Imagining another kind of architecture

SHARE Imagining another kind of architecture

In my day, there were no architectural biennials. “Going to Grandmother’s” loomed large in my childhood.

Visiting her gorgeous apartment building at 4304 S. Forestville Ave., in Bronzeville. Playing in the flowering courtyard, swinging on the huge iron gate, garnished with elaborate, overlapping geometric circles and Celtic crosses. I called them “curlicues.” Up to the apartment, little fingers tip-toeing across the carved ebony fireplace.

I was well into adulthood when I learned that “Grandmother’s” was the Francis Apartments, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and built in 1895 for white, middle class families.

Later, came racial change, then disinvestment and disrepair. The Francis was demolished in 1971.

It hurt, my mother recalls. By then, “they didn’t care. …it was ‘just black folks.’ ”

When outsiders think South Side, they think blighted housing projects and slums. Now, think about a once-decrepit bank building at 68th Street and Stony Island Avenue. It has been designated to serve as a neighborhood site for the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

CONTINUE READING AT SUNTIMES.COM

The Latest
Multiple people from a car fired shots, prompting a guest of a repass service at the Salvation Army to return shots. One person has been arrested, but police are searching for other suspects.
Police found the man, 34, with multiple gunshot wounds to the body in the 400 block of West Division Street around 2:30 a.m.
The first Sunday of the season brings Caitlin Clark to Wintrust Arena for one of the games of the day in all of sports. After that, though, Chicago fans might look at the states of some of their teams and realize there’s a lot to complain about.
The man was fighting with a woman when two other men intervened and began battering him, police said.
State Sen. Napoleon Harris III chairs the Illinois Senate’s Insurance Committee and has partnered with two men who run an insurance brokerage.