Thursday, October 27, 2011

Keck and Keck

Well, when it rains, it pours, or as the case may be, it snows. In this case, it's a reminder of upcoming winter as well as showing just how belated I am in posting. Here we have a small complex in Hyde Park by Keck & Keck, two of my favorite architects (who did precious little multi-family, their fame is primarily from suburban, usually solar, villas), whose own ground breaking apartment building is within sight of these elegant (except for the poor choice of, and lackadaisical attitude to [typical for Hyde Park], replacement windows) early 50's apartments.

In their usual fashion, the units have radiant heat and good orientation, as well as a pleasant, tree-lined park like open space which they are grouped around.

I will have to do some future posts on their other multi-family work, their own home, Harper Square Cooperative (their, by far, biggest commision) and their numerous projects for the CHA, primarily senior housing, but also the now unfortunely demolished Prairie Avenue Courts and perhaps some of their townhouse work as well.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rittenhouse Dorchester

So now we go back to Philadelphia for a modern tower on posh Rittenhouse Square - the Rittenhouse Dorchester from 1963, designed by Chicago favorite (oh, ok, well, just plain Chicago architect) Milton Schwartz, who I'm sure everybody knows from the Constellation and 320 Oakdale (don't know them, I guess I should do more posts). Above we have the ground plan - it sits on a very tight L-shaped lot which wraps around the building just to the north of it, occupying the remainder of the small block.

Above is the typical floor plan, with typically sized units for the era.

A rare "rear" view at sunset from the Northwest showing it wrapping around the older high-rise to the north.

East elevation as seen from the leafy confines of Rittenhouse Square - note the angled bays to enhance views east to the square. It really does have very parklike surroundings.

South elevation looking up. Note the profile of the balconies - the railings are quite nicely detailed, however, the replacement windows are rather clunky.

There is also another development in Center City Philadelphia by Scwartz, however, I'll save that one for posting in another entry.

Plans are from:
"Apartment, Their Design and Development"
Samuel Paul
Reinhold Publishing Corporation

Note: Samuel Paul is worth an entry in himself.

More Rogers Park (or the Doors of Rogers Park/Open House Chicago)

A few more shots from Open House Chicago; above we have an entry towards the private park side of Park Castle.

This is the approach to one of the entries at White Terra Cotta extravaganza, Casa Bonita with it's perfectly 20's pollarded trees.

And a closer view... The close up shows the elaborate decor of both the doors and the surround. I hope to get back to photograph the courtyard and front more fully sometime.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Philadelphia Modern

Well, more contemporary than modern....

Here we have two buildings along the Delaware riverfront, such as it is. I don't really know anything about them, except that they are rather nicely sized to my eye. And both are rather near Society Hill and the famous Pei Ieoh Ming Society Hill Towers (more on those later). I'll also add more on vintage buildings in a future post. I will note that these follow a trend in Philadelphia which is very narrow and tall (mainly because of small lot footprints) residential towers.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Les piscines de Parc Rogers

Yes, the pools of Rogers Park, as seen on tours during Open House Chicago. I was able to visit three pools in the gems of Rogers Park. Casa Bonita, Park Castle and Park Gables (three of my favorite big courtyard buildings). Casa Bonita's pool (below) is lovely, but plainer than the other two, though the access to it is rather grander and features an observers balcony (now a corridor).

Park Gables has a much grander pool, but the "entry" spaces to it are just "regular nicer than average Chicago basement" (it should be said that Park Gables appears to be well maintained).

Park Gables really resembles a 1920's film set, with ornate tile work, terra cotta columns and "tented" or awning ceiling. However, the most impressive of the group, the piece de resistance if you will, is Park Castle, which resembles San Simeon.

It sports an L shaped pool, elaborate mosiacs and a lit fountain! Note the potted plants, forming a ceramic topiary border around the pool.