If you’re the historic Bush Temple of Music (800 North Clark Street), you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s getting awfully crowded on your block these days. Just a few years ago, the wonderfully gabled masonry pile stood alone on the northwest corner of West Chicago Avenue and North Clark Street, with only a couple of insignificant commercial barnacles and a spindly water tower as its companions.
Then last year Smithfield put up the 34-story glass and steel Eight O Five residential tower next door. And suddenly things seemed a lot less roomy for the six-story, 1901 French Revival throwback. Now it’s about to be hemmed in on its other free side.
This week the Chicago Plan Commission is being asked to approve a new 15-story residential tower that will rise to the Temple’s north. While it has the positive effect of scraping off those commercial barnacles and removing the seemingly teetering water tower (taken down last spring), the Bush Temple will now be overshadowed by buildings on its north and west sides. Across the street on the east side, another 31-story residential tower is also under construction. The only breathing room is to the southeast, and if the naysayers are wrong about the world about to slide into another recession, don’t expect that one-story Chase bank branch to remain underdeveloped for very long.
Work is already underway to transform the Bush Temple, itself, into about a hundred micro-apartments. The exterior has been extensively tuckpointed, and electrical and plumbing work permits went out last fall.
But you didn’t come here to feel bad for an anthropomorphized building. You came here for the firehose. Here it is:
- Address: 800 North Clark Street
- Address: 100 West Chicago Avenue
- Developer: Clark 800, LLC
- For realsies: Cedar Street
- Architecture firm: Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture
- Maximum height: 176½ feet
- Roof height: 176 feet, two inches
- Thirteenth floor: Yes
- Residences: 110
- Parking: 15 spaces
- Bicycle parking: 80 spaces
- Green roof alert! 3,959 square feet (50%)