Chicago’s Midcentury Moderne

Chicago builders, as I’ve harped on before, would glom on to just about anything in designing their mass produced buildings. The International Style and Art Moderne were no different; they served as inspiration for a series of buildings across Chicagoland in the 1950s and early 1960s. Combined and agglomerated into the already-developing local builder style, these buildings form a mini-style of their own. Call it Chicago Midcentury Moderne.

This set of photos is all single family houses and small multi-family apartments, but there are also larger apartment buildings in a similar style, which I’ll cover in another post. The construction dates are all from the Chicago CityNews site, whose accuracy can be on the variable side – but I’m betting they’re all in the right ballpark, at least.

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6549 W 28th Street, Berwyn – 1952

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2820 W. Glenlake, 1950

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2854 W. Berwyn, 1956

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2926 W. Fitch, West Ridge – 1944?? I’m not sure I buy that.

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5776 W Ainslie at N. Menard Avenue – 1956

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9301 S. Winchester, Beverly – 1952

It doesn’t seem to be a hugely appreciated genre; there’s not a word about any of these buildings online. I’ve previously photographed a small group of similarly-styled houses in the Fairview neighborhood of Skokie.

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3 thoughts on “Chicago’s Midcentury Moderne

  1. 2926 W. Fitch, West RidgeI bet it could actually be from the 1940's, but it's received pretty substantial amounts of new windows and other non-conforming accoutrements like the flower boxes.

  2. Art Moderne, in general, is a style that is little-known and little-appreciated. Moderne tends to get pigeon-holed into other styles as late Deco or early Modern. So, I think people just haven't looked at the style enough to even have realized that there are 1950s variants to it. You may be the first person to realize that.

  3. Friends of my parents live in a little moderne house in Lincolnwood with a fantastic curved glass block wall in the kitchen. There are a lot of small houses like it lurking on the NW and SW sides I'm guessing.

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