Friday, May 11, 2018

View from Goldberg Park

Looking up from Goldberg Pocket Park.
I'm interested in parts of buildings that were never meant to be seen.  These are the spaces that most honestly respond to the needs of the structure and the limitations of the materials.  Somehow they’re the most honest expressions of Chicago's character. If you walk down any alley you'll see these how these secondary areas and irregular spaces are organized.

I also look for them when I notice a disruption in the grid, whether by a demolition or some quirk of development.  Pocket parks create great windows into these spaces.  The one at Goldberg Park is one of my favorites.  The height of the buildings and the adjacent embankment for the El create a sense of enclosure and provide a leisurely way to enjoy the surroundings.

I see views like this replicated throughout the city.   It's really a streetscape in its own right, following a set of rules just as compelling as those of the finished facades. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

View at Sheridan and Pratt

View from Sheridan looking Northeast towards Pratt.
Sometimes the spaces created between buildings are just as interesting as the buildings themselves.  I'm especially drawn to taller buildings with irregular footprints and deep courtyards.  The negative space creates  complex pinwheeling shapes that most people sense, but don't consciously appreciate.

I've written about both of these buildings before.  They represent the transition of Sheridan Road from a leisurely lane lined with mansions to a more dense and urban thoroughfare.

Here are the previous posts:

6801 N. Sheridan- Rogers Park Hotel, 1922

6757-6765 N. Sheridan, 1917