- Details atop entrances and exits to Quincy "L" stop (Wells and Quincy Streets). Decorative chess pawns were a part of the original station structure, at the base of slanted roofs covering the staircases, in the late 19th Century. They disappeared before the 1950s but were replaced during a restoration at the end of the '80s. President John Quincy Adams was a chess player who collected chess sets.
- Angry American Eagles, lobby of 1 N. LaSalle St. The birds on sconces and radiator grilles of this extraordinary Art Moderne lobby from 1930 seem to prefigure the ferocity of World War II more than 10 years later.
- CNA Building, 333 S. Wabash Ave. Color in the constructed urban landscape is rare. Here the entire building is red. (The tower above the fourth floor of 10 S. LaSalle St. is blue-green.)
- "The Town-Ho's Story with Postscript & the Gam." A sculpture by Frank Stella, lobby of 77 W. Jackson Blvd. A veritable mushroom cloud of activity, this unpopular piece (titled from chapters of Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick") in 1993 brought to a close decades of major public art commissions for public spaces in the Loop.
- "Clouds over Lake Michigan." A ceramic mural by Ruth Duckworth, lobby of 400 S. LaSalle St. The most unusual of nearly 50 murals downtown is now sadly obstructed in the second of two locations since its creation in 1976.
- Advertising on facade of 159 N. Dearborn St. The name of the Oliver Typewriter Co. appears 26 times on the front of this 1907 building; it's so delicately presented as to appear unobtrusive.
- "Radiant One." A sculpture by Richard Lippold, lobby of 30 W. Monroe St. The Loop's earliest successful contemporary abstract sculpture was commissioned in 1957 and is elegantly set in a pool.
- Birds above doors and on door grilles of 101 S. State St. The city's oldest guild jeweler, C.D. Peacock (which has since moved), announced its presence in the Palmer House with images that treat in brass one of the more popular design motifs of the late 19th Century.
- View north of Randolph Street, in alley between State Street and Wabash Avenue. The vertical sign and marquee of the Chicago Theater have become almost as famous as the theater architecture, but since childhood I have loved the immense painted sign on the south side of the building and its relationship to fire escapes and the alleys below.
TWO TREASURES YOU NOW NEED SECURITY CLEARANCE TO SEE:
- "Ceres," a 1930 mural by John Warner Norton, Chicago Board of Trade Building, atrium addition, 144 W. Jackson Blvd. The goddess of agriculture is depicted bare-breasted in a field of grain on a commanding, five-story-high painting.
- "A Testimonial to World Trade," 1923-24 murals by Jules Guerin, Bank of America, second floor, 231 S. LaSalle St. Eight paintings by the artist who later would create the fire curtain at the Lyric Opera House complete a patrician two-story banking hall now guarded by a rude security team.
PART 3 OF THE UNAUTHORIZED LOOP SERIES IS A COLLECTION OF 7 SEPARATE STORIES