Tag Archives: Chicago architecture

Pink houses for you and me

One of my favorite things to do in any Chicago neighborhood is to wander down a tree-lined side street. I love the mix of residential architecture, especially the modern juxtaposed with vintage. Call me creepy, but I imagine how each apartment or house might be decorated and how that might reflect the people who live there.

Logan Square is particularly fun to get lost in because it’s delightfully urban, yet residential. Its buildings may not be as beautiful as Wicker Park’s or Lincoln Park’s, but the alternating row houses, new houses, apartment buildings and gorgeous mansions weave a story and inspire the renters of the world. I dream of owning one of the adorable single family homes. Daydreaming can get especially out of hand along Logan Boulevard, where the enormous mansions are taunting.

A short walking tour

This is the house that my ten-year-old self would have designed. I sincerely mean that as a compliment. There’s something whimsical and unpretentious about this house’s tall windows and playful colors. It says, Sure, I can afford an amazing single family home, but I’m not going to take my good fortune too seriously. I appreciate that.

Across the street, check this fascinating trio—a ranch house, modern house and vintage four-flat apartment building. I can only imagine an old Chicago family, artistic couple and a gaggle of hipster kids living on the same block in harmony.

I’m not sure that I’d like to live in a house that used to be a church. Lightning would strike (or another cliche) if I moved in. However, I’m curious about how this space is divided up. Hey owner, do you give tours?

If nothing else, moving to Logan Square has given me condo/house fever. I also blame Apartment Therapy. So until we save the money, I’ll dream (and wander) on.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, neighborhoods, random

To the extremes

Last week, I was brave enough to venture to the Borders on Michigan Avenue to pick up a book I needed for work. It the middle of the day in the middle of the week, so the tourist traffic waned.

Along the way, I was taken off guard by the Gold Coast’s architectural extremes.

Something about the juxtaposition of the sleek, contemporary high-rise building flanking the curvy gothic-style cathedral struck me with a realization that the city is filled with extremes. Perhaps, more often, contradictions. Like that Bentley dealer across the street from the church. I guess that should be a contradiction.

Extremes I’ve noticed around the city:

Skyscrapers and sprawling meadows

Cubs/White Sox

Summer flora in fall

Destruction for construction

Blustering cold vs. blistering hot

Affluent and broke, city and beach, saints and crooks…the list continues.

I can only rationalize that the city’s dichotomies exist at times to naturally balance itself out—for better or for worse. In many cases, I wish they didn’t. But they do because not everything, everyone can be the same. At least, that’s the only way I can make sense of why anything happens these days. I feel like I’ve had experiences on each end of the spectrum and everywhere in between the past month. It’s like six months have been compacted into one.

Life, death, joy, sadness, laughter, tears, excitement, disappointment, accomplishment, failure, truth, lies, comfort, stress, new faces, familiar friends, manic, static…yet somehow it balances out.

In this city of extremes, I guess I feel right at home.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, neighborhoods, winter