Construction Update
The Terra Cotta Eagles Have Landed in Lake View

It’s hard to estimate the number of articles we wrote in the coffee shop that once squeeze out surprisingly judgment-free espresso on the corner of Sheridan and Broadway in Lake View East. But it was probably in the hundreds as we dawdled over liquid caffeine instead of hopping on the #80 bus across the street, waiting to take us to a world of soul-crushing responsibility.

3817 North Broadway under construction (Courtesy of Lake View Spy Greg)
3817 North Broadway under construction (Courtesy of Lake View Spy Greg)

That responsibility is gone, along with the coffee shop, and some adjacent buildings. In its place, DLG Management is putting up an eight-story residential block, plus two floors of parking tucked neatly underground, where they belong. If you live on the north side, you may be familiar with DLG. It has over a dozen residential buildings in neighborhoods like Wrigleyville, Edgewater, and Rogers Park. The new building at 3817 North Broadway was designed by Jonathan Splitt Architects in Ravenswood.

This is the latest façade-ectony performed in Chicago. The glazed white terra cotta from the corner building was removed and stored. As you can see in the photograph above from Lake View Spy Greg, it’s been put back where it was, only now it’s on the new residential building instead of a Starbucks.

Though this is now one building, it creates the street-level appearance of three individual structures, keeping it from becoming a monolith looming over the block.

3817 North Broadway under construction (Courtesy of Lake View Spy Greg)
3817 North Broadway under construction (Courtesy of Lake View Spy Greg)

Where there was once a grey historic-looking Sheridan-facing liquor store with a community theater upstairs, will soon appear as a modern-looking two-story retail space.

The corner property that was a Starbucks inside, with the mentioned beautiful white terra cotta façade on the outside will have mostly the same look upon completion. The ornamental details will actually be enhanced because the later scars of white brick are being replaced by a more anonymous material to better highlight the historic architecture. Specifically, DLG’s agreement with the city includes:

(a) retain and preserve the character-defining features of the building, including the terra cotta eagles, cornice and piers, and the cast iron window heads, (b) design the facades to feature and complement the terra cotta (or any other historic elements) that may be uncovered after the removal of the non-historic cladding above the storefronts and below the 2nd floor windows, (c) salvage and re-install any uncovered historic features if possible, or replicate such historic features if deteriorated, (d) restore the terra cotta return on the south elevation, and (e) remove, store, repair, and re-install the terra cotta facade elements, including the eagles

3817 North Broadway under construction (Courtesy of Lake View Spy Greg)
3817 North Broadway under construction (Courtesy of Lake View Spy Greg)

The residential block continues southward, replacing several unremarkable brick buildings, and a tiny one-story block that had some cute art moderne touches, but alas was not saved. The formerly cacophonic visual presentation will be unified into a single unit of modest appearance. If you need a frame of reference, this was formerly the home of Strawdog Theatre Company, which has since moved westward.

The completion date is a little fluid here. It was originally penciled in for 2018, but obviously that didn’t happen. But based on Lake View Spy Greg’s photographs, we can presume that it will be soonish.

  • Address: 3817-3845 North Broadway
  • Developer: DLG Management
  • Architecture firm: Jonathan Splitt Architects
  • Site area: 32,742 square feet
  • Floor area ratio: 5.0
  • Height: 111 feet, one inch
  • Number of residences: 134
  • Automobile parking spaces: 134
  • Bicycle parking spaces: 72
  • Loading docks: two

Location: 3817 North Broadway, Lake View East

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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