Tale of Two Cities- Bucktown vs. Wicker Park pt. 11

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Sunday, December 23, 2012


The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis - he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.




We conclude the Bucktown vs. Wicker Park series with the same question we started with: Where do YOU think we are, Wicker Park or Bucktown?


 

Architecturally, this interior- especially the ceiling- is neo-classical with civic overtones, a temple to finance built in the roaring 20’s.

What’s Wicker Park about it?  The exemplary preservation of the coffered ceiling, skylight, pilasters, light fixtures, and even the clock!  What’s Bucktown about it?  Contemporary lighting devices highlighting the historic qualities- and some would say a revolutionary re-use of the space! 

We hope that you’ve been for a visit to this wonderfully reworked icon in the neighborhood, or will soon- if so you know where we are standing.  The big question is-

Where do YOU think we are, Wicker Park or Bucktown?  Either way, them’s fighting words!

Tale of Two Cities- Bucktown vs. Wicker Park pt. 10

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Thursday, December 06, 2012


The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis - he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.




Urban density created the townhouse - attached homes strung together on a series of lots, to maximize land usage (or profit to the developer, depending on who you ask).  

Some townhouses aren’t any bigger than a single story apartment, but offer the feel of a stand alone home plus an individual address.  Today we look at two newer townhouse developments, one in Bucktown and one in Wicker Park.


This Bucktown townhouse development uses modern materials and contrasting color to emphasize both verticality and rhythm.  

The red corrugated metal (typically used industrially) both defines the separate units and ties them together like marching soldiers.  The chimney stacks mark the centers of each townhouse and punctuate the sky.

The rhythm is A-A-A-A, a modern, almost industrial approach.  


This Wicker Park townhouse development was informed by the historic architecture in its surroundings.  

The brick material is uniform overall but has different cornice details and window styles to distinguish the units. The building exhibits the renaissance tradition of different windows on each level- creating base, piano nobile, and domestic (bedroom) levels. The arched openings book-end the sides and the rectangular, metal canopy delineates the center. Further distinguishing the units is a difference in elevation, with the center units set back.

The rhythm is A-B-A, a beaux-arts tradition.


So- just like your neighbors or just a little different- how do you like your ducks in a row? Bucktown or Wicker Park for you?

 



Tale of Two Cities- Bucktown vs. Wicker Park pt. 9

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, October 26, 2012


The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis - he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.





Last time we adapted- this time we are gonna add on!  In order to add on to the square footage of a home in Chicago, lot size and zoning come into play.  Bucktown and Wicker Park vary greatly in these characteristics, and so the does the way homes get additions.




This Wicker Park mansion is well endowed with land and the owners imagined a creative way to add on in this Landmark District.  

The “coach house” to the right is actually a freestanding house built after 2009 on a legally separate lot, although it looks like it was built at the same time as the main structure and is modeled on the older building’s style, proportions, and materials.  Historic coach houses nearby were used as precedent for the footprint and design.  This addition would be nearly impossible in Bucktown, where very few homes sit on 3 lots.










Without an extra lot, this Bucktown addition filled the back yard and moved up.  

The sheet metal addition on the front contrasts with the original structure and provides a contemporary hat on the façade.  The same material is used to sheath the connector to the rear addition, with exposed I-beams emerging on either side of the slight curve.  The curve of the connector wall recalls and reinforces the curved roof on the front; the shiny material reflects the sky, appearing less heavy.  The outdoor roof garden connects and separates the two additions.



So, which adds up most, in your book?  Wicker Park or Bucktown?

Tale of Two Cities- Bucktown vs. Wicker Park pt. 8

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Tuesday, September 11, 2012


The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis
- he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.






In today’s battle we pit Bucktown’s Adaptive Reuse against Wicker Park’s. 



 
This bucolic landscape makes use of the vacated street that was Bloomingdale (How about THAT for Adaptive Reuse, Wicker Park?!?) and creates a lovely greenway for residents and passers-by alike.
 
