urban renewal

All posts tagged urban renewal

Townhouses at 4541-4555 North Hermitage Avenue and contiguous lots on Paulina Street

These townhouses, designed by the firm of Environ, Inc., were built on the site of the Ravenswood YMCA, a large 1905 building which by the late 1970’s had failed to meet increasingly stringent standards for access for the disabled. As a result, the building had either to be razed or retrofitted at an expense which turned out to be prohibitive.
The YMCA building was demolished and the site remained vacant for several years, monitored closely by UPRAVE and other community groups.
Finally in the mid-1980’s a developer bought the lot and subdivided it into townhouses.
While the architectural quality of these townhouses may not equal that of some of the older buildings in the neighborhood, the developer and architect made a good effort to integrate this project with the neighborhood, yet add something fresh and innovative.
Note the Prairie Style of the Hermitage Avenue townhouses, which is replicated on some the Paulina Street houses.
Most of the Paulina Street houses are, by contrast, gabled and decorated with window and door ornaments similar to those used in the 1880’s. While these decorative differences add some variety to the street, they conceal the fact that all the townhouses are based on one prototype, rotated and slightly changed into a total of four models.


Galley Proofs from AIA Guide to Chicago Architecture, 1993.


Continue the tour to 4533 North Hermitage Avenue.

  1. The next building is south 79′ from you.
  2. Click the ‘Continue the Tour’ button below when you’ve reached your destination.


View Larger Map