Revised Wilson Theater Plan in Uptown Slashes Height, Homes

A revised plan to redevelop the old Wilson Avenue Theater in Uptown drastically reduces the height of the accompanying residential building, and the number of homes inside.

It’s been almost four years since we told you about the last plan to hit City Hall.  Back then, the parking lot next door to the theater at 1038 West Wilson Avenue was going to be replaced by a 107-foot-tall residential high rise with 197 new residences. The new plan calls for just 110 residences in a building almost as tall: 96 feet.

February 2020 rendering of 1050 West Wilson Avenue
February 2020 rendering of 1050 West Wilson Avenue

The residential building gets both a new design, and a new designer, with Booth Hansen pulling the sled this time.  The previous building was very much in keeping with the understated planar style that has become popular in these early years of the 21st century.  Booth Hansen’s design is the opposite, embracing its location with a style that blends in with both neighbor and neighborhood.

It’s an old school Chicago layout, with a full light well down the center, giving it a U shape emptying onto Wilson Avenue.  The facade treatment is reminiscent of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Building in The Loop, with gleaming white precast concrete panels and a right proper cornice around the top.

February 2020 diagram of 1038 West Wilson Avenue
February 2020 diagram of 1038 West Wilson Avenue

The affordable housing requirement for this building is 11 units.  It remains to be seen if those units will be built in this  building, or if the developer will pay $1,100,000 to the city’s Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund, instead.

  • Address: 1038-1054 West Wilson Avenue
  • Address: 4600-4608 North Kenmore avenue
  • Address: 4600-4612 North Winthrop Avenue
  • Zoning: B3-2 → B3-5
  • Architecture firm: Booth Hansen
  • Net site area: 17,619 square feet
    • Theater building: 11,664 square feet
    • Residential Building: 5,955 square feet
  • Floor area ratio: 5.0
    • Theater building: 2.09
    • Residential Building: 6.49
  • Floors: Eight
  • Maximum height
    • Theater building: 74 feet
    • Residential building: 96 feet, eight inches
  • Residential roof height: 81 feet, eight inches
  • Residential building length: 114 feet, seven inches
  • Residential building: width: 100 feet
  • Residences: 110
  • Residential lobby: Off West Wilson Avenue
  • Retail space: 3,333 square feet
  • Automobile parking: 16 spaces
  • Parking access: Off North Kenmore Avenue
  • Roof deck
  • Rooftop dog run

Location: 1038 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

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