Friday, March 5, 2010

It's kind of flown under the radar, but if's you've walked down Michigan Avenue in the last week or so, you might have noticed a gaping hole in the famous streetwall. Located at 830 South Michigan, the hole was filled by the YWCA Building, a grand blue Beaux-Arts facade that for the last three decades has stood with blank eyes onto Grant Park. Before that, though, from when it was built in 1895, it was an affordable housing building for young women new to the city. You can still see where the light wells were in the floor plan by noticing where the neighboring buildings were clad or left raw. A second story open space above the front entrance looked out onto the lake. From 1929 until its abandonment, the building was used as a hotel. It apparently had some pretty major structural issues as well as severe degradation, as even landmarks organizations wrote it off as unsalvagable. Cool building, though. I might be in the minority here, but I kind of liked the blue-gray paint.

The building was condemned November 12, and demolition began in January. All that remains now is the facade of the first two floors.

(First image credit: Landmarks Illinois)

Posted by Posted by The Loosh at 7:00 AM