Less than a year after Chicagoans witnessed the destruction of the Prentice Women's Hospital in Streeterville, another lesser known work of famed mid-century architect Bertrand Goldberg is threatened with heavy modification that will certainly transform the appearance of the structure. Beyond Prentice, Goldberg also designed other well known projects such as Marina City, the Raymond Hillard Homes as well as the first phase of River City finished in 1986 (the other phases were never completed). However the building currently in question is located at the northeast corner of Rush and Walton Streets and was known originally as Walton Gardens. Although the design has been modified over the years, it does still retain much of the original character that the modern structure had when first finished in 1956. Most recently, the building was home to an Urban Outfitters location, but as Rush Street has transformed from a legendary nightlife district to the upper end of Chicago's boutique retail scene the pressure might be too great for this structure to not be redeveloped into high-end, high-rent commercial space.
As the boutiques along Oak Street continue to spread out and claim nearby locations on Rush and Walton, many of the vintage buildings in the immediate area have also been transformed or completely demolished and rebuilt over the past few years. When Walton Gardens was new, it truly stood out as a strikingly modern building amid the older neighboring structures. However, as the neighborhood changes, the scaled pedestrian blocks made up of older buildings are making way for newer contemporary designs. It might not be the worst idea to get your photos of the stretch now as we witness the continuing transformation of this area. Keep an eye out for new upscale retail tenants like Versace, Dior and La Perla coming to the block, as Crain's has just confirmed that these high-end brands are indeed on their way to Rush Street.
— Shawn Ursini
·Versace returning to the Gold Coast [Crain's]
·Is it Too Early to Start Worrying about Bertrand Goldberg's Walton Gardens? The history of Rush Street through the Eyes of A Single Building [Architecture Chicago Plus]
·Previous Bertrand Goldberg coverage [Curbed Chicago]