Sunday, February 22, 2015

Isaac G. Ettleson Building
 by: chicago designslinger

 [Isaac G. Ettleson Building (1911) Harry Hale Waterman, architect;  (1931) ground floor alteration, Alfred S. Alschuler, architect /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

The white terra cotta eagles, spread wing to wing along the cornice line of the building at Sheridan & Broadway on Chicago's north side, is known as the Isaac G. Ettleson Building. Once occupied by the Hamilton State Bank, the avian crowned, 2-story structure was pretty much empty by the late 1920's when then owner Samuel Phillipson commissioned architect Alfred S. Alschuler to remodel and enlarge the vintage Ettleson building.

  [Isaac G. Ettleson Building, 3837-45 N. Broadway, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

Phillipson was a wholesale clothing merchant and a real estate investor. He began his career in the city's old Jewish neighborhood around Maxwell, Halsted and Roosevelt Road, then known as 12th Street. By the 1920s he had moved from a large near west side home on South Ashland Boulevard to a large home on Sheridan Road, located on the city's north side. The Phillipsons became active members of congregation Anshe Emet, which just happened to be located around the corner from the Ettleson building, and he began acquiring investment property in and around his new neighborhood.

[Isaac G. Ettleson Building, Lake View, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

When Phillipson bought the Ettleson building, the existing structure did not fill the entire corner lot. It stood 25 feet south of Sheridan Road which was at the northern end of the property's lot line. (It's the area at the left hand side of the picture where the sign reads Starbucks.) So when Phillipson hired Alschuler in 1931, the architect increased the size of the existing structure 25 feet to the lot line, remodeled the old building, and added more office space to the second floor. Phillipson had secured a long term lease from F.W. Woolworth & Co. for almost the entire first floor, and he marketed the redone second floor offices to doctors and dentists.
Woolworth's left the building in the mid-1980s, as had most of the doctors and dentists. But Alschuler's Art Deco inspired ground floor storefront, along with the original, second floor, wood sash windows, survived for several years before being removed for the white-brick-and-stucco, vinyl-window-framed redo we see today.

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