In January, a student reporter from Medill published an article about one of the slowest-moving developments in Chicago, a parking structure at the corner of Devon and Rockwell. Of course, this isn't just any old parking structure; it's the hulking, six-story building dripping with color and towering over all of its neighbors. According to that article, construction began in June 2007, and in the four years that have elapsed, the developer still hasn't managed to finish the building, drawing the ire of neighbors. Of course, that wasn't the only aspect of the building that drew criticism; others took issue with the design. Neighborhood residents quoted in that article said it was "worse than the Berlin Wall," "like having a spaceship land in your backyard," and "so poorly designed as to be almost non-functional." Last week, we finally made it up to Devon to have a look at the building, and to see if it lives up to its rep.
It really is quite a sight to behold, but it's still very unfinished. The murals look pretty terrific, but only two of the five panels have been painted so far, and the unpainted ones look cruddy (as do the other unfinished surfaces). On the face that fronts Devon, an enormous and inexplicable image of the Taj Mahal in a mountain setting.
The original rendering also showed that the horizontal lines on the top two floors would be painted, but that hasn't been completed. The parking lot recently opened, and when we stopped by last week the developer was giving away free parking. A man in the office who said he was the brother of developer Tariq Siddiqui told us that they're looking to attract a restaurant for the second-floor commercial space. At some point in the distant future, the top floors will have 30 rental apartments.
· If alderman has his way, Devon parking structure will open by Election Day [Medill]
· After 7 Years, Psychedelic Parking Structure on Devon Almost Done [Curbed]