Get to Know an ‘L’ Station: Racine

Jacob Kolar 3 comments

[Jacob Kolar/Chicago Patterns]

Bemoaned for their cracked concrete and flaking paint, it’s clear the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line stations along the Forest Park branch are unloved. Yet, look past the aesthetic shortcomings caused by deferred maintenance and general neglect and this branch is a shining example of the Modernism that became prevalent after World War II. Perhaps no station better communicates this Modernism than Racine. Sandwiched between two of the most popular stations on the branch in Illinois Medical District and UIC-Halsted, Racine has been neglected and thus retains its near-original appearance. As the CTA invests in more renovation work each year, Racine sits idle, a great example of 1950’s architecture & design.

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The Fate of Harley Clarke

Rachel Freundt 7 comments

[Rachel Freundt/Chicago Patterns]

Although Evanston Alderman Anne Rainey called the Harley Clarke Mansion a “bundle of bricks,” the house is so much more than that. It is a National Historic Landmark, a part of the Northeast Evanston Historic District, and a lakefront jewel that perfectly symbolizes Evanston’s community, character, and history. It is also a piece of many people’s childhoods, mine included. Nearly thirty years ago, I attended art classes there when the mansion housed the Evanston Arts Center. I’d like to think spending time in the Clarke Mansion is what influenced my love of architecture and old houses.

Now, the mansion faces demolition at the hands of a short-sighted Evanston City Council and a secretive, possibly self-serving group of nearby residents who want to see it obliterated. A tenacious group of local activists continue to organize to save it.

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Gary Preservation Tour 2018 – June 30th & July 14th

Eric Allix Rogers 1 comment

Gary State Bank Building [Eric Allix Rogers/Chicago Patterns]

Gary State Bank Building [Eric Allix Rogers/Chicago Patterns]

Lace up your closed-toed shoes and get ready for the second Gary Preservation Tour! After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the event will take place on two dates this year: this coming Saturday, June 30th (your editor humbly apologizes for the short notice) and again on Saturday, July 14th.

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Five North Side Worker’s Cottages Facing Demolition

John Morris 1 comment

2420 W. Iowa has a pending demo permit [John Morris/Chicago Patterns]

As Spring is in full bloom, so too is the traditional hot season for real estate. Unfortunately this also means some of Chicago’s historic housing stock gives way to new construction, much of it concentrated in near North and Northwest Side neighborhoods that developed in the 1870s and 1880s.

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