On our recent trip to Chicago, Illinois, we noticed that this region of the country had an architectural style all of its own. Many of us are familiar with the famous downtown Chicago skyline (as seen in the feature image of this blog post). Beyond that iconic sight, Chicago is built of many distinct neighborhoods.
Around the Neighborhood
We spent the bulk of our time in Evanston, Sheridan Park, Uptown and Devon. It was in these lesser known areas where we were struck by the diversity of the residential building styles that littered these beautiful neighborhoods.
From English Tudor, to Victorian, and even Queen Anne, the houses that lined these manicured communities stood like museums. They all referenced another time in history. A time where builders, influenced by English architecture, shared their love of this European aesthetic by building such astonishing structures. Below, we included a picture of a well-appointed Tudor home that sat near Lake Michigan and across from the Arrington Lagoon.
The famous Charles G. Dawes House (pictured below) is a lake front mansion that was once home to its namesake, the former Vice President to Calvin Coolidge. Charles Dawes and his family lived here from 1909 to 1951. This national landmark was built in 1894 by Robert Sheppard in a style that’s described as “Chateauesque”. Today, the home is maintained by the Evanston History Center and is on the United States National Register of Historic Places.
Classic Chicago Apartment Living
Along with stand alone homes, we spotted a large number of “Courtyard” apartment buildings. These three story buildings were built from 1910 through the 1930’s. It’s amazing how well the Courtyards have stood the test of time. They were everywhere in Evanston! You get an idea of how these U shaped wonders were constructed below. They basically house about 2 families per floor and allowed for great cross ventilation and privacy. No elevators though, due to city fire codes and restrictions.
These buildings have old bones. Sturdy, strong, old bones (see the inside of a rear stairwell below). And the facades of these Courtyard apartments are, for the most part, immaculate.
We were hard-pressed to find any distressed or dilapidated buildings. The vast majority were well maintained and displayed manicured green spaces.
We also visited a classic Chicago Greystone. (See below)
Greystone’s were mostly made from limestone and were built from the 1890’s through the 1930’s. Yet, today, they still look as beautiful as they did when they were initially constructed.
The Beauty Within
Inside the foyer of one Greystone, I noticed that the property owner kept a lot of the original design details. These touches help the building maintain its original character and charm.
Have you visited Chicago? Have you noticed the many different types of homes their? Tell us your stories in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!