Lawson YMCA House, 10 February 2011

2011/02/10

Another fine example of Art Deco design in Chicago.

D80-CHI_LawsonYMCA01-2011_02-04B

D80-CHI_LawsonYMCA02-2011_02-04B

Photo Information:

Location: Chicago, Illinois; River North
Camera: Nikon D80
Lens (Upper Photo): Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX
Lens (Lower Photo): Nikon Nikkor 85mm f/1.8
ISO Equivalency: 100
Color Setting: Vivid (Black & White conversion in post-processing)

I couldn’t find too much information regarding the building online, though that isn’t particularly surprising; Art Deco design aside, the building isn’t all that significant, and probably isn’t even the best example of the style in Chicago (I happen to like the Palmolive Building a little better, myself). My trusty AIA Guide to Chicago mentions that the building was completed in 1934 (so, just about the height of the Art Deco period – also, ironically, the height of the Great Depression), and that it was designed by Perkins, Chatten, & Hammond (no, I haven’t heard of the before, either). That being said, the building does feature some nice detailing, especially at the top, as you can see in the second photo above. The exterior façades aren’t especially opulent by Art Deco standards, but that may have something to do with the client (YMCA) and/or costs (especially the latter); the top of the building still does illustrate the affinity for setbacks that Art Deco designers often had; overall, I like the design of the top of the building, even if the rest is a little bland by comparison.

Enjoy.

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One Response to “Lawson YMCA House, 10 February 2011”


  1. […] F. Lawson YMCA House, completed in 1934 and designed by Perkins, Chatten, & Hammond. I’ve posted photos of and information about this building before, so check out the link, if you’re […]


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