Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
This is the entrance to the tunnel under Ogilvie Station on Washington Street. Those things that look like monster eyes (sorry) are actually sodium lamps illuminating the tunnel. A fairly amazing train station was demolished in order to make room for a big turquois and black skyskraper on Madison. The section you see above is the part of the building that remained to accomodate the train platforms. Metra has begun to renovate the areas underneath the train tracks north of Washington into retail stores and markets. One of their more brilliant ideas.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
It's interesting, but the Hamburger Chili sign would have benefited from showing the mortar joints of the brick. In the black and white version it works much better without them. Maybe I'll try adding them in white pencil, if I'm feeling motivated.
[Since this was posted the Hamburger-Chili sign was removed. I assumed it was gone forever, but it has returned. It's been relocated from non-trendy Rogers Park to increasingly trendy Ukrainian Village/Wicker Park. Look for it on the north side of Division, west of Damen. I liked it better in Rogers Park. Even so, the neon has been repaired and the sign repainted.]
Monday, March 8, 2010
This is part of the Washington Street Bridge, which I cross twice a day to get to and from my train at Ogilvie Station. In the background you can see part of the Daily News Building. This morning the Chicago River was as smooth as glass. For some reason I kept expecting half a cow carcass to float to the surface.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Rogers Park's architectural appeal is subtle. Which is perfect for me, since I'm typically drawn to buildings which are overlooked.
Let's take the 1905 Village North Theater at Sheridan and Columbia. Formerly known as "The 400" it's now under new ownership. Here we have the last remaining neighborhood theater in Rogers Park. The Grenada is long gone. The Adelphi is recently gone, along with several smaller theaters on Clark that I've only seen on old Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. The Ridgeland Theater on Devon near Clark is now a part of Devon Hardware. The Howard Theater was converted into condos. The Village North survived by multiplexing and charging as little as possible. This was reflected in the condition of the building, which began to leak and shed terra cotta.
But the new owners received some assistance to renovate the building and repair the facade. Unfortunately they used reinforced concrete replacement units which don't really match the cream-colored terra cotta. They're kind of a sickly yellow.
But at least this ornament on the corner of the building was in good shape. I can't imagine their budget would have allowed for this to be replicated. The figure is probably a muse and those ropes of leaves and fruits are festoons, symbols of plenty. There was similar ornament inside the theater, but most of it has been covered up. Or possibly removed outright.
This is a good example of a building with limited local significance. But in Rogers Park, which has limited opportunities for non-alcohol related recreation, it's extremely important. Too bad the old Atomic Cafe (which adjoined the theater) is long gone. But there's a Starbucks there now, which is better than nothing.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
But I didn't want to give up on the subject, so I reframed it:
Then it became too figurative, and I felt the need to embellish it for no good reason:
Anyway, there are a number of these silos near downtown Chicago. Difficult to tell if they're still operable. Most of these are now surrounded by residential conversions.