and I stared for some 5 min trying to like it.
No way - looking the whole picture with other buildings around they look like unfinished yet or like they ran out the funds to put the final glass facade.
Written 23 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Irina
United States13,546 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017 • Friends
Quite spectacular views of the twin Corn Cob Towers and from those towers. We visited this unique high-rise residential complex long time ago and were shown one of the condos -- the aerial 360 degrees views of the whole city and its suburbs were fascinating. The condos, in fact, don't have right angles in them at all, but every condo has a balcony.

The 65-story concrete towers (built in 1968, architect Bertrand Goldberg) are decorating the RiverWalk part of Chicago, and they are virtually 'the city within a city', with the 19 floors of parking, high-speed elevators, a concert hall, several restaurants , and the Hotel Chicago. Marina City in all its splendor!

One can also admire these two 'Wonders of the Chicago World' when taking the Chicago River cruises.

Quite a masterpiece of modern architecture!
Written 8 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Irina
United States13,546 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Marina City was built in 1964 -- 1968 as a mixed-use, residential-commercial complex, designed in a modern, Expressionist style by an American architect and industrial designer Bertrand Goldberg (1913 -- 1997).

Two concrete 587 ft (179m) tall, 65-story Corn Cob Towers are unique in design: all condominiums and rental units don't have interior right angles, and all have semi-circular large balconies, providing spectacular views of the city. The group of buildings in Marina City is often called "the city within a city". The towers have a 19-story garage with a spiral parking ramp, on the 20th floor there's a laundry room and the gym. High-speed elevators provide a fast access to the upper floors of the towers. There's a famous House of Blues on the ground-level plaza.

There are also restaurants, hotels, retail outlets and boat slips at Marina City complex, which is located at the Chicago River bank (Near North Side neighborhood), across from Chicago Loop, and can be easily accessed from the Wabash Avenue Bridge.

It is always enjoyable to see and visit Marina City -- an architectural marvel and iconic site in Chicago. Marina City looks spectacular in the evening hours, as well, and Corn Cob Towers are considered to be the most recognizable structures in Chicago.

Marina City complex was designated Chicago Landmark in 2016.
Written 14 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martin S
Cranford, NJ1,695 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2019 • Solo
When this residential complex ( 2 60 story high rises) was built back in the 60s, it’s circular design was unique in the day. It’s look still stands out over 50 years later in this architecturally significant city.

The complex can be seen well from the south side of the river, on one of the nearby bridges or from Riverwalk.

It continues to be part of the unique architecture in the city of Chicago. It has been affectionately known as the “Corn Cobbs” which is obvious when viewed😀.
Written 12 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

conrade886
Huntington, NY237 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013 • Business
As a former resident of Marina City, there is a lot I can say about Marina City, most of all that its as spectacular as it is problem filled.

The Pros-
*Both Towers are unlike any other building one has ever seen in his pie-shaped design.
*Most any room you are in is going to have a spectacular view.
*There is an excellent security system there.
*Its proximity to everything in The Loop and The Near North Side could not be better.
*Its directly in the same complex as Hotel Sax, the House of Blues Chicago, Smith & Wollensky Steak House and Dick's Last Resort.
*Balconys are in every unit in addition to wood floors.
*There is a 20 story spiral parking garage in each tower.
*If you work in the loop, you can walk to work and on bad days there are always taxis at the house of blues and hotel on the same complex.
*The Marina at the River level is great for boats, it is the only building of its kind like that it appears.

The Cons-
*You never fully leave the loop of Chicago living there.
*Like the loop, several homeless sorts and other less desirable people can tend to congregate around Marina City.
*It is a more rigorous leasing and subletting process than most other buildings around it, if thinking you may break your lease at one point, this is not the right building to rent in.
*You get to smell the river and city full time living there.
*You get an echoing affect from the Street level all the way to the top of the Building of all the noise at ground level.
*There is one freight elevator and four regular elevators per tower.

