This cornerspot may not have been any great mystery. But we enjoy the crisp illustration of Gold Coast history that the address provides. The old mansion that once sat at the Northeast corner of Banks & State was one of the earlier works by Burnham & Root. The mansion was completed in 1885 for wealthy railroad parts supplier and Indian Art collector Edward E. Ayer (the art and artifacts were donated to the Field Museum). The architecture and backstory are pretty well covered in the Historic American Buildings Survey entry (pdf) from the early 1960s— just a couple years prior to the home's demolition. In the years leading to its end, the structure was used as multi-unit apartment building. Today, the Astor Tower apartments, and, more specifically, its parking garage occupy the site. What an ignoble fate.
·Edward E. Ayer House [Historic American Buildings Survey]
·Hint: A Classic Mansion That Preceded Demand For Lake Views [Curbed Chicago]