If you’ve ever driven west on Foster, out toward Harlem Avenue, you’ve surely noticed these two remarkable apartment buildings, standing on the angled block where Foster Place briefly splits off from Foster Avenue.
They are 5133 N. Neva Avenue (top) and 7111 W. Foster Place (bottom). Built around 1964, they were designed by one Lee N. Romano, a planner, designer and builder who ran his own eponymous company, founded in 1950. They seem to be his most notable buildings, as very little information can be found about him otherwise. But hey, a guy could do far worse than to leave these MidCentury explosions as a legacy.
Those unmistakable eyelid stained glass windows set the tone of the place. They reappear as a motif in several spots, like the fake balconies…
The main entry doors…
…And even the interior doors, which have their own miniature version of the big window.
Those big windows cast a beautiful light into the tiny lobby space on a sunny day. It’d be hard to live here and not get a little smile on your face every time you walked out the front door.
They didn’t seem to know just what to do with the backside, but hey, who in Chicago ever does? Lacking a better option, they made it into a little courtyard with a castle wall fence thing. Why not?