Marina City
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Unique architecture for a building complex as its own self-contained community.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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

Taylor B
Chicago, IL8,367 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Marina City, a mixed-use residential/commercial building complex, was one of the first major post-World War II urban high-rise residential complexes in the United States and was widely credited with beginning the residential renaissance of American inner cities when it was opened in 1964. Located at 300 North State Street, on the north bank of the Chicago River, directly across from the Loop, it consists of two 587-foot-tall, 65-story apartment towers, which include physical plant penthouses, a 10-story office building that has been converted into a hotel and a saddle-shaped auditorium building originally used as a cinema. When finished, the two towers were both the tallest residential buildings and the tallest reinforced concrete structures in the world. The four buildings, access driveways, and a small plaza that originally included an ice rink are built on a raised platform next to the Chicago River. Beneath the platform, at river level, is a small marina for pleasure craft, giving the structures their name. Former Notre Dame football star and 1953 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lattner once owned a restaurant on the site, overlooking the river. Built as a "city within a city," the complex currently is home to House of Blues concert hall, restaurant and bar, Hotel Chicago, 10Pin Bowling Lounge and four other restaurants--Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse, Yolk, Katana and Dick's Last Resort. Designated a Chicago Landmark in 2016, Marina City's towers boast a symbolic similarity to rural Illinois corncobs, a comical feature that has often been noted in the media. The residential towers have some interesting features. How about the high speed of those elevators? It takes only 33 seconds to travel from the lower-level lobby to the 61st floor roof decks. The two towers contain identical floor plans. The bottom 19 floors form an exposed spiral parking ramp operated by valet with 896 parking spaces. The 20th floor contains a laundry room and gym with panoramic views of the Loop. Floors 21 through 60 contain apartments. A 360-degree open-air roof deck lies on the 61st and top story. The apartments are unusual because they contain almost no interior right angles. A circular hallway surrounds the elevator core. Each unit terminates in a 175-square-foot semi-circular balcony that is separate from the living area by a floor-to-ceiling window wall. Each unit contains individual water heaters, heating and cooling unit and electric stoves. Marina City will forever be remembered for the famous movie stunt when a car drove off the parking garage in Steve McQueen's last movie, "The Hunter," on September 21, 1979.
Written 3 June 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.

Irina
United States13,537 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.

TravelingSoccerLoon
Saint Paul, MN5,349 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
Unique architecture and buildings with historic importance. Built in the 1960s and located right on the Chicago River in downtown, this building complex is not only famous for its unusual design but was the first urban high-rise development that was meant to encourage people to move back into the city. It was a futuristic self-contained "city withing a city" providing all the amenities that you need in one place including a theater, gym, swimming pool, ice rink, bowling alley, stores, restaurants, and even a boat marina. It became the model for other developments in cities throughout the US. Great views by strolling along the Chicago Riverwalk or even better you can go on an architecture boat tour on the river.
Written 11 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.

George K
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Solo
Been here on the 39th floor for a year now. I LOVE IT. Although every person has there individual tastes and opinion I feel this location and building cannot be beat. Especially for the price. Nobody has balconies this size. They are huge. I'm facing the river and I can see Lake Michigan I can see all the way up and down the river in both directions. I can walk to the greatest theaters, restaurants, Riverwalk, lakefront and museums. It doesn't have some of the amenities newer buildings have. There is no pool. The workout room is a workout room, not an expansive gym. It has about 10 treadmills a set of free weights one bench and a few other pieces of equipment. There's rarely more than one person in there. That works for me. The elevators are fast. The employees are kind. I always feel proud as I walk up to the building. Not to mention House of Blues is in my basement lol. I'll let my pictures speak for themselves. Oh...the roof top is open, hosts movie nights weekly, often supplying beer and pizza. This is old school, real deal Chicago.
Written 1 December 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.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL21,818 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Today, downtowns across the US are experiencing a Renaissance in large part due to what this historic property did, bring mixed-use residential to the city. Prior to the 1960's downtowns were office, public, finance, commercial retail and industrial property uses. Today, residential and mixed-use are dominating cities and providing most of the growth.

This development was one of the first attempts to bring people back to downtown on a 24/7 basis. The "Corncobs" as they are affectionally known look to maximize living space while also offering urban amenities like parking garage. While the building's Jetson style futuristic design may not be as prevalent, the concept has been wildly successful, thus just another trend stetting structure in Chicago. Today the property has been swallowed by larger buildings around it. However, it still has a prominent location on the Chicago River which is where we saw it on our Architectural Boat Tour. And yes there actually are some marine amenities associated with the complex, thus the name.
Written 24 July 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.

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.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL8,367 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
Chicago is known as a city of architecture and one of the most unique and most visible and most significant structures is Marina City. Located at 300 North State Street, overlooking the Chicago River, it is a mixed-use residential/commercial building complex. Designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg, it occupies almost an entire city block. Completed between 1964 and 1968, the complex consists of two 587-foot, 65-story apartment towers. It also includes a 10-story hotel and a saddle-shaped auditorium building that originally was used as a cinema. Beneath the twin towers, at river level, is a small marina for pleasure craft, giving the complex its name. When finished, the two towers were both the tallest residential buildings and the tallest reinforced concrete structures in the world. Built as a "city within a city," with a marina, bowling alley, ice rink, swimming pool, gymnasium, theater, retail shops and restaurants, with a base of parking, it has become a primary model for urban development in the United States and throughout the world and has been widely copied in many cities internationally as an effort to reverse the pattern of white flight from the city's downtown area. The two towers contain identical floor plans. The bottom 19 floors form an exposed spiral parking ramp operated by valet with approximately 896 parking spaces. The 20th floor of each tower contains a laundry room and gym with panoramic views of Chicago's Loop. Floors 21 through 60 contain apartments, 450 per tower. On the 61st and top story is a 360-degree open-air roof deck. The apartments are unusual in that they contain almost no interior right angles. Each unit terminates in a 175-square-foot semi-circular balcony separated from living areas by a floor-to-ceiling window wall. Interestingly, every single living room and bedroom in Marina City has a balcony. In addition, the towers are noted for the high speed of their elevators, a joy to residents in tall buildings. It takes about 33 seconds to travel from the lower-level lobby to the 61st floor roof deck. In the 1960s and 1970s, Marina City was known as the popular home of former football star Johnny Lattner's restaurant.
Written 12 June 2021
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.

jgbtravels
Louisville, KY4,519 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
Iconic Chicago architecture at its best. Who doesn’t love these structures? You can get good views from a boat tour(we took Wendella) or from the south side of the river off of Michigan Avenue. These are photos you keep forever.
Written 26 May 2021
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.

TeamWard
Nottingham, UK5,690 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
On the banks of the Chicago river, its easy to spot Marina City also known as the Corncobs buildings, iconic and worth finding.
Written 14 October 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 (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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