Last week, demolition began on these 19th century twin Italianate three-flats to make way for the new condo building.
To the preservationist, walking through much of West Loop can feel like a sad treasure hunt. There are a sizable amount of grand mid-to-late Victorian-era buildings along the commercial thoroughfares intermixed with new construction. One marvelous example is on the same block one street north, 1029 W. Madison (above). Unfortunately, living examples of 1870s-1890s architecture usually drop off dramatically once you move or block or two away into the residential areas. Pockets of Italianate row houses like 1000 W. Monroe become scarce as newly constructed condos spring up like multimillion dollar weeds.
The places with charm give way to residences with listing descriptions like this one:
Announcing 1000 W Monroe, an exclusive development with 12 individual residences. Designed by the architects of the Godfrey Hotel among other renowned structures, these finely appointed homes are bringing luxury to the heart of the West Loop. Compelling architecture and thoughtful space planning combine to create uniquely personable homes. Expansive floor plans allow for space to create your ideal living area complete with an east facing balcony. All residences are appointed with exceptional lifestyle accoutrements, such as custom cabinetry, Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Bosch appliances. Grand master suite with porcelain bath and separate vanity area features Kohler, Grohe and Duravit fixtures. All bedrooms are generous in size, each with it’s own walk-in closet. Surround yourself in abundant comfort and brilliant style.
At just over a million dollars for a unit, the economic incentives to replace historic structures for high-end modernist replacements is compelling.The 19th century residential buildings that managed to survive neglect and subsequent urban renewal in the mid-to-late part of the 20th century are now falling as a result of high demand for sterilized new construction with top of the line appliances and finish. Even in ruins, the planned permanence of these two buildings is on display. Some of the building materials are salvaged, including the baled brick for Windy City Antique Brick Company. With 1000 W. Monroe gone, this part of West Loop begins to better reflect its new character: expensive glass and steel condos, with fewer artifacts telling the story of its 19th century past.