Historic Houses and Homesteads in Old Norwood Park

Gabriel X. Michael 7 comments

West elevation, John Wingert House at 6231 North Canfield Avenue. [Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns]

It’s one of the farthest neighborhoods from downtown Chicago, bordering the city limits, O’Hare Airport and suburbs of Harwood Heights and Norridge. But Norwood Park can also be considered one of the city’s oldest areas, where you will find remarkable 150-year-old examples of early American homes in every Victorian-era style. Continue reading »


Redevelopment In Sight For An Overlooked 151-Year-Old Former Factory

Gabriel X. Michael 6 comments

154 - 166 North Jefferson Street, viewing northwest.

154 – 166 North Jefferson Street, viewing northwest. [Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns]

My last work on Chicago Patterns looked at “post-Fire” commercial buildings in Chicago’s downtown area erected in the aftermath of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. But a recent demolition permit led me to discover an alternate side of the catastrophe: a company’s former factory headquarters west of the Chicago River which avoided the Fire, stepped up and tirelessly restored the city’s damaged water supply, and still stands today.

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The Surviving Post-Fire Buildings in Chicago’s Loop

Gabriel X. Michael 13 comments

Lake-Franklin Group, viewed from northwest corner of Lake and Franklin Streets. [Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns]

Within Chicago’s Loop neighborhood, among the urban canyons of soaring glass & steel office buildings, there is a unique and rare collection of architecture: the commercial buildings erected in the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire. These are commonly referred to as the “Post-Fire” era buildings, built from 1872 up until the advent of modern building materials and advanced construction techniques. These unprecedented approaches to commercial architecture facilitated the birth of the multi-story “skyscraper” in the early-mid 1880s, notably William Le Baron Jenney’s Home Insurance Building erected in 1883.

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Demolition Imminent for Former Standard Brewery Tied House (Updated)

Gabriel X. Michael 3 comments
SB_Detail_1

Detail view of the Standard Brewery logo masonry ornament detail and keystones. Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns

UPDATE 07/20/2015: 

One month since my last update, I can now report that the demolition of the former Standard Brewery tied house at 3801 West Grand Avenue has been completed. It began early on Monday, July 13th, continued through that day and the next, and the building was completely wrecked & removed by sunset on Tuesday, July 14th. I visited the site several times over that 48 hour period of demolition, and some photos made during those visits are seen below. Continue reading »