The Yale Apartments at 6565 S. Yale is a gem of Chicago architecture--a very fine example of Richardsonian Romanesque design tucked away on a side street in Englewood. Built in 1892, The Yale shows Englewood's‚ roots as a middle-class, gaslight era suburb.‚ At seven commanding stories, The Yale was taller than anything around it.‚ Apartments--ringing a light court and atrium--were accessible by an open cage elevator.‚ There were two other apartment buildings like it in city: the extant Brewster Apartments at 2800 N. Pine Grove, built in 1893, and the storied--please click on this link--Mecca Apartments at 33rd and State which were demolished in the early 1950s to build IIT's Crown Hall.
Hotel Florence, 111th just east of Cottage Grove (photo by Lee Bey)
A blanket of snow has fallen on the city. S0 take a drive--better yet, a ride on the Metra Electric commuter rail--to the city's historic Pullman neighborhood on the far South Side.‚ Few places in Chicago are as picturesque after a snowfall.
111th Street Metra Electric platform looking north.
Pullman Clocktower on the left (Photo by Lee Bey)
(photo by Lee Bey)
The Cabrini Green public housing building at 660 W. Division is coming down.‚ As demolition workers pound the 15-story concrete slab into oblivion, take note of something beside the spectacle of crumbling concrete and the hair-like strands of‚ exposed rebar:
There is color.
Columbia College Media Production Center (photo by Lee Bey)
But suppose--just suppose--the 120-year-old college, whose graduates are an eclectic mix of artists, actors, journalists, dancers, filmmakers, music and television professionals, constructed a building of its own? What would that look like?
Many will find out today as the school and dignitaries cut the ribbon on the $21 million,Columbia College Media Production Center at 16th and State Street. It's first building the college has constructed.
Viceroy Hotel (photo by Lee Bey)
The city's Commission on Chicago Landmarks is scheduled to vote whether to recommend the city council grant‚ landmark status to the vacant six-story Art Deco hotel at 1519 W. Warren Blvd.‚ In addition, the commission will also vote on recommending the Viceroy--originally known as the Union Park Hotel--to the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council for a possible listing on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the meeting's agenda.
The two designations would make the 81-year-old building eligible for incentives that would help Heartland Housing and nearby First Baptist Congregational Church's efforts to redevelop the property into a 90-unit, LEED-certified development for the homeless and unemployed.
Hotel 71 (photo by Lee Bey)
Hotel 71 almost never gets name-checked when people discuss the city's better architecture. If it isn't forgotten, it's certainly overlooked.
No reason why it should be, though. Built in 1958 as the Executive House hotel, the 36-story 71 E. Wacker is a slick postwar addition to the mainly early 20th century Wacker Drive streetwall. The original facade was made flush awhile back, removing the original recessed balconies, but the move improved the tower's looks. Designed by under-heralded Chicago modernist Milton Schwartz, the hotel looks fresh enough to have been built yesterday.
Speaking of yesterday, how weird is this?
(photo by Lee Bey)
(photo by Lee Bey)
Comer College Prep Charter School under construction (photo by Lee Bey)
South Chicago Avenue was an industrial backbone of the South and Southeast Side.‚ Many of‚ the old factories and plants are gone, but a stretch of the street in the Greater Grand Crossing community is learning to survive without them, thanks to architecture, urban planning (and the guy who founded Lands' End).
Take a look at the Gary C. Comer College Prep Charter School, designed by Chicago architect John Ronan, which will be completed this year near 72nd St and South Chicago. In addition to the photo above,‚ you also can see renderings of the facility.‚ In our early look, you can see what will be two long rows of windows smiling out onto South Chicago Avenue. The prominent entrance does not stare out at the street from behind a giant parking lot;‚ instead, it squares up to the sidewalk and embraces it.