Friday, September 16, 2011

Multi-Court Apartments in Rogers Park

Special thanks to the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society which gave me an opportunity to talk about courtyard apartments last Saturday morning at their museum at Morse and Greenview.
"Tendencies in Apartment House Design: Part IV - Open Court Types,"
Frank Choteau Brown, The Architectural Record, Vol. L, 1921, p.489.  Accessed through Google eBooks.

Once again, Frank Brown gets there before I do.  The footprint to the far-right best represents what I refer to as muli-court buildings.  E-Plan works too.  I'm reminded of Steven Holl's Pamphlet Architecture #5, "The Alphebetical City," which I once passed up at a used bookstore and have regretted ever since.  Anyway, I had some difficulty defining what should be considered a multi-court building.  Are two idenitical U-Courts side-by-side a multi-court?  What if they're on separately owned lots?  So I came up with a few multi-court buildings that appear to create a coherent whole, even if they are technically individual buildings.

This buildings at 1800-1818 W. Farwell  are a good example this.  However, the setbacks of the individual wings are not identical.  The one on the far right comes closest to the front property line.  The center wings are set back somewhat and align with each other.  The left extension is set back even further.  It doesn't seem like there's a regulation which would require this, but the wing on the left better aligns with the single family homes to the west.  If that's what the designer intended I congratulate them on their nod to neighborhood context.  Of course it's still a massive building next to tiny buildings, but at least their neighbor still has their  front yard.

This complex is located at 7016-7034 N. Sheridan (Sheridan and Greenleaf) sits on three separate parcels.  It's really a combination of two L-Courts and one S-Court.  But they were intended to form a coherent composition (classical revival, down to the red brick, corner quoins and triangular pediments).  In this case I can explain the various setbacks.  On the lots to the right a 30' subdivision setback was recorded, which is absent on the lot to the far left.  Odd, but interesting.

This building at 1708-1720 W. Albion was a surprise to discover.  Not only has it never been enclosed with wrought iron fencing, but it still has all the original windows and doors.  They're not in great condition, but it's nice to see the level of detail these buildings had.

Again, from an ownership standpoint there are three separate lots.  Several L-Courts combine to create two central courts.  Architecturally it reads as a single multi-court building. 

It appears that the central section makes use of  corridors to access the units.  This is unusual for a courtyard apartment, which normally depends on a number of entrances.  Perhaps it's necessary because of the comparatively small lot size.

No comments:

Post a Comment