Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trip 75: Red to Green for Two Landmarks

Date: October 30, 2010
Trip: 75
Landmarks Visited: 2
Landmarks To-Date: 205
Landmarks Remaining: 148

On a beautiful fall Saturday I took the Red Line south to Clark and Division to see a landmark in Gold Coast. Then I got back on the train and continued south, switched to the Green Line and headed a little west to see another in the West Loop.

1. Three Arts Club

This building was originally built as residences and studios for female artists. The organization eventually ran out of money, and the building is now vacant. One developer had a plan to covert the building into a mausoleum, but the neighbors fought that idea. I personally think a mausoleum would be a good neighbor--quiet, no late night traffic.

I have never been inside the building myself, but have seen photos of the central courtyard with a fountain. Hopefully someone finds a use that can preserve the building.

I took pictures of two nearby houses that I thought were interesting and unusual for Chicago. Neither of them is landmarked as far as I know.

2. Chicago & North Western Railway Powerhouse
This is an odd shaped building that was fitted in between railroad tracks and Clinton Street. At one time it generated heat and power for a train station that has since been torn down, and for passenger trains while they were at the station. Today the building houses a high-end restaurant called Prairie Fire and a pub call New Line Tavern.
I took a couple of photos from the Green Line platform (through the glass) and in one you can just make out the initials C&NW in the decorative stonework. The building is pretty ornate when you consider its original utilitarian function. And it still has its smokestack.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Trip 74: South Michigan Ave

Date: October 17, 2010
Trip: 74
Landmarks Visited: 3
Landmarks To-Date: 203
Landmarks Remaining: 150

On this Sunday morning I drove to the near south side to see a few landmarks. I didn't think to check the Bears' schedule, so I got caught in some football traffic. It was a beautiful, sunny fall morning which was great for Bears fans, but not necessarily so great for taking landmark photos. You can see in one photo the corner of a parked car. I actually crouched down in the shadow of the car to be able to get a picture while almost directly facing the sun.

1. Wood-Maxey-Boyd House

This mansion is the last single family home on its section of Prairie Avenue. It is a huge house with a very large carriage house behind. It's amazing that it has survived given that it is literally surrounded by vacant lots.

2. Sydney Kent House
As the landmark plaque states, this house is one of the few remaining mansions on its section of South Michigan Avenue. I like the very ornate wrought-iron fence and the portico to the right side of the house. The reddish terra cotta decoration is also impressive.

3. South Side Community Art Center

Unfortunately, the trees in front of this building (plus sun glare) prevented me from getting any good photos.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Trip 73: East Village District

Date: October 14, 2010
Trip: 73
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 200
Landmarks Remaining: 153

On Thursday after work I took a quick drive to the East Village neighborhood. This trip was a little bit of a milestone since it was my 200th landmark. This trip also made me realize that I won't be able to make after work trips much longer. By the time I walked through most of the neighborhood it was too dark to take pictures. Once the time changes, I will be limited to weekends to knock-off the remaining landmarks.

The East Village is a residential neighborhood of mostly single-family homes. The houses are more modest than those in the landmark districts of Lincoln Park and Gold Coast. And not as many of the originally homes remain. Still it is a pleasant neighborhood with tree-lined streets and well maintained houses.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Trip 72: Fisher Studio Houses

Date: October 1, 2010
Trip: 72
Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 199
Landmarks Remaining: 154

After work today I took the 151 bus south to see the Fisher Studio Houses. As the landmark plaque states, it's an Art Moderne design which is rare in Chicago. The building is probably much more interesting from the courtyard, but I could only photograph it from the street.