Im very glad to have lived at Marina City but one year was more than enough time to live there. Perhaps had I not been trying to quit my job for more than half my lease, I would've felt like living there would've been more enjoyable. It is a unique building, it is defintely a great piece of Chicago's skyline, if one had the opportunity to dine or live there, I'd recommend doing so but not forever.
Written 17 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GGREMLIN
MANTEO NORTH CAROLINA2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I have lived and own properties in New York Boston Florida North Carolina's Outer banks and run THE MOORINGS in New Harbor and MONHEGAN ISLAND MAINE.There is no more exciting place to live in an urban setting than MARINA TOWERS in new and magestic downtown CHICAGO.My wife and i own an apartment on the 52nd floor and the breathtaking views of the city the Chicago river and Lake Michigan are the nonpareil.
Written 12 May 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL8,408 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
Honestly, until I recently began researching some background information on the Marina City towers, I wasn't aware that they were referred to as the "Corn Cobs." The two 60-story residential towers were built in 1964, before I returned to Chicago, and my first experience with them was attending sports banquets at Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lattner's restaurant on the lower level overlooking the Chicago River. The towers aren't public so locals and tourists must rely on boat tours to get an up-close-and-personal view of the twin structures. Or walk along Wacker Drive and observe the architectural wonders. Fortunately, we have friends who live in the building and we have never turned down an invitation to visit. What a marvelous view, east to west, from Lake Michigan to Wolf Point, and downtown Chicago. To no one's surprise, a student of famed architect Mies van der Rohe, Bertrand Goldberg, designed Marina City, a lively complex that includes apartments, recreation facilities, offices, restaurants, banks, a theater and 18 stories of parking space. It even includes a boat dock underneath the towers. House of Blues, one of Chicago's hottest night clubs, is located between the towers. At the time of its construction, Marina City was the biggest complex ever built in concrete and its shape was in sharp contrast with the contemporary architectural concepts of straight lines and cubical apartment buildings. The cylindrical shape was used to have less wind pressure. It may not be the most famous building in Chicago but it reinforced the image of Chicago as a city on the forefront of modern urban architecture.
Written 3 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

farmbrough
Wisconsin Rapids, WI172 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2012 • Family
We're used to skyscrapers looking a certain way, and confirming to a few recognizable patterns. An upended cuboid, a tiered art deco ziggurat, or these days, a symphony of steel and glass. But what you don't see many of is concrete cylinders. The structure is slightly more complex than that, with the cross-section resembling a flower. Architect Bertrand Goldberg was at the forefront of development in 1959 with these two towers being the first residential high-rise blocks built in Chicago since the war. His vision has since been emulated many times. One reason I love these buildings is that they are an antidote to the shiny reflectivity seen on so many skyscrapers, and have more of an organic feel than anything else in the city.
Written 21 May 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bill B
River Forest, IL287 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
The interior apartments are pie slices shaped due to being in a round building. The Blue Brothers drove their car off one of the levels of parking garage on the lower levels of the building. Great architecture right along the river where many other great buildings can be seen. The Architectural Water Tour of the City is worth it, if you like architectural wonders.
Written 9 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

brmusicman
Chicago, IL3,078 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Marina City (sometimes referred to as the "corn cobs") is a residential complex on the Chicago River of some architectural renown. Goldberg, the architect, was not fond of hard angles, and so the entire building features round edges; the primary building material is concrete. (For another, lower-rise of Goldberg's aversion to angles and affection for concrete, visit his River City complex in the South Loop.) You may find them 'of their era' (they were built in the 1960s, but were the first high-rise residential complex built after WWII), but they are iconic and worth seeing! An office building that was once part of the complex is now a hotel, and the movie theater that was once part of the complex is now the House of Blues; these are open to the public, but the apartments themselves are not. (Google "Marina City," though, for views of the interior and a sense of what these apartments cost.) Marina City is easily viewed from the street, riverwalk, or an architecture cruise.
Written 1 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Marina City - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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