Thursday, August 20, 2015

1218-1220 W. Morse, c. 1925

I was surprised to find this photo in a scrapbook digitized by the Art Institute of Chicago found in the collection of architect B. Leo Steif. 

Steif's scrapbook is the sort of document biographers pray for, but seldom find.  Whenever he had a project mentioned in the media or one of his designs published he snipped it out and pasted it down.  Unfortunately, the resolution of the scans don't always make it easy to read the text, but at least I know where to find the original.  The historic photo to the right was used as a advertisement by the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company. 

The building has aged pretty well.  It's lost some of the decorative urns at the parapet, and all of the terra cotta balustrades.  The storefronts and operable awnings have been replaced, but the building has come through the past 80 plus years nearly unscathed.  I have no idea about structural issues, but being vacant for so long certainly doesn't help.

If you'd like to view the scrapbook (and who wouldn't?) click here.

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