The 50th anniversary of Marina City's groundbreaking celebrated today

November 22, 2010

(photo by Lee Bey)

The Skokie-based Portland Cement Association is honoring the 50th anniverary of Marina City's groundbreaking in an event today at the complex's Hotel Sax.

Marina City's twin towers were the tallest concrete buildings in the world when they were constructed. The concrete technology perfected there--back when steel-and-glass towers ruled the skies--ended up paving the way a future class of concrete-framed buildings including its neighbor to the east, Trump Tower, and the much-discussed Aqua Tower near Randolph and Columbus, the Portland Cement Assocation said.

Speakers at this morning's event will include architect Geoffrey Goldberg, the son of Marina City architect Bertrand Goldberg.

Built for $36 million, the city-within-a-city, was quite the sensation during its design, construction and early life. It became a pop culture touchstone with images of the towers finding there way into everything from salt and pepper shakers and paper weights to advertising and motion pictures. The Portland Cement Association knew from the outset Marina City would be something special. The group commissioned This is Marina City a 20-minute documentary on the complex's construction. Steve Dahlman of the always-great Marina City Online was kind enough to load the video up to YouTube, allowing us to present it two parts here. Shot in color with a pretty good score and some pretty good old-school "voice of God" narration:

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