Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Eagles Go Into Hibernation

The terra cotta eagles are in the process of being carefully removed from the "Eagles Building" at the corner of West Sheridan and Broadway. We hope we see them restored and back at their perches before too long.

click to enlarge
While this is a slightly outside of Uptown's borders (a block south), we have been following the ambitious plan of developer Dave Gassman to renovate and rebuild the stores comprising nearly a complete city block (3817-3845 North Broadway). Several of the buildings in that stretch have already been knocked down, and with the removal of the iconic and much-loved eagles, we assume the corner building will follow suit before too long.

Latest rendering of the development
For those who admire the architecture of what is properly known as the Isaac G. Ettleson Building, you can read more about it and see close-up details on the most excellent Designslinger blog. It was designed by Alfred Alschuler, who also was responsible for Anshe Emet Synagogue and many other Chicago landmark buildings.


  1. I am not one of those "save every building over 20 years old" people.Generally I feel that if someone buys a building they should get to do what they want with it as long as it is within code and not a neighborhood nuisance. I do however see the beauty in the details and can appreciate when owners save pieces like the eagles. Looking at the drawings, I wish they would do something different other than that ugly red brick on the upper stories they are adding. The lower level has a uniqueness and since they are going to the trouble of saving it, why not put in a little effort to make the additions more seamless?

    1. I couldn't agree more...At the very least, they should go with light-colored bricks of a neutral color. Seriously, how did red brick get chosen for this? Hopefully they'll consider changing it.

    2. It pains me to see them knock down the buildings to the South just to put up the cheapest precast facade possible. The buildings weren't landmark quality, but they were Chicagoan, which is more than can be said for precast panel schlock. It's a ready-made facade, already there, and the new building is even set back. All they had to do was decide to keep the front halves of those buildings.

      But the developer is not a true builder, and doesn't care. The cost of "over 10 million" reveals how cheap this really is. A cost of $115K/door is very cheap construction costs.

    3. This block was fully rented and a representative grouping of commercial buildings from different decades. It's like the senseless demolition of Cuneo Hospital. Instead of being glad we have architectural manna fell from heaven, we are starving among cheap buildings that could be anywhere.