If you thought Hallowe’en was scary…

…how about this?  The building is the Farcroft, just a bit less than two blocks north, which has been undergoing a gut rehab for the past 11 months or so.

It’s twelve stories, plus the tower room at the front.  Every window is new, and the lighter, bricked-in spaces used to be the entry doors to a fire escape, which I believe will now be on the west (left) side of the structure.  Look closely at the scaffolding on the left; as a matter of fact, I’ll provide a closer look:

Yes, that’s a workman, who spent approximately five days building this scaffold…by himself!  Here’s a shot of him taking a break (yes, he is tethered) and looking out to the west, which must be a great view…he can probably see past Skokie all the way to Des Plaines, and most likely all the way south past the Loop and Downtown Chicago.

Back when I first began working as a Scenic and Lighting Designer, I had to train myself to overcome my fear of heights.  It took several months, but I could finally climb and work in a 35 foot high lift, hanging, cabling and focusing lighting instruments…but 100 feet is a bit TOO high, especially when all one has is a plank to stand on and open air to step over!

I took a walk over early that evening, just to capture some images from the ground, and found he had built the scaffold twice as wide along the front of Farcroft as well.

The Farcroft and many other properties in the Rogers Park neighborhood are owned by James N. Pritzker, a member of the family which owns the Hyatt Hotels.  He believes in restoration, and certainly the crews he has hired are hard-working and doing a marvelous job here.  I snuck under the ground floor scaffold and took some shots of the lobby and front office area, which I shall present another time…and it’s too early to get a definite finish date, so I’ll keep checking, and hopefully arrange permission to get some interior shots as well.

I’d love to capture the view from that lovely tower room, which I prefer to call ‘Rapunzel’s Place’!

6 responses to “If you thought Hallowe’en was scary…

    • Still researching…have heard some odd stories about the original owner being fascinated by all things Egyptian…to the point that his penthouse on the twelfth floor was decorated like a Pharaoh’s palace. If you look at the far top end of the building (image #4), you can see a ‘camel’ statue protruding. What I want to see is the newly done lobby…I should have the in-progress shots up tomorrow, shot in almost dark through very dusty windows, but it will give you some idea of the splendor awaiting to be shown again.

    • I tend to agree, smacked. He is tethered, but to the scaffolding itself, not to, say, a beam secured at the roof. He must trust his ‘bolting’ to the building an awful lot, wouldn’t you think?

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