click images for larger viewThe three buildings from 10 East Walton on weren't any one's idea of great architecture, and they all had seen better days. The one furthest to the east had bare backing brick at the top, its cornice long ago ripped off like a bad toupee, and the one in the middle, with the mail-order windows and faded red clapboard - well, the less said, the better.
These kind of activities were clearly far too vulgar for the area's upscale pretensions, best on display in the phony-baloney French Empire carriage court of the Elysian, just across the street. Just imagining the refined inhabitants of the Elsyian having to contemplate those decaying rockpiles and their riff-raff clientele, every time they entered or alighted from their limousines - well, the spine shudders.
Crain's Chicago Business story quotes Baum Realty Group's Janika Brenner as saying Anthropologie was attracted to the "limestone, old-world looking" design of the new building. They apparently just have no interest for it in the original. Although I haven't seen the design, the quality of the Anthropologie stores is often a cut above the norm, so the new one on Walton could turn out to a handsome addition. It will just make for a more homogenized, less varied and interesting cityscape.
Ms. Walker, who has found a new home for her Big Bad Ass in the green-stoned 1891 Raleigh Hotel at 650 North Dearborn, where you'll now find the Underground Wonder Bar just under entrance to the The Joynt, open for business until 2 a.m. nightly, 3 a.m, on Saturday's, with live music 7 days a week until 1:30 to 2:30 a.m.
So I guess the moral is that no matter how hard you try to squeeze the life out of a place, it'll just keep popping up somewhere else.