Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mr. Archibleckture moves to the Big Apple!

More to come...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

BREAKING-Hotel Dana nearly gone. Rush to 666 State to witness the final indignity of this beautiful building!

How very quickly these stately, stout buildings disappear! For 100 years it stood here, proud but recently infirm. Such a shame that landmarks such as this fall like dominoes, in this, the alleged architectural capital. Mr. Archibleckture wonders if perhaps this area might have felt once like a London neighborhood; now it is a 1960s vision of the future-tacky and cold. Ald. Natarus can be blamed for all the losses in his ward. Where was Preservation Chicago? What about those who assign the meaningless orange rating? For all these individuals and organizations, Mr. Archibleckture offers his "tsk tsk"! And if Mr. Archibleckture ever meets Natarus in person, he will offer the tasteless alderman a piece of his mind. Shame on you, Mr. Natarus, for almost single-handedly ruining this ward.


Mr. Archibleckture

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Archibleckture Award of the Week: The Provenance Condos @ 5230 North Kenmore

The last truly crappy building I showcased looked like a prison (Lakeview's Brighton) for both its construction and its lack of scale with the surrounding Lakeview neighborhood. This latest building, the Provenance at 5230 North Kenmore, troubles me for two similar reasons. First, it sort of resembles a spaceship plopped down in a turn-of-the century neighborhood. Second, the color scheme and massing does not match its neighbors; it is distinctly foreign looking, and too squat to boot. This type of building is best suited for an oceanfront community (or another planet). It does not belong in this part of Chicago.

Love, Mr. Archibleckture

115-year-old 666 State/Hotel Dana awaits its destruction

With mere hours until demolition, the 115-year-old Hotel Dana (with the great street address) sits gaptoothed and lonely, now missing its longtime neighbor to the south (which seemed to fall in a few hours). Its windows are missing or smashed, and its lovely stonework around the door will shortly crumble. Mr. Archibleckture feels that this might be the straw that breaks the camels back; Chicago no longer can hold claim as an architectural capital with all the destruction of its legacy, both large (Mercantile Exchange) and small (the Dana). Chicago cannot simply be a city of faceless towers; it must maintain the smaller gems against the tide of demolition or it will be an even colder place than it already has become.

Much sadness,

Mr. Archibleckture

PS-Heneghan Wrecking's slogan shows how heartless these demolition companies them, this is but another moneymaking demolition.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

BREAKING-666 State/Hotel Dana being demolished within week!

Photos to follow; the adjacent 19th-century building next door is already gone! Such a loss for the community, yet no one seems to care? Where is Preservation Chicago on this? I know this is but one small building (and a former SRO to boot), but it has been standing there for 100 years!

Love, Mr. Archibleckture

Friday, May 05, 2006

Edgewater's vanishing single-family homes-Glenlake and Winthrop

This house sits near the corner of Glenlake and Winthrop-abandoned and boarded up. Despite its current state, it was once beloved. There are windchimes in the backyard, with spring flowers blooming. Cars sit in the well-maintained garage and new doors block out intruders. Meanwhile, every single window is covered with plywood. What happened here? I believe someone said it is currently held up in foreclosure. Whatever its ultimate fate, it still is quite striking; it starkly stands out against the backdrop of a rather imposing apartment building on one side and a vibrant parking lot on the other, a substantial mansion. At the same time, it must be quite a drag on the neighborhood, which seems to be rapidly gentrifying. No doubt its sizable lot is quite appealing for the hungry developers that are demolishing single-family homes throughout the area.

Love, Mr. Archibleckture

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Edgewater's vanishing single-family homes-Berwyn and Winthrop

I have lived in Edgewater for going on three years, and multiple times each week I have walked past this lonely home at the corner of Winthrop and Berwyn. I have seen it go from vibrant to dying within this span. Can you believe the boarded up back? This is a key Edgewater corridor for crying out loud!

I wonder what lies beneath the altered exterior-no doubt it once bore much fancier Victorian-style features? I can understand what caused the house's decline however, for next door stand three out-of-place cookie-cutter condos. They very clearly have crowded out the sad home at the corner, making IT seem out of place. A shame really, because it anchors this corner well. For the time being, each corner here remains in place-for how much longer will this house be around?

What buildings formerly occupied the adjacent lots where the condos now stand?

Love, Mr. Archibleckture

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mr. Archibleckture returns....

You know, it has been nearly two months since my last post; completely unacceptable I must say!

Since my last posting, the following has happened:

1) An initiative began to honor the graystone, via preservation efforts:,1,6035889.story?coll=chi-news-hed (April 20, 2006 Tribune)

Too late to save many of the graystone treasures of LP and Lakeview however....

2) The Artful Dodger building was demolished:

A mega mansion will be built in its place; fond memories of Chicagoans replaced by marble, "elegant" features, etc. as one man builds his castle.

3) After initial hesitation, it has been decided to return Armitage Brown Line station to its original condition as part of the Brown Line expansion/renovation, a victory for city and state preservationists:

Perhaps these same people could have done a better job working to preserve Lincoln Park around the station. Too bad that the scene from the Armitage platform has been ruined; it would have been great to have the station and the neighborhood hearken back to the late-19th century (as recently as five years ago that would have been possible).

COMING SOON! A brief photo tour of the threatened single-family homes of Edgewater.

Love, Mr. Archibleckture