In our third and final installment of "Open House Chicago", we paid a visit to a couple of Hyde Park spots, worlds apart in form and function. The main attraction among the roster of accessible Open House sites, to our mind, was the newly restored and converted Del Prado. Curbed visited the old hotel/apartment building in February, mid-restoration, and followed with an extensive write-up. We're back today with updated photos of a nearly finished product with nearly full occupancy.
Studio Gang Architects are behind the meticulous restoration of this Beaux Arts-Art Deco hybrid. In addition to restoration, several new building amenities have been added, such as a fitness center, universal wi-fi, and lounge areas. Rents are quite reasonable, ranging from $973/mo for a studio to $1,675 for the nicest 2BR. According to our volunteer guide, the penthouse is the only unfinished and unpriced unit. Built in 1918 as the Cooper-Carlton Hotel, it's one of the oldest multi-unit buildings in Hyde Park and, according to its website, attracted such A-list vacationers as Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Amelia Earhart, Yogi Berra, and Joe DiMaggio, when the neighborhood was a quiet haven from the big city. Our photo gallery is limited to spaces open to the public, predominately the main lobby.
Our other highlight, which we thought would be fun to visit, is the University of Chicago's South Campus Chiller Plant, a strikingly transparent cube set just behind the new Chicago Theological Seminary building and against the train tracks. Designed by Helmut Jahn, this elegant structure won all sorts of big Architecture Awards following its completion in 2009. We were allowed supervised access to the main floor, with its series of jumbo coolant tanks. The pressurized coolant serves as climate control for many campus buildings. The fact that the utility systems are already exposed to the street, means we haven't unveiled much of anything here, except to offer some different viewing angles. Particularly interesting when seen with the old utility building, where machinery is shrouded in brick. Enjoy!
·Official Site: Del Prado Apartments
·Open House Chicago: South Campus Chiller Plant
·Inside the Del Prado: Restoring a Hyde Park Hotel to Former Glory [Curbed]