55th Street oddity

Despite variable weather, I took a cross-city bike ride on Memorial Day, starting from my Rogers Park home and eventually arriving at the Midway Airport Orange Line station around sunset. In between, I beheld many wonders and made great discoveries. Oh, wait’ll you see this crazy Midcentury church I found!

But that will have to wait on better photographs; daylight was already fading by that point. Today, we have a somewhat more mundane discovery: some typical 1960s apartments, on Komensky Avenue at 55th Street. Ordinary stuff, right?

5500 S. Komensky Avenue

Wrong! Look at the stairwell facade, above the door. Normally this portion of the facade has a glass block window wall, usually with a couple of vents. More decorative/funky versions have my beloved colored glass block, or even colored plastic panels for a low-budget stained glass effect. But instead, this little row of buildings got…

5500 S. Komensky Avenue

…sculpture! Bas relief carvings, probably in limestone, on a background of stone panels.

5500 S. Komensky Avenue

We’ve got a nude, bald man playing a flute, and a running guy with a winged helmet. Some sort of mythological theme? That theory gets obliterated by the third relief, a butterfly.

5500 S. Komensky Avenue

And just to throw more confusion onto the fire…

5500 S. Komensky Avenue

…the fourth one isn’t an image at all, but a sort of compass points cross.

Nearby, I also found another pair of apartments with an extra-heavy dose of colored glass block. Lovely!

W. 55th Street

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2 thoughts on “55th Street oddity

  1. Around the corner, on Pulaski south of 55th st is a building with carvings of “see, hear, and speak no evil monkeys”

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