The building itself is a former cabinet factory and has been converted to loft condominiums.  On this elevation we see balconies that have been suspended in rows for a modern appearance- and to take advantage of the skyline view.  Thus the former back side of the building is now the “friendliest”, whereas the front of the building, built up to the lot line and sidewalk, is designed to be more secure and therefore is less inviting. 
 

 
Wicker Park’s candidate in the Adaptive Reuse contest is a former church in the Landmark District- now condominiums.  The major façade elements have been maintained and the condominium layout carefully inserted within the envelope of the building.  The living space, like the former worship space, is above the first floor. 
 
The garage door is front and center, occupying the former main entrance of the church; the building is land-locked, having no alley.  In fact the residents (of this and MANY condo buildings) primarily enter via vehicle.  The garage door is successfully concealed by using the same paneled members and paint color as the people doors- and of course using the original masonry openings. 
 

So, which Adaptation excites YOUR imagination…working outside of the lines in Bucktown- or inside the box in Wicker Park?

Tale of Two Cities- Bucktown vs. Wicker Park pt. 7

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Monday, July 30, 2012


The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis
- he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.






People that criticize urban sprawl also denigrate the “Mini- or Mc-Mansion” and increasing footprint of new homes. There is nothing new under the sun, however, so today we look at 2 grand homes on multiple lots- one in Bucktown and one in Wicker Park built a century earlier.  



This Wicker Park home was built grand on a wider-than-standard (25’ x 125’in most neighborhoods) lot.  Certainly intended to impress, the building features a turret and multiple roof lines.  

The piano nobile (first floor) is up off the ground, the balcony implies public address, the stone façade is highly textured and detailed- it’s actually Queen Anne style in stone.  The proportions are vertical, typical of buildings before 1919.  There are 3 vertical elements adding grandeur and depth- the turret, the center section, and the entry section.  The rooflines point to the sky as do the columns and balustrades.  The windows are tall, allowing maximum light and ventilation (air conditioning was not available residentially) and adding to the verticality of the overall composition. 



This Bucktown contemporary uses two lots with the building oriented to the long side of the plot, furtheraccentuating its size.  

This house looks very different from its predecessor until we realize it also presents itself as a collection of 3 vertical elements -here treated as abstract planes with differing materials.  Like the Wicker Park home, the first floor is raised.  However, this design makes the eye moves horizontally, typical of the modern age.  Featuring a richness of textures and materials, the abstract planes play across the elevation, and the entry and stair are obscured, typical in contemporary design.  The windows are in a hierarchy visible from right to left.  The largest and most imposing windows are on the right, framed with limestone wrapping around the corner; tertiary windows are simple squares in the center section; and to the left are secondary windows, large but NOT framed in limestone.


So- horizontal Bucktown or vertical Wicker Park- how do YOU like your big house?  


Tale of Two Cities- Bucktown vs. Wicker Park pt. 6

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Monday, June 25, 2012

The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis
- he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.





Last month we compared doors in Wicker Park and Bucktown- this month we turn to windows.








This Wicker Park home's windows are double-hung and the viewing and ventilation panels are the same.  A prominent design statement is made by grouping three windows in a bay configuration (as well as adding light and ventilation opportunities).


















This Bucktown home's windows are conjoined in big panels and the ventilation and viewing panels are differentiated. The conjoined panels almost become a glass wall. Different viewing opportunities are provided by turning the corner.




So, which one’s best, Bucktown or Wicker Park?




Tale of Two Cities- Bucktown vs. Wicker Park pt. 5

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, May 25, 2012



The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis
- he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.




Today we look at doors and how they define a building.  

As the threshold of the building, a door makes a ceremonial statement in marking the difference between who comes in and who stays out.  The appearance of strength- and impression of importance are common elements between contemporary and traditional doors. Beyond that, style differences between traditional and contemporary portals are often vast.




These original Wicker Park doors have been refinished with a gloss material that highlights their details and patina.

They are a prominent feature of the façade, and there is no question about where the entrance is. The door announces its importance with fine details; the transom is ornate, communicates richness, and brings light into the vestibule. 












