Sunday, July 22, 2018

Everything Old Is New Again

Two major projects are coming to a stretch of Broadway that will renovate buildings from decades ago.

You already know about that Uptown Theater project (4816 North Broadway). The nearly 100-year-old gem will get $75 million worth of attention. You can read a recent interview with its owner, Jerry Mickelson, about the plans.

(If you somehow missed the news about the theater, read here, here, here, and here.)

There will undoubtedly be a long-term ripple effect on the blocks surrounding the theater as well.

Meanwhile, a couple blocks north....

The former Combined Insurance Building at 5050 Broadway is undergoing a change as it goes from an office building to residential rentals. The developers are keeping the same framework but gutting the building. You can see through it now!

The early 1960s addition to the Combined Insurance
building, Broadway at Carmen. You can see the
1920s-era building to the left, which was torn down in
the mid-1960s to build the 10-story building at the
corner of Winnemac and Broadway.
When Combined Insurance moved to Uptown in 1959, it took over a six-story 1920s-era building at the corner of Broadway and Winnemac that had once been used for auto storage. It quickly outgrew that space, and in 1960, built an addition, a six-story building at 5060 Broadway (at Carmen).

(Fun fact: It needed more space for the technology of the day: computers. IBM mainframes took up entire rooms and floors!)

When its growth outpaced even the new building in the mid-1960s, it dismantled the 1920s building and put up a 10-story tower in its place. That's the "well-ventilated" building seen above, which will provide the frame for the building's next phase.

A hat tip to Epstein for providing photos and a history of the Combined Insurance Building.

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