Understated Classicism on Michigan Ave

In Architecture, Classicisim on June 30, 2010 at 1:43 pm

This sketch represents the first ever Lunchtime Sketchbook installment!

Today at lunch I sketched a building that I’ve walked past a few hundred times but never really taken notice of before.  The building sits just north of Randolph on Michigan Ave which makes it one of the busiest intersections in Chicago.

Despite the towering structures all around, this building evokes a peaceful feeling in an increasingly hectic area through scale, simplicity and natural materials (red brick & limestone).  The building is divided into 3 portions: base, middle and top.

The stone base appropriately represents the structural integrity of being the “foundation” of the building.  The entrance is clearly marked by the double-height stone archway adjacent to the long storefront window.  The middle portion varies its window articulation from curved to angular pediments.  The top story is marked by four Tuscan columns dividing three arched windows.  A balustrade completes the composition at its peak.

If you find yourself wandering around the Taste of Chicago this weekend, take a second and check out this building.

  1. Nice work, Brian, and welcome to the blogosphere! I like this idea for a blog, and think the tight focus will keep people interested.

    Might I suggest a street level photo next to the sketch in each entry… could help people appreciate what your sketches highlight.


    • Thanks, Andy! I appreciate the suggestion; it’s actually something I was kicking around at lunch today and will try to incorporate in future posts. Any other advice is much appreciated!

      Thanks again,


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