Friday, August 12, 2011

Entrances to Courtyard Apartments, #2

Click to enlarge.
In a previous post I introduced some examples of the decorative entrances of several courtyard buildings and talked about some of the ways these operate to define public, private, and semi-private spaces.  I even had a nifty graphic, which I'm recycling to the right.  But as usual, I have some more examples I'd like to include. 

7320-7330 N. Damen, 1930

Above is a brick and stone wall and fence combination with Craftmans details.  It seems likely that the fence section is a later addition, but it doesn't add much more security.  Even I could hop this one. Still, it's good to retain the visibility into the court.  I've seen some high solid walls which make a building look under seige.

7349-7355 N. Damen, 1926

This is a particularly good one, with some gothic touches.  The combination of very tall piers and very low walls is a bit unusual.  So again, not a real physical barrier, but it provides a psychological break between public and private space.

7381-7389 N. Damen, 1929

Sometimes you'll find these types of entrances, which use wrought iron to suspend a lantern.  This is an elegant treatment, but they don't age well.  It's difficult to keep something like this protected from the elements and operable.  Easier to chop off the metal and install lamps on the top of the piers. Or not at all.
6822-6828 N. Wayne, 1928

The most common materials used are brick and stone (or cast stone), so it's a bit unusual in Rogers Park to find a courtyard building with a significant amount of terracotta.  This entrance actually uses two types of terracotta, white and a dark green speckled base, which resembles granite. Nice adaptation of a gothic buttress form.
7400-7410 N. Damen, 1932

This is a good example of a different type of entrance incorporating a change in grade.  In this case the entire courtyard is elevated, probably creating a bit more basement storage.  There are also buildings which use a sunken courtyards, which can be even more effective in creating a semi-private space.

OK, that should do it for courtyard entrances, at least for a while.


  1. Awesome website, just came across this while perusing everyblock chicago for rogers park.

    Love the computer pictures that show the detail of the buildings. Rogers Park has awesome buildings.

    I wonder what you would think of our familys building at wayne and farwell. Its pretty plain, but a very solid turn of the century apartment building 6900-6906 n wayne and 1338-1336 w farwell. It was split in two in the seventies and they two halves are finally under one ownership this past year. Its undergoing some much needed tuck pointing right now.

  2. Thanks for visiting! Rogers Park is lucky to have preserved many of the older apartment buildings, partly because they were built like battleships.

    The one at Wayne and Farwell looks like a solid example. It would be great if it had its cornice restored at some point, but I'm sure that's at the end of a long list of improvements.

  3. I will look into that (about the wayne/farwell buiding), by cornice maybe you mean the concrete strip at the stop which is about a foot tall or is it the decorative strip at the very tippy top of the facade? What would it look like restored?

    I like the battleship analogy.

  4. Sorry I mean top. not stop.