In this contemporary Bucktown renovation (formerly a tavern) the door gains importance by being extra tall- but is also meant to disappear by being very plain and black.  

Here the door is recessed back from the façade, so that the building architecture is dominant, rather than any individual element.  The door itself is just a “slab” with no panel or other detail; the transom is dark and meant to appear to be part of the door, adding height and importance. 
 





So, which one gets your vote, Bucktown or Wicker Park?



Tale of Two Cities- Bucktown vs. Wicker Park pt. 4

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Friday, April 27, 2012



The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis
- he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.




Today we take a peek at two homes of more moderate size, for those of you working your way up to a Bucktown or Wicker Park Mansion- or who prefer a smaller footprint.  The approach of these two homes is dramatically different, in part due to their location- and the timing of their “remodelation”.  




This Bucktown cottage has been enlarged and modernized, maintaining most of the original façade.  The slot window at the top and the picture window at the parlor both increase the visual scale of the cottage and announce their modernity with new shapes.  The most dramatic element is the second-story addition with a contrasting glass and metal wall in totally contemporary mode.  This would not be allowed in a Landmark District and wouldn’t look congruous there.  Had this renovation been more recent, it might have been a tear-down- or certainly would be a larger addition.  Today, the modest scale has a place in the market again.












This Wicker Park two-flat has elements which actually make it appear cottage-like by reducing the scale of the upper level; the roof of the bay window and the canopy over the entrance come forward and the second story visually recedes.   The cornice is original but the porch was reconstructed using picturesque elements as fitting this Landmark District and similar to surrounding buildings.  An addition on this property would most likely be limited to the rear of the structure by Landmarks- and a tear-down would be prohibited.  The scale of properties in Landmark Districts is more static- and appeals to those who appreciate both size and aesthetic.





So which is YOUR pick, “anything goes” Bucktown or “my way or the highway” Wicker Park?

Tale of Two Cities- Bucktown vs. Wicker Park pt. 3

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Thursday, March 29, 2012



The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis
- he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.



Windows make a big difference in the two lovely homes we compare below- technology AND aesthetic have changed over the years.  

Let’s take a look and see how they meet with your approval:



In this historic Wicker Park home- with tradition-inspired pavilion addition, windows on secondary facades are punched openings in a masonry wall. Windows provide light and ventilation, serving a utilitarian purpose, and are distributed evenly across a room. The pattern of windows reveals the room configuration within.



In this contemporary renovation of a Bucktown home, the windows are meant to create design patterns on the overall facade, and may not indicate interior function. The two large window clusters cross over the floor line; and the spandrel panels (metal) "erase" it. These clusters increase the perceived size of the building, and the exposed steel celebrates the muscularity of the structure- very contemporarily.

So, which one’s your fave, Bucktown or Wicker Park?



Wicker Park Bucktown Architecture - A Tale of Two Cities pt. 2

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce - Wednesday, February 22, 2012



The following blog entry was contributed by: Sam Marts and Dina Petrakis
- he's Bucktown, she's Wicker Park - who compare their two ‘hoods.



Traditional Wicker Park is primarily renovations- Contemporary Bucktown is dominated by new construction. Both styles (and ‘hoods) make for fabulous homes, but use different vocabularies and standards.  Which is YOUR fave- Bucktown or Wicker Park?

This Wicker Park Beauty (below, left) was in tragic disrepair before its complete restoration. All details of the exterior- not just the prominent elements- were renewed with the attention of Chicago's Landmarks Commission, to the Standards of the Secretary of the Interior. The landscaping of the historic side yard is new and conjectural but completely in keeping with the grandeur of the home.












This Bucktown adaptive re-use single family (above, right) was a windowless factory backing up to the railroad now on track to become the lauded Bloomingdale Trail. Interior volume reallocated, windows punched telegraphing changed use of space, and new facade materials all lend to this distinctive home. Both corners were hollowed out to become exterior space- the south is enclosed but open to the sky- the north is the entry portal. Note the contemporary landscaping.

So, Bucktown or Wicker Park- which is YOUR style?

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