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Residential Refections

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Marina City is about to celebrate its 50th birthday. Ironically, at the same time that the citizenry is strengthening its romance with the corncobs, Old Prentice will likely be reduced to rubble. To gain insight into life at Marina City, Dennis Rodkin sought out one of the development's few remaining original residents for a chat. Dr. Theresa Southgate moved into a 39th floor one-bed in 1963, paying $180 a month for the privilege. When Marina City went condo in 1977, she bought a two-bed on a higher floor where she's remained since. Southgate has never been in love with the building's aesthetics but digs its proportionality, wedge-shaped units, and mixed uses (In the 60s, there was nowhere else to shop or eat in the neighborhood!). A standout insight: The chains once used to partition the shared balconies came to be known as "the Marina City chastity belts". [Chicago Mag, photo: Steven Dahlman]