What building is this?

What is this structure on the Chicago waterfront? The image is a screencap from the TV series Prison Break. And what are the concentric circles on the lawn?

The Adler planetarium, apparently: http://goo.gl/maps/mhZq

No idea about the spiral shape, but they could conceivably be seats for astronomy presentations given from the center stone.

Oh yeah, thanks—I didn’t think to use Google Maps. So it’s actually 80 years old—remarkable. Can’t find any information about the circles, though. They appear to be permanent fixtures, as they can be seen in other photographs.

Are you talking about the white galaxy looking thing towards the bottom of your picture? If so, here ya go.

galaxy sculpture

I found a large picture here:
http://v6.cache8.c.bigcache.googleapis.com/static.panoramio.com/photos/original/42798627.jpg?redirect_counter=2
And here:
http://v6.cache1.c.bigcache.googleapis.com/static.panoramio.com/photos/original/35204483.jpg?redirect_counter=2

The first shows a plaque, but it’s not quite readable :). The stones do look like they’re for sitting, but the center portion is definitely not for presenting.

Ah, so it’s Chicago’s answer to Stonehenge. Somehow that makes sense. :slight_smile:

The Stonehenge comparison is more apt than you might think. If you look at the aerial view you’ll notice that there are gaps in the rows of stones that run from the center roughly northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest. (The northwest one is the most noticeable to me in that picture.) These are the directions on the horizon that the Sun rises and sets on the solstices in Chicago. In other words, if you stood at the center on June 21st, the Sun would appear on the horizon between the northeast gap in the stones, and set between the northwest gap. Of course, you can’t really see the horizon looking northwest from the Adler Planetarium, but it’s a nice thought nonetheless.

The “seating area” is simply a two-armed spiral galaxy. I wish that all the Hubble photographs I’ve been classifying on the Galazy Zoo were as easy to read.

The stones are an art installation called America’s Courtyard by Denise Milan and Ary Perez.