A Closer Look at the Uptown TOD Coming to the Wilson Avenue Theater

Wilson Avenue Theater (Courtesy of Building Up Chicago)

Wilson Avenue Theater (Courtesy of Building Up Chicago)

Late last month the Chicago Plan Commission approved the redevelopment of the old Wilson Avenue Theater (1050 West Wilson Avenue), a vaudeville playhouse that has seen better times.  The project also includes building a seven-story residential addition on the east side of the old building, currently a surface parking lot.

The project by Cedar Street Companies is right across the from the CTA’s Wilson Red Line Station, so it falls under the aegis of Chicago’s new Transit Oriented Development rules.  In this case, it means that there will be 110 new homes, but just 16 parking spaces.

It’s the latest development in the rapid revitalization of this corner of Chicago.  After the new Target and Aldi stores opened a couple of blocks south on Broadway, developers started feeling the demand for new homes for the young and hip who can’t afford to, or choose not to, live downtown.  Old apartment buildings and S.R.O.’s are being rehabbed into trendy residences for students, long-time residents looking to upgrade, and those who can commute to work by train.

The Wilson Avenue Theater was designed by Henry L. Ottenheimer and opened in 1909, but wasn’t very successful.  Just ten years later it was converted into a bank.

To get an idea of what the theater looks like now, check out the photos below from Building Up Chicago.

  • Address: 1038 West Wilson Avenue
  • Address: 4600 North Kenmore Avenue
  • Address: 4600 North Winthrop Avenue
  • Developer: Halsted Commons LLC
  • For realsies: Cedar Street Companies
  • Architecture firm: Space Architects+Planners
  • Maximum height: 97 feet, four inches
  • Floor Area Ratio: 5.0
  • Residences: 110
  • Parking spaces: 16
  • Loading docks: 1

Location: 1050 West Wilson Avenue, Uptown

Author: Editor

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

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