Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Historic Michigan Boulevard District





Click on any image for enlarged view ..









Michigan Boulevard District ..
Address: Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street and 11th streets ..
Year Built: 1882 to 1930
Architect: Various
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: February 27, 2002 ..
Fourty-five properties of the district are protected by the Landmark status.
Of these ..
- Five buildings are individually designated as official Chicago Landmarks ..
- Ten of the buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places ..
- One [the Auditorium Building] was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975 ..

The row of buildings on Michigan Avenue, between Randolph and 11th Street, is an intact collection of historic structures built before 1930 .. This 12-block stretch of buildings, all facing east towards Grant Park, has earned the named Michigan Avenue "streetwall" .. Other well-known one-sided streets New York City's Fifth Avenue and Edinburgh's Princes Street ..

In the words of Mayor Richard M. Daley ..
"No other street in the city reflects the beauty and evolution of Chicago more than Michigan Avenue. There isn't a more worthy and important landmark district in our city today .. This collection of buildings can be seen as one. Together, they make a district that is like no other in the world, one that is symbolic of the cultural, commercial and architectural heritage of Chicago."

Although the origin of Michigan Avenue as a streetwall facing Grant Park can be traced back dates back to 1836, when the city's first subdivision map labeled all land east of what was then called Michigan Boulevard as "public ground ... to remain forever open, clear and free." The importance of the legal battles of Aaron Montgomery Ward, cannot be ignored. Montgomery Ward opposed the development of Grant Park [then Lake Park] with public buildings with the exception of the Art Institute of Chicago Building. After prolonged legal battles, Ward's ideas were adopted by Daniel Burnham in his Plan of Chicago, which called for "insured light, air, and an agreeable outlook" along the Grant Park street frontage .. Till today, the only building on the eastern side of the Landmark Michigan Avenue District is the Art Institute of Chicago.



# The five Chicago Landmarks in the district are ..
The Auditorium Building [designated in 1976], the Chicago Cultural Center [designated in 1976], the Fine Arts Building [designated in 1978], the Gage Group [designated in 1996], and the Blackstone Theater [designated in 1998] ..

# The ten buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places are ..
The Buckingham Building, The Blakstone Hotel, The Chicago Cultural Center, People's Gas Building, Lake View Building, Santa Fe Building, Auditorium Building, Gage Buildings, Fine Arts Building, and Crane Company Building ..

# One building was declared a National Historic Landmark ..
The Auditorium Building in 1975 ..

The Michigan Avenue Streetwall has some of the finest individual buildings of Chicago .. It has been said .. "as if some of the best of Chicago architecture gathered along the lakefront, and posed for a group photo." Many of these buildings were designed by Chicago's most important architects, including Adler & Sullivan, Louis Sullivan, D. H. Burnham, Holabird & Roche, Marshall & Fox, Henry Ives Cobb, S. S. Beman, and Graham, Anderson, Probst & White ..

Adler and Sullivan: Auditorium Building ..
Louis Sullivan: Gage Building at 18 South Michigan Avenue..
D.H.Burnham: Santa Fe Building, People's Gas Building..
Marshall & Fox: The Blackstone Hotel..
Henry Ives Cobb: Chicago Athelic Associatioan Building..
S.S. Beman: Fine Arts Building
Graham, Anderson, Probst & White: Metropolitan Tower..
Holabird & Roche: Chicago Hilton & Towers, McCormick Building, The University Club of Chicago, Congress Hotel Addition, 888 South Michigan, Gage Building [24 S and 30 S. Michigan ave.] buildings..

For more on..
# The five Chicago Landmarks in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.. click here..
# Developments around the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.. click here..

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Historic Michigan Boulevard District - II



Historic Michigan Boulevard District ..
Continued from part I on .. Historic Michigan Boulevard District.. click here ..

The five individual Chicago Landmarks in the Landmark Michigan Boulevard District are ..
The Auditorium Building [designated in 1976],
The Chicago Cultural Center [designated in 1976],
The Fine Arts Building [designated in 1978],
The Gage Group [designated in 1996] .. and ..
The Blackstone Theater [designated in 1998] ..



Chicago Cultural Center ..
Address: 78 E. Washington St.
Year Built: 1897
Architect: Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: November 15, 1976 ..
This is the first permanent structure of the city's public library system .. The interior is extensively decorated with mosaics, marbles, bronze, and two stained-glass domes ..



