Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Michigan Avenue's forgotten secret: What's lies behind this innocuous facade?

Read the fascinating story behind the mystery here.

9 comments:

designslinger.com said...

Talk about a hidden treasure!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I never knew that existed. Thanks for the research.

Anonymous said...

That....is awesome. Amazing find!

Anonymous said...

A remnant of Tower Town, when this area (and northward to Chicago Avenue) was a sprinkled with artists. The two-story studio apartments (in the original meaning of "studio" as a place for artists to work) were occupied until just a few years ago, although in their later years they were too expensive for most artists! A very charming place. Visit http://chicago.urban-history.org/scrapbks/bohemian/bohemian.htm and http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=synopsis&bookkey=3617054.

pc said...

Just when you thought you'd seen everything... well, I think it's time to wander into Cole-Haan and make some friends.

Or here's an idea: the "penthouse" at Apple houses a classroom. Maybe that's one way to get a view into the courtyard.

Anonymous said...

Philip was the best! I hope some one in Chicago will some day honor his work with an exhibition.
Why not start here on your very blog and show your readers all the beautiful buildings Philip designed? The Astor Street apartments alone are a great example of his talents and they are highly respected throughout the the country! He can certainly be credited for developing the elegant street scape that made and makes Michigan Ave. - "Michigan Avenue". I would be glad to help you and email you the few pix I have.

Mike Lynn LBARTL6415@AOL.COM said...

Lynn, I happened to be searching for some info on Malabry Court and happened across your article. I have been researching it for years and have numerous photos from when it was constructed, corresponded with the son of Mr Maher and even snuck up to the townhouses years ago when I happened to pass thru the alley and noticed the gates were open. I hate to admit it but couldn't resist and even took a roof tile that had fallen on one of the landings up there. It was breathtaking to actually see it but I only spent a few minutes there. I even found a picture of one of the interiors and also did some research on the Maher home that was torn down a few yrs ago. My dream is to have another chance to get up there to take some pics before the townhouses are totally destroyed so if you ever have the chance to I'd love to accompany you. Thnx for the article.

Maurice said...

Yesterday I took a second look at the Malabry Court bldg. From the alley, there is a cut out in the center of the back with metal stairways. At the center arched window/door on the courtyard side, you can see the sky thru the edges of the window/door. That must be the window/door that appears on Lynn Becker's enhancement of Kathleen's photo. Also you can see arched windows at the alley end of the building.

From the end of the alley, it was 68 steps to the front of the Apple store. But inside Cole-Haan, it was only 54 steps to the back of the store and I could see a narrow (4 step depth?) hallway across the back of the store and at the end where the entrance to the back was it went back further. The photo Kathleen took from above shows the Malabry Court bldg to be about half of the lot and the newer Philip Maher facade covered building to be about half. However, my pacing suggests that at least at the first floor level the front bldg has had an addition that took up some of the Malabry Court open space. Valerio Dewalt Train Associates’ renovation completed May 2009 expanded the store to 4,200 sq ft and I found the rendering of the plan that may show the answer.

Here's a link to a rendering for the renovation I found on the Architectural Record website:
http://archrecord.construction.com/projects/bts/archives/interiors/ColeHaan/images/coleHaanPlan_lg.jpg

Look again at Kathleen's photo and Lynn's enhanced version. You can see only 2 stories of windows. The Malabry Court bldg is 3 stories. Looks like the renovation filled in all of the courtyard on the first floor. The rendering does not indicate what has happened to the back of the Malabry Court bldg. I wonder if we could learn from Valerio Dewalt Train what the black sections and the gray sections are. My path was from the front door straight down the center to the back wall of the public part of the store.

Here's a link to the Architectural Record website with a little info on the renovation: http://archrecord.construction.com/projects/bts/archives/interiors/ColeHaan/overview.asp

Maurice Champagne
Chicago Architecture Foundation docent

Maurice said...

Yesterday I took a second look at the Malabry Court bldg. From the alley, there is a cut out in the center of the back with metal stairways. At the center arched window/door on the courtyard side, you can see the sky thru the edges of the window/door. That must be the window/door that appears on Lynn Becker's enhancement of Kathleen's photo. Also you can see arched windows at the alley end of the building.

From the end of the alley, it was 68 steps to the front of the Apple store. But inside Cole-Haan, it was only 54 steps to the back of the store and I could see a narrow (4 step depth?) hallway across the back of the store and at the end where the entrance to the back was it went back further. The photo Kathleen top from above show the Malabry Court bldg to be about half of the lot and the newer Maher facade covered building to be about half. However, my pacing suggests that at least at the first floor level the front bldg has had an addition that took up some of the Malabry Court open space. Valerio Dewalt Train Associates’ renovation completed May 2009 expanded the store to 4,200 sq ft and I found the rendering of the plan that may show the answer.

Here's a link to a rendering for the renovation I found on the Architectural Record website:
http://archrecord.construction.com/projects/bts/archives/interiors/ColeHaan/images/coleHaanPlan_lg.jpg

Looks like the renovation filled in all of the courtyard on the first floor. The rendering does not indicate what has happened to the back of the Malabry Court bldg. I wonder if we could learn from Valerio Dewalt Train what the black sections and the gray sections are. My path was from the front door straight down the center to the back wall of the public part of the store.

Here's a link to the Architectural Record website with a little info on the renovation: http://archrecord.construction.com/projects/bts/archives/interiors/ColeHaan/overview.asp

Maurice Champagne
Chicago Architecture Foundation docent