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My Chicago: The Langham's Chris Baum

Chris Baum, concierge at The Langham, knows the best of the Chicago. Here's his strategy for making the most of your trip:

Nobody knows a city like its concierges. When you want a table for the best dinner in town or tickets to the show of the moment, they are who you call. We sat down with the concierge of the beautiful Langham, Chicago, to get his inside scoop on the best that Chicago has to offer.

Chris Baum
Concierge Chris Baum from The Langham Chicago hotel unlocks the best of the city. (Courtesy Chris Baum)

Chicago is known for its public art. What piece(s) move you every time?
While many would answer "Cloud Gate" by Anish Kapoor which has become internationally recognized as Chicago, the most moving and dramatic for me is AGORA by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. 106 cast-iron torsos, 9 feet tall, frozen in walking movement.

Our skyline is also a source of wonder. What landmarks make for the best pictures?
AQUA by Jeanne Gang immediately astonishes our visitors. Cloud Gate and our iconic Willis Tower.

The Langham is a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe project with sweeping spaces and killer views. What do you love about the hotel?
I love the way they were able to keep the integrity and vision of Mies but were also able to create a remarkable new property. The attention to detail in design, luxury and craftsmanship are incomparable.

Your guests want to catch dinner and a show. Where do you send them?
My sure-fire hit is "Million Dollar Quartet" at the Apollo Theatre. I have never had anyone return disappointed.

What are some of the most unusual requests you’ve had to fulfill as a concierge?
Recently, we had to purchase four tricycles for a family and have the bell and engineering staff pitch in and have them assembled so that they would be in their room as a surprise for the kids when they arrived.

How do you spend your days off?
I may have cocktails with an amazing view from J.Parker or venture to the Lincoln Park Zoo while waiting to get into Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder.

When (and why) did you fall in love with Chicago?
1994. I was enticed to move here as an actor. We have the greatest theatre city in the USA. But after many years, I discovered that we also have the greatest architecture in the country, no buildings on the lake front, and a retail and restaurant scene second to none!