Now open: Hairpin Lofts & Logan Square Arts Center

July 28, 2011

Hairpin Lofts & Logan Square Arts Center
on Milwaukee Ave.

It’s been over 20 years since the public has stepped foot above the first floor of the Hairpin Lofts and Logan Square Arts Center (photo left, “before”) — until today!

The reconfigured and newly renovated and restored building at the northwest corner of Diversey and Milwaukee Avenues (photo above, “after”) is certified for occupancy and open for business.

You can read a bit more about the building’s journey at History of the Morris B. Sachs building (Part I) and (Part II), Celebrating Hairpin Lofts! and Desirable defacement.

On the top four floors of the building, tenants will now reside in new apartments (photo left) where office workers once toiled.  And enjoy a bird’s eye view of the neighborhood (photo below left looks north up Kimball Avenue).

On the second floor of the building will be the Logan Square Arts Center, a performance and multi-use space managed by the Logan Square Chamber of Arts.

You can dive right in and see for yourself the new Logan Square Arts Center during the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival this weekend (see below).


Scene in Logan Square:

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival takes place this weekend, July 29-31, from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, noon to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday on Milwaukee Avenue between Rockwell and Wolfram Streets.

You might start off your festival experience with the 50 & Fabulous performance at the Logan Square Arts Center Friday night at 8:00 p.m.  You could take some time on Saturday to channel your own artistic side starting at 2:30 p.m. with the All Ages Make & Take Art Workshops, fuel your artsy adventure at neighborhood restaurants or the curated Food and drink at the festival, or test your artistic expression at 7:30 p.m. with Foreign language karaoke.  You may challenge your perspective on Sunday at the Undomesticated gallery, see how the festival has unfolded at the See, Hear, Now gallery, and pick up a souvenir of the festival at the Indoor Art Market.  There’s much more to see and do.  Map your own route or let the art unfold in your own exploration.

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On a park bench in September

September 23, 2010

Better late than never 

Late, but not too late for the last of this year’s Summer Sessions on the Square, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has replaced the park benches at the square.  I think it was last December that they came and stole away the old benches minus many seat boards that had disappeared over the years.

Logan Square Park Benches

I would have liked to see something colorful and creative like this bench that was part of a public art project in Washington, D.C. (photo left), but the new metal benches seem more in keeping with the Chicago Landmark Logan Square Boulevards District.


Desirable defacement

September 15, 2010

Hairpin Lofts and Logan Square Arts Center
Façade Work on Milwaukee Ave.

This is the kind of literal defacement I like to see.

This defacement indicates progress on the Hairpin Lofts and Logan Square Arts Center, which is moving along according to plan.

The skin has been removed for various parts cleanings and repairings, leaving this odd face.  Neighborhood resident Adam Natenshon of Brinshore Development humanizes its current state, likening the concrete structure to bones and the clay tiles to muscles held together by mortar tendons (detail photo left).  The scaffolding itself adds a skeletal look.

Read the rest of this entry »


Post-public meeting on the Logan Square public plaza

August 20, 2010

Tuesday’s public meeting about the current proposal for the Logan Square public plaza was well attended by the standards of most neighborhood community meetings; it was, in fact, standing room only by a large margin.  I’m not sure how many attendees actually live in Logan Square.  I know there was a large presence of local food movement types, but I’m not certain they were necessarily loca-resideres, to coin an awkward phase (so awkward I find it necessary to explain it’s a riff on the word “locavore”).  I just don’t know. 

August 17 Proposal
for Logan Square Public Plaza and Orchard

The meeting began Read the rest of this entry »


Celebrating Hairpin Lofts!

May 20, 2010

Let’s put the Sachs/Payless moniker to rest and get used to Hairpin Lofts rolling off the tongue.

Tuesday was a day of celebration for the Hairpin Lofts and Logan Square Arts Center, the official “groundbreaking” for the project.

Of course there’s no real ground to break on a rehabilitation project.
Preliminary construction has already been underway.  You’ve probably noticed the scaffolding is up and parts of the sidewalk are closed (photo right) to allow for the ongoing construction of the project, slated for completion in about one year’s time.

But Tuesday was the ceremonial start and an opportunity for City of Chicago officials, the development and finance teams, the local arts (photo below) and preservation communities, and neighbors to officially welcome the long-awaited project. Read the rest of this entry »


History of the Morris B. Sachs building (Part II)

April 3, 2010

(Also see History of the Morris B. Sachs building [Part I].) tagGallagher   

Guest post: Katy Gallagher

Katy Gallagher has an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has worked as a photo researcher for historic documentary programs at the History Channel and WTTW Channel 11 Chicago. She has also worked as an archaeological conservator for the National Park Service, and as a curatorial intern for the Glessner House Museum. Katy has been a Logan Square resident for the past three years and enjoys researching structures both grand and modest in the neighborhood.    


The architecture

At 2800-2808 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Leichenko & Esser created for building developer Sol H. Goldberg a six-story Art Deco style building encompassing a triangular lot.  Art Deco architecture is characterized by angular, linear composition, typically with a vertical emphasis, and often containing hard-edge, low relief ornamentation around door and window openings. The Morris B. Sachs flatiron building is a tremendous example of the Art Deco style (photo right*).   

The top four stories fronting Milwaukee and Diversey Avenues each contain seven sets of window units  — six sets of three-window units and one set of two-window units at the back — separated by vertical slabs of grey stone, the dominant building material. The slabs create a strong vertical visual effect. Atop each window are spandrels Read the rest of this entry »


History of the Morris B. Sachs building (Part I)

March 30, 2010

Late last year, I met Katy Gallagher, and learned of her passion for preservation.  I encouraged her to get involved with Logan Square Preservation (she did; at least she’s dipped her toe in) and asked if she would apply her passion and expertise to the benefit of Peopling Places readers (she has).   tagGallagher

Guest post:  Katy Gallagher

Katy Gallagher has an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has worked as a photo researcher for historic documentary programs at the History Channel and WTTW Channel 11 Chicago. She has also worked as an archaeological conservator for the National Park Service, and as a curatorial intern for the Glessner House Museum. Katy has been a Logan Square resident for the past three years and enjoys researching structures both grand and modest in the neighborhood.


Milwaukee-Diversey-Kimball Landmark District

Designated a Landmark District in 2004 by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, the Milwaukee-Diversey-Kimball district (photo right), developed in the 1920s, is a rare surviving historic commercial district in Chicago, especially impressive because four of its original six-corners streetscape remain intact.  

The landmark designation identifies seven structures located between 2767 and 2808 N. Milwaukee Avenue as a “significant and visually distinctive group of 1920s commercial buildings.” (Chicago Department of Planning & Development. Landmark Designation Report Milwaukee-Diversey-Kimball District. Chicago, 2004, p. 3. )  These buildings contain abundant ornamentation made of terra cotta, brick and limestone and are terrific examples of the Classical Revival and Art Deco styles popular at the Read the rest of this entry »