Uncertain Future for a Vacant Gothic Mansion Built for Co-founder of Schwinn Bicycle Company

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3329 W. Washington

3329 W. Washington. John Morris/Chicago Patterns

One of Chicago’s most distinctive houses resides in East Garfield Park. Possessing elements of Gothic and Moorish Revival and a uniquely shaped tower, it is unlike any other house in the city.

Beyond architectural details, the house is special because two noteworthy Chicago residents had once lived there: the co-founder of Schwinn Bicycle Company and, later, a State’s Attorney and ally of infamous Chicago mayor Bill Thompson.

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The Colorful Front-Gabled Italianate Homes at Damen and 33rd

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John Morris/Chicago Patterns

John Morris/Chicago Patterns

At the intersection of Damen and 33rd in McKinley Park is a collection of modest yet exuberant 1880s homes. After almost 130 years, the homes mostly retain their original charm.

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The Former Tied House at 4200 W. Lake Street and Settlement of Central Park

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4200 W. Lake Street: formerly the Best Beer tied house/tavern circa 1883 (top image: p. 49, Lost German Chicago, Arcadia Publishing), currently a residential building. (bottom image by Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns)

Built in 1883, the two-story frame building at 4200 West Lake Street has undergone several transformations, just like the surrounding West Garfield Park community area. Pre-dating the Lake Street Elevated Railroad (now the CTA Green Line Lake Branch), it originally served as a “tied house” or tavern controlled by the Milwaukee-based Best Beer Brewing Company.

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Robie House: Masterpiece of Glass and Light

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Andi Marie/Chicago Patterns

Andi Marie/Chicago Patterns

It all started when Frederick C. Robie purchased a 60 by 180-ft. lot at 5757 S. Woodlawn Ave. from Harold Goodman. This was the beginning of what would change the face of architecture in Chicago and beyond.

Fred and Lora Robie commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to create a masterpiece. Mr. Robie and Mr. Wright admired each other and were both forward thinkers who weren’t afraid to push limits. Wright would later call the house he built for the Robie family as his best work.

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