Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL
animal shelter, thank you

home : columns : columns May 27, 2016

7/17/2013 4:26:00 PM
The Latest Monster
By John Macsai

A letter (May 3, 2013) recently remarked on a comparison in “Eye on Evanston” between Evanston Place and the building at Chicago Avenue and Kedzie Street. In that article, this writer credits Evanston Place as a building that works and has worked in its surroundings, and maintains that the other has not.

This is a good opportunity to discuss why the differences between those two architectural examples bring into question the basic concepts of how ‘good’ architecture is defined.

A basic concern that applies to every building is how the building deals with its own mass -– standing alone or in relation to its immediate environment. Architecturally, Evanston Place is well-organized volumes. To minimize visual impact the volume is broken into two smaller towers, each with its own entrance. Each is a ‘T’ shape that allows daylight into the center of the elevator lobbies. Another issue is color and texture: The buildings are predominantly brick-clad, including the balconies, in order to fit better into the residential environment.

The building at Chicago Avenue and Kedzie Street is confusing. Its volume is disregarded and the use of two-color bricks is unjustified. Finally it is topped with superfluous ornamentation. On this structure, decoration is substituted for clarity. Spaces are created that bear no relation to each other, as well as buildings that have no coherent relation to each other. The building tries for an elegant, wealthy look it does not achieve. The confused use of color, the breaks, the general visual shapes indicate a lack of design discipline. 

When the apartments are rented the developer will be gone, the contractor off to another job, the architect will be massacring another building and the residents of Evanston will be living with this visual monster for our lifetimes, at least. Not a nice prospect. 

Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable welcomes your comments. We will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Click to View Upcoming Events
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
Submit Event

HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsHow To
animal shelter, thank you

Copyright 2008-15 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved
Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved