South Loop Building’s Amenities Include Its Own Artist

The game of amenity one-upmanship among Chicago’s residential buildings has seen some interesting developments over the years.  Last century, valet parking and private grocery stores were considered the utmost in swish living.  The 2000’s brought us residents-only frivolities like video game machines, poker rooms, and boxing rings. Last decade we saw amenities turn to human-powered services, with valet trash collection on demand, and dog washing services.  And in the last few years, we’ve seen humans used as amenities.

May 2020 rendering of the Aspire Residences (Courtesy of Draper and Kramer)
May 2020 rendering of the Aspire Residences (Courtesy of Draper and Kramer)

Take for example, the Aspire Residences at 2111 South Wabash Avenue.  Draper and Kramer’s South Loop residential tower recently announced it will include an artist in residence as an amenity.  

That person is Canary Garcia, a visual artist who, “will be creating pieces for Aspire as she experiences living there and interacts with the surrounding neighborhood,” according to Draper and Kramer CEO Todd Bancroft.  

Canary Garcia working on a sculpture for the Aspire apartment building.  (Courtesy of Draper and Kramer)
Canary Garcia working on a sculpture for the Aspire apartment building. (Photograph by Mickey Zager. Courtesy of Draper and Kramer)

The residency is expected to last a year, during which Ms. Garcia will create art for the SCB-designed building’s common areas.  First on the list is a centerpiece sculpture for the 24-story building’s lobby.  People who live at Aspire will get to see her at work, since she will be provided with a studio in the tower’s retail space.

Another artist-as-amenity in downtown Chicago is over at the Exhibit on Superior, where at its opening, Jeremy Gentry was introduced as the building’s musician in residence.  His job was to provide pleasant music in the building for the benefit of the people living there.  That was back in 2017, and we’re not sure if Mr. Gentry is still soothing people there, since he’s not listed on the building’s web site.  If not, perhaps his spirit lives on in one of the building’s more unusual provisions: a so-called “jam room.”

Location: 2111 South Wabash Avenue, South Loop

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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