Friday, February 20, 2015

30 West Oak Street
 by: chicago designslinger

 [30 West Oak Street (2007) Booth Hansen, architects /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

As you look north up Dearborn Street on a bright sunny day with a brilliant blue sky, you can almost miss the 24-story building standing at the corner of Oak Street. Built in 2007 and designed by the architects at Booth Hansen, the tower blends almost seamlessly into the landscape.

  [30 West Oak, 30 W. Oak Street, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

For almost 80 years the corner had been occupied by the Harriet McCormick Memorial Y.W.C.A. building, a 12-story brick structure designed by architects Berlin & Swern. Although the "Y" wasn't as sleek as the curved glass condo tower sitting on the site today, it was unique. Like spokes on a wheel, four wings sprung out from a central core to the four corners of a rectangular base, which provided plenty of light and air for the 500 room facility. In 1972 the "Y" sold the building to the Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine, and for the next 30 years Chicagoans were able to get foot service at a reduced rate provided by the school's student podiatrists.

  [30 West Oak, Near North Side, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

Architect Laurence Booth must have liked the location, or the excellent views provided by the floor to ceiling windows, or just a good design generated by his office, because he moved into the building when it was completed. The floor plan divided each level into two apartments per floor coming in at about 3,000 sq.ft. per unit. Last year however Booth sold his 21st floor apartment to his neighbor, who apparently was looking to expand, and now owns an entire floor from east to west and terrace to terrace, with a spectacular view out over the city under brilliant blue skies.

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