This charming triangular space provides a lovely place to chill out near State and Rush streets on the Gold Coast. A few blocks from my hotel, the plaza initially caught my eye because of its many yellow umbrellas, which provide shade over black wrought-iron tables. Benches and chairs abound, standing on a ground cover of brick pavers. A fountain provided a cooling effect on one of my visits that occurred on a hot, humid day. Circular flower beds surround tall trees, and flower baskets decorate earlier-era style lampposts.
As an architecture buff, I especially like the Prairie-style pavilion at one end, designed by a member of Frank Lloyd Wright's staff in 1895. This pavilion holds Whispers Cafe, which sells takeaway refreshments, such as coffee, tea, juices and gelato. I was disappointed with its decaf coffee but thoroughly enjoyed a small cup of chocolate and raspberry gelato.
My stops here occurred in late mornings when few others were around. But I suspect the plaza brings in many local residents later in the day.
The plaza is named after Louis Mariano, who was a reporter and editor for the Chicago Daily News.
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