Open House Chicago: Day Two

Bridgeview Bank

A belated wrap-up of my second day, popping in to architectural gems open to the public a few weekends ago for the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago.

First stop was the Bridgeview Bank at the intersection of Broadway and Lawrence. The building dates from 1924.

Bridgeview Bank

Bridgeview Bank

The plaster ceiling, which looks brand new, was restored in the 1970s using the original Wedgewood-inspired color scheme.

Bridgeview Bank
A 1920’s-style office cubicle.

Bridgeview Bank

Aragon Ballroom

My next stop was around the corner on Lawrence, the formidable Aragon Ballroom. Built in 1926, the dance hall (now a concert venue) was designed to look like a Baroque Spanish courtyard, complete with mood lighting and a nighttime mural painted on the ceiling with electric twinkling stars. The neon beer signs are a crass reminder of modern times.

Aragon Ballroom
Nearly every flat surface is painted in garish murals. It’s all a bit of sensory overload and best seen in dim light.

Aragon Ballroom

Aragon Ballroom
The stairway leading up from the ground floor entry.
Aragon Ballroom
The lobby is downright crazy.

My last stop of the day was the nearby Riviera Theater, another venue best scene when the lights are low. It was fairly unimpressive, so I kept the camera in my pocket and quickly left once the Sunday rainstorms allowed.

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