Monday, January 17, 2011

A Pillow for Amanda

Plastic chiffon seems to the fashion of the moment along a block or so stretch on and around Rush Street.
click images for larger view
Soft, billowing pillows of protective plastic cover the east facade of the former Crain Communications building at 740 North Rush, for what the building permit describes as "repairs of exterior of building, including tuck pointing, replacement of lintels, repairs to terra cotta window heads," so apparently the  distinctive colonnade of brick columns is safe.
Just up the street, there's another plastic sheet cover over the first two floors of the structure at 56-60 East Chicago, built originally as the Amanda Apartments in either 1891 or 1907, according to the source you choose, by the Pond brothers.  If you walk by the building, you'll recall the storefronts have looked pretty derelict for quite a long time, and Haylock Design of Gurnee has been hired to clean thing up.
The drawings point to a definite improvement, but the proof will be in the execution. If you look at its website, Haylock seems to specialize in a very generic kind of strip mall and commercial architecture, save for the slightly delirious kitsch of its design for the Grand Imperial Hotel in Chinatown.

With the Nordstrom Rack store now opened in the old CompUSA space just across the street, complete with an icon motif that Michael Rock, if he didn't have a hand in it, should be getting royalties for . . .
The owners of 56-60 are probably betting that with a bit of sprucing up, they'll be able to push the upscale retailer vibe west just a hundred or so yards, and be able to slice off a piece for themselves.

1 comment:

BW said...

A definite improvement?,+Chicago,+Cook,+Illinois+60611&gl=us&ll=41.896719,-87.625923&spn=0.008641,0.01929&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=41.896722,-87.626053&panoid=tNpC2bi7_sD-GjgyXm-XEQ&cbp=12,11.38,,0,3.6

It looks totally ruined to me.