Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Historic Michigan Boulevard District

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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 ..
Forty-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.

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# 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..

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