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Round 1: Vote for the Most Beautiful Places in Chicago

Meredith Francis
A graphic depicting the "Most Beautiful Bracket Challenge"

What do you think is the most beautiful place in Chicago? Here's your chance to vote on the locations featured in Geoffrey Baer's The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago, premiering on March 7. 

Welcome to round one of our bracket challenge! Vote on each of the four match-ups below. How did we choose these locations? Simple! Geoffrey visits all eight of the stunning locations you see below in the show and talks to the creators, enthusiasts, and other experts who share how these places came to be and why they are meaningful. 

Round 1: Voting is now live and will end on Wednesday, March 8 at 2 pm.

Round 2: Voting will begin on Thursday, March 9, and will end on Saturday, March 11 at 2 pm.

Final Round: Voting will begin on Monday, March 13, and will end on Wednesday, March 15 at 2 pm. We’ll announce a winner Wednesday afternoon!

Ding ding ding! Our first match-up is between Ping Tom Park and Steelworker's Park. Ping Tom Park is in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood and was designed by Ernie Wong of the site design group. It’s located on a former railyard on the Chicago River, and its centerpiece is a pagoda-like pavilion. Steelworkers Park is located in the South Chicago neighborhood on the site of the former steel mills. A few of the massive ore walls remain, some of which have been converted to rock climbing walls. 

Our second match-up is between the Rookery and Tribune Tower. The Rookery is a Burnham and Root-designed building dating back to 1888. Its interior lobby, or “light court,” was later redesigned by Frank Lloyd Wright. Tribune Tower was completed in 1925 as part of a competition created by the Chicago Tribune. The goal of the competition was to create the most beautiful building in the world. Do you think they achieved that goal?

Our third match-up is between the new St. Regis Chicago and Unity Temple, each designed by a big name in architecture. St. Regis Chicago was designed by Jeanne Gang, and it’s now the third-tallest building in Chicago. Unity Temple in Oak Park was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and is one of eight Wright structures to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The final match-up in round one is between El Centro and BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. El Centro is part of Northeastern Illinois University and is located in the Avondale neighborhood near the Kennedy Expressway. The program housed in El Centro works to provide support to Latino and immigrant students. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a Hindu house of worship located in Bartlett, Illinois. The incredibly ornate structure  was hand-carved by thousands of artisans in India and was shipped in 40,000 different pieces.