Wednesday, April 4, 2012

7600-7602 N. Sheridan - Apartments of the Better Class

OK, last one!  It's taken me nearly a year to post these seven Rogers Park apartment buildings featured in Partridge and Bradley's 1917 catalog, "Directory to Apartments of the Better Class on the North Side of Chicago".  Why are they better class?  I'm not really sure. But here's my imagined list of titles they considered yet ultimately rejected:

Apartments for Awesome People
Classy Classy!  Apartments!
Not a Flophouse

As Partridge and Bradley explain in their introduction, they focused on people who could choose to live in a private house but prefered the luxury and economy of apartment buildings.  And many of these apartments really were luxurious, with individual laundries, wine cellars, private garages, elevators, electric appliances, etc.  The largest apartment represented had 15 rooms.  Rogers Park contains the more modest examples.

The view shown above is at the Northwest corner of the Sheridan and Howard.    Except for the loss of the tall casement windows and roof tile on the front gables it looks pretty much as it did.  It nearly fills the entire lot, with no room reserved for garages or green space.  Here's the desciption:

So if it was trying to appeal to commuters who used public transit maybe it didn't need garage space.  And with only steps to Lake Michigan who needs a yard, right?  Like many of these apartments it advertises an interior scheme of mahogany and white enamel.  The woodwork was probably birch, which was popular for its ability to take stains and finishes.  And it was cheap.  Saying that it had light on all four sides seems to be a bit optomistic, since the photo shows there was already a close neighbor on the North.  As a corner lot it certainly has more light, but that also comes with more noise.

Click for larger version.

So it looks like there are three apartments per floor, with the smaller apartment located at the rear.  The front units have a maid's room.  All share a rear stair system, which may have also functioned as a light court. 

The subdivision map shows that there was a 30 foot building line along Sheridan, so perhaps that explains the angles of the front porches.  The units on Sheridan are classic Chicago apartments, with rooms arranged in a linear, cellular fashion.

I imagine the sunrooms were popular in the summertime, when the casement windows could be opened on all sides to catch the breezes from Lake Michigan. 

1 comment:

  1. The view shown above is at the Northwest corner of the Sheridan and Howard. Except for the loss of the tall casement windows and roof tile on the front gables it looks pretty much as it did. It nearly fills the entire lot, with no room reserved for garages or green space. Here's the desciption. student accommodation london