Tuesday, February 24, 2015

1905 and 1911 W. Morse, c.1890

These large Queen Anne-style homes represent some of the early suburban development of Rogers Park. By the 1890s Rogers Park had a thriving commercial district near the train stop, its own police and fire station, and even a water treatment plant.  The area east of Clark was being developed gradually (it was pretty swampy), but large picturesque homes were being constructed on land between Clark and Ridge.  This stretch is the highest point of the neighborhood, and a good option to avoid a flooded basement.

The Queen Anne style typically has large wrap-around porches.  These would have been important for surviving the sweltering Chicago summers.  The cross-gable design opened up the floor plan to light and air from all directions.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

1762-1766 W. Morse, c. 1905

1762 and 1766 W. Morse
I'm beginning a project to document the current character of Morse Avenue in Rogers Park. For now I'm picking out some areas and buildings that appeal to me and seeing which direction I feel like heading.  The more I focus on specific buildings the more it seems like this is a project that could be done on any street in any neighborhood to reveal some of the same patterns.

After annexation of Rogers Park to Chicago in 1893 there was almost immediately an economic depression connected to the Panic of 1893.  The country didn't begin recover until 1897, at which time a 10 year period of growth occurred. These frame houses were built around 1905, in the middle of this boom period.   This was cut short by the Panic of 1907.  The next building boom wasn't until after WWI, and it lead to greater urbanization and denser development in the neighborhood.

Parking lots now bracket these buildings on the east and west, but originally the block consisted of modest single family homes with an easy downtown commute.  The Dutch Colonial-style building on the west retains many of its features, while the home on the east has enclosed the front porch and looks to be divided into several units.

Monday, February 9, 2015

900 Block of Fulton Market

This block of Fulton Market is primarily meat-packing buildings constructed around 1910.  I wanted to give special emphasis to the protective canopies which are so characteristic of the area.  Note that there isn't actually a sidewalk on this block.  The entire stretch is at-grade, which makes pickups and deliveries simple.  Walking through is a bit tricky.

This will probably be my last illustration of the pending Fulton-Randolph Market Historic District. The outlines and blacks are done in pen, and the shadows and street tone are added digitally.