Structures

The Old:

This water tower is one of few remaining in Chicago, and, I think, the only one left in Rogers Park.  These were installed on almost every building after the Great Fire of October 8, 1871.

This water tower is one of few remaining in Chicago, and, I think, the only one left in Rogers Park. These were installed on almost every building after the Great Fire of October 8, 1871.

The New:

Scaffolding has been erected around the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Emil Bach House.

Scaffolding has been erected around the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Emil Bach House.

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Extensive renovations are being made, including roof repair, and the boarded-up windows will be replaced with reproductions of Mr. Wright's original stained glass designs for this house, which dates from 1915.

Extensive renovations are being made, including roof repair, and the boarded-up windows will be replaced with reproductions of Mr. Wright’s original stained glass designs for this house, which dates from 1915.

I have not yet heard the projected finish date, as so much repair will be done, but it is exciting to be able to catalogue the on-going work.

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Doesn’t the world have enough eyesores?

Can you imagine living with this covering your windows for at least seven months, blocking out your costly view of Lake Michigan?

Wrapped, and NOT well!

This building, at the corner of Sheridan Road and Bryn Mawr Avenue in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago is a total disgrace!  Sheridan Road is filled with pricey highrises, both condos and apartments, and this mess is still there, though the building IS occupied.

Ugly, just such a BLOT!

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’!