Big Building Brings Architect vs. Architect Battle to Winnetka

Rendering of One Winnetka (Courtesy of Stoneleigh Companies)

Rendering of One Winnetka (Courtesy of Stoneleigh Companies)

One of the biggest projects to land in a North Shore downtown in recent years is causing some friction in suburban Winnetka.

The Daily North Shore reports on One Winnetka, a Lucien LaGrange-designed office building planned for the center of town.  The building’s French Revival design attempts to fit in with the genteel suburban Chicagoland aesthetic, with its mansard roof, arched display windows, and corner turret.  But the problem a lot of people have with it is that it is 70 feet tall and a block long.  It would be the tallest building in the village if completed.

It’s also a kind of an architect vs. architect battle by proxy.  In order to put up LaGrange’s One Winnetka, the Fell Building has to come down.  That building was designed by Walter Sobel, and his son Richard is leading the fight against the new structure.  One reason is that he says his father designed the Fell Building to be expanded with additional stories, so there’s no reason to replace it; just make it bigger.

Last week the village’s Design Review Board approved the project in a split decision.  The Plan Commission also issued an approval back in October.  But Zoning went the other way in December.  Now it’s up to the village council.

Rendering of One Winnetka (Courtesy of Stoneleigh Companies)

Location: 511 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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1 Comment

  1. That’s just tacky. I’ve been to Paris, and such buildings are meant to harmonize with other buildings of similar height, and the boulevards they’re on. This was a grand, imperial architecture of Baron Haussman. None of that exists in Winnetka. A building like this has no place in a small (yet affluent) American town. Yet another example that wealth doesn’t buy you taste, or class.

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