The Atrium of the beautiful 311 South Wacker Drive building is one of the most remarkable event spaces in America. It consists of a multilevel winter garden with an 86-foot-tall glazed roof, extravagant granite finishes, majestic pillars and expansive glass surrounds that splash sunlight around the 12,000-square-foot Atrium. It never fails to incite a small gasp from every visitor upon first entering the space – which makes it the ideal locale for special events or dining that always delight. Whether for an annual event, your special occasion or as your favorite dining destination, Pazzo’s Chicago will ensure that your experience will be memorable and grand!
It is only fitting that one of the most impressive buildings in the city of Chicago has the most formidable indoor fountain in the city, as well. But not only that, the 10,000-pound “Gem of the Lakes” sculpture that is the centerpiece of this fountain – designed by Raymond Kaskey and fabricated by Laran Bronze Foundry in Chester, Pennsylvania – is also one of the finest monumental bronze sculptures in Chicago. The sculpture pays homage to the importance of water to the city, and also to the role that Chicago has in the history of the Great Lakes. The figure of the bearded, semi-nude man with a cape buffeted by the winds seems to evoke an image of Zeus or Poseidon, but in truth Kaskey was more inspired to create a heroic version of the infant seated in a shell that is depicted in the seal of Chicago. Whereas the infant symbolizes a pearl, the nascency of the city (dating back to the 1830s), Kaskey’s figure is a broad-shouldered representation of Chicago (the “city of broad shoulders”) — symbolizing the ingenuity employed to build this great city born of water into what it has become today.
Our “Gem of the Lakes” is certainly a patronly figure who looks over and protects us during the momentous occasions that are lived out in the grand winter garden of 311 South Wacker Drive.