Monday, March 19, 2018

Pratt Lane Hotel, 1927

Detail of terra cotta brackets
This building was designed by Koenigsburg and Westfeld in the Gothic Renaissance Revival style and constructed in 1927.  The ornament has always fascinated me-- and in particular the lion brackets supporting the twin projecting bays.  The first drawing I did of the building was back in 2006, but apparently that graphic is trapped on a obsolete Photobucket server.  But here's a link to the previous post.

This was constructed as an apartment hotel, which was basically a month-to-month furnished apartment with communal dining and socializing areas.  Apartment hotels would typically include a regular cleaning service.  This is an urban type that hasn't survived in Chicago (as far as I know).  The closest  approximation I can think of is an extended-stay hotel, and those are now mostly found out by the highways.
1246 W. Pratt

This building dwarfs its neighbors, and would have been one of the few to approach the permitted height increase established by Chicago's first zoning code in 1923.  I think the entire lakefront may have followed suit if it hadn't been hit by the Great Depression.  So for now it remains a crazy outlier, catching the sun all day with it's amazing glazed white terra cotta.


  1. Thanks for sharing details about this striking building. I've often walked past, admiring its decor and wondering about its history.

  2. I lived there as a graduate student at Loyola in 1967-68. Not only was there maid service but lots of Jewish mothers to take care of us. Several years ago, the building was gutted and modernized. I don't know how well it's doing these days.

    I love your work.

    1. Thanks for sharing your recollections! Maid service sounds like something from a lost world...

    2. My grandma was one of those Jewish mothers.