Monday, December 28, 2015

Beachton Court Apartments, 1929

Image above from the Tribune Article, 11/11/28
The Beachton Court Apartments are another example of how Rogers Park rapidly gained density at the end of the 1920s.  This complex replaced the Raymond Beach residence at the southwest corner of Pratt and Ashland and was named in honor of the former occupant. Not sure if he appreciated that or not...  Raymond Beach must have been a holdout in that area as many single family homes gave way to 3-story apartment buildings.

The steel-reinforced cement frame building has an exterior of buff brick and stone cladding.  It had a large community room on the first floor (maybe it still does?) including a waxed dance floor. The 76 units had built-in ironing boards, vestibule phones, electric door releases and electric refrigeration.  The architectural style is described as Tudor Gothic, modified to 1928 sensibilities.  I take 1928 sensibilities to mean tall and massive.

The rendering shows parapets with ornament that projects above the building, giving it a slightly more vertical orientation.  I'm not sure of these elements were removed or perhaps not built as drawn.  It was constructed at a cost of $580,000.

Site Map
Leon F. Urbain was the architect for the building as well as an investor.  I find this to be common for large apartment buildings. Successful practices often incorporated design and development, which must have solved many problems.  And possibly created some as well.

Images from Google Streetscape
Urbain designed at least two large apartment buildings at various stages of completion by 1929.  With the stock market crash these were put on hold until new financing could be secured.  The Poinsettia Apartments in Hyde Park and the Kenmore Manor Apartments in Edgewater were similar in scale to the Beachton.

The project on Kenmore sat for 7 years until it could finally be completed.

Just a quick note.  Leon Urbain should not be confused with the firm of Olsen and Urbain, which was also active in the area.  I'm mostly talking to myself here.

Complete Tribune Article 11/11/28

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