Gage Group Buildings ..
It includes three buildings ..
Address: 18, 24 and 30 S. Michigan Ave.
Year Built: 1899-1900
Architect: Louis H. Sullivan for 18 S. building .. and
Holabird & Roche for 24S and 30 S. buildings ..
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: September 11, 1996 ..
The facades, which resulted from Sullivan's collaboration with Holabird & Roche, demonstrate two different approaches to the Chicago School .. The buildings by Holabird & Roche are straightforward, while the facade designed by Sullivan exemplifies his more expressive approach.



Fine Arts Building ..
Address: 410 S. Michigan Ave.
Year Built: 1885; addition and remodeling, 1898
Architect: Solon S. Beman
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: June 7, 1978
Originally built by the Studebaker company for the assembly and display of their carriages and wagons, this building was converted into studios and theaters for artists and craftsmen in 1898.



Auditorium Building ..
Address: 430 S. Michigan Ave.
Year Built: 1886-90
Architect: Adler & Sullivan
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: September 15, 1976 ..
The extraordinary engineering talent of Dankmar Adler and the architectural genius of Louis H. Sullivan created this building to reflect the cultural maturity of Chicago ..



Blackstone Hotel ..
Address: 636 S. Michigan Ave.
Year Built: 1908-10
Architect: Marshall & Fox
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: May 29, 1998 ..
Built by prominent hoteliers Tracy and John Drake, the Blackstone became known as the "Hotel of Presidents," serving as host to a dozen U.S. Presidents, including Woodrow Wilson, Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy ..

The ten buildings in this Michigan Boulevard Landmark District are listed in the National Register of Historic Places are .. It includes the above five buildings .. and .. five more .. The Buckingham Building, People's Gas Building, Lake View Building, Santa Fe Building, and Crane Company Building ..



Santa Fe Building ..
Address: 224 South Michigan Avenue
Year Built: 1904
Architect: D.H. Burnham & Co...
- Upon the completion of the building, architect Daniel H. Burnham moved his office here,
It was at the top of this building that the 1909 Plan of Chicago was drawn up
- It's the headquarters of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. A ground floor exhibit area is open to the public, and the foundation operates a gift shop and bookstore on the Michigan Avenue side.
- Chicago's largest architecture firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is headquartered here.



Peoples Gas Company Building ..
Location: 122 South Michigan Avenue
Completed: 1911
Architect: D.H. Burnham & Co ...
Built in standard three-piece skyscraper formation .. with a lot of classical embellishments like ornamental lions ..

For more on..
# Historic Michigan Boulevard District.. click here..
# The five Chicago Landmarks in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.. click here..
# Developments around the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.. click here..

Michigan Boulevard District - III



Historic Michigan Boulevard District ..
Continued from part I on .. Historic Michigan Boulevard District .. click here ..

This post is about developments that seem to undermine the beauty of this Streetwall district ..

There has been some controversy about the trend along the Michigan-Wabash corridor of constructing large-scale towers behind the historic structures. Examples include the The Heritage at Millennium Park, The Legacy at Millennium Park [within the Jewelers Row District] ..





# The Legacy at Millennium Park [left] ..
# The Heritage at Millennium Park [right] ..







The Chicago Athletic Association Building ..
Address: 12 South Michigan Avenue, IL 60603 ..
Architect: Henry Ives Cobb
Completed: 1893 ..
Architectural style: Venetian Gothic style, which is rare in Chicago .. It is exemplified with patterned brick and intricately carved limestone ..

Another controversy surrounds the Chicago Athletic Association Building closed its doors on August 31, 2007 .. There was a proposal to convert this building in a 300-room Omni hotel. This proposal was vehemently opposed by preservationists as it included proposals of new addition that would have risen above the original height of the building ... which would have "shatter the integrity of the Michigan Boulevard Historic District" .. However, with the recent slump in the economy and declining real estate value, the hotel conversion of the Chicago Athletic Association property does not seem to be feasible and the plan seems to have crashed .. The future preservation of this building still remains an unresolved issue.
For more on this issue .. click here .. "Foreclosure suit hits Chicago Athletic Assn. hotel conversion" ..

For more on..
# Historic Michigan Boulevard District.. click here..
# The five Chicago Landmarks in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.. click here..
# Developments around the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.. click here..