Wednesday, January 18, 2012

6757-6765 N. Sheridan - Apartments of the Better Class

This marks the continuing documentation of the Rogers Park buildings featured in "Directory to Apartments of the Better Class along the North Side of Chicago."  This is entry #6, for those keeping count.

This corner remains mostly unchanged from its 1917 entry.  The more noticeable difference is that Sheridan Road was widened, resulting in a narrower parkway. And of course the car styles have changed.  A little.

At first glance this appears to be a single building using the same dark red face brick, inset geometric stone ornaments and pressed-metal cornice.  But there are some definite differences.  For instance, the sun porches to the right are much more closely spaced than the ones on the left.  And the first floor on the right is clad with stone, rather than brick.  Even the window configurations on the porches are different.  The floorplans confirm that these are two distinct buildings even though they share design similarities.

Click for larger version.  Or just get really close to the screen.

Image from Bing's Bird's Eye Views
This is the first time the floor plans in "Better Apartments" actually give a false impression of a space.  The building below is twice as big as the one above.  I can only assume that they squeezed the plan so it would take up less space on the page.  That would also explain why the room labels in the lower image are nearly illegible.  The oblique aerial photo to the right gives a better impression of the relationship, showing how the rear courts work together to create an complex interior court.  You can see that the two buildings (maybe three?)  form a sort of "L" configuration, with a 1-story garage taking up the space along the alley. 

These are basically two or three bedroom apartments with a few extras, such as reception halls.  Maybe half of the units have a bedrooms labeled as a maid's room.

Click for larger version
According to the blurb they built enough garage space for 16 cars.  Of course the cars were a bit smaller back then, but even in 1917 garage space would have been a big benefit as the density of the neighborhood increased. 

The sun-porches overlook Sheridan rather than Pratt.  In 1917 Sheridan was more of a pleasure road rather than the busy thoroughfare we now know and love.  And like many of the apartments in this publication, mahogany and white enamel was used for the interior scheme.  This must have suggested luxury and cleanliness all in one.  The mahogany was probably stained birch, but let's not split hairs.  For $77.50 a month I'm sold.  


  1. These are great drawings with history. I really appreciate the effort and willingness to share this work. I wonder what criteria is used to decide to make drawings and record history? Is a National Registry listing a plus or a minus for consideration?
    Peter Donalek

  2. Thanks for visiting Peter. The ULG credo, if there is such a thing, is to find a pattern and try and document all examples of it without using a critical eye. Not always easy or possible. But if something is listed on the National Register a large amount of analysis has already been done. At this point I'm more interested in what gets left off of the register.