Books and Buildings

NaBloPoMo, Day 29

I was back in Hyde Park again this weekend, exchanging a book I’d purchased at 57th Street Books. (And yeah, maybe buying a few others.) Stopped in to Medici’s for breakfast and some of their delicious cafe au lait while trying to plow through another section of my book club book.

Afterward, went for a drive in search of a couple of historic landmarks that I’d never seen before. 5551 S. University Avenue (1937, George and William Keck), an early example of modern architecture in the “international style.” I’d be curious to see what it looks like on the inside because it’s pretty darn ugly from the outside. Does stand out even now in stark contrast to the buildings around it. I can’t imagine how radical it must have seemed seventy years ago.

Then over to the Isidore Heller House (1897, Frank Lloyd Wright). Early Wright, early Prairie Style, definitely influenced by his mentor Louis Sullivan. Ornamentation and windows that hint at things to come yet with Gothic touches and a frieze of beaded ladies parading under the roofline. A very interesting example of Wright at a turning point.

Driving a few blocks on, we suddenly found ourselves in Obama’s hood. Chicago cop cars blocking streets, police standing around, and metal barricades everywhere with clumps of people stopped on the sidewalk looking for the house. I’ve long wanted to take the Chicago Architecture Foundation tour of Kenwood. I suspect this neighborhood tour will get a lot higher profile in the coming years.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s