Construction Update
Lots of Progress at the Clark and Division Residential Topper

A lot has changed at the corner of Clark and Division Street since the days when the only reason a lot of people went there was in search of a flop house, an after-hours bar, or they accidentally got off the Red Line a stop too early or too late. The CTA rebuilt the L station, Fifield rebuilt the Jewel-Osco, and several neighboring buildings are also being rebuilt.

1201 North Clark under construction (Courtesy of Gold Coast Spy Joel)
1201 North Clark under construction (Courtesy of Gold Coast Spy Joel)

One of those buildings getting a new life from the newly revitalized intersection is The Clark, at 1201 North Clark. You can see construction is moving along quite nicely in this photograph sent into our tip line by Gold Coast Spy Joel.

Previously, this was a dour four-story office and retail building. Today the ground floor retail remains, but the rest of the building is being converted into apartments. 98 apartments in total, which is a lot of apartments to squeeze into the building’s original remaining three stories. So Summit Design + Build added another four stories on top.

Rendering of 1201 North Clark (via Summit Design + Build)
Rendering of 1201 North Clark (via Summit Design + Build)

The building used to be clad in a dirty brown-colored brick. Now it’s clad in black bricks with light gray accents. The color looks a heckuva lot darker than the renderings presented to the public before construction began. Which is interesting because neighbors fretted quite a bit that The Sinclair would make this corner too dark.

Also curious is the way this building is being marketed. Instead of plugging the obvious near-lake location that is super transit-friendly, they’re playing the old money card:

A landmark location, and the place your history begins.  Chicago’s coveted Astor Street District welcomes its newest residence, The Clark. An ode to refined elegance… A piece of the Gold Coast, The Clark lives among luxury.

People who actually live in the Astor Street District will be surprised to learn that they’re welcoming these apartment dwellers, since the Astor Street District is three blocks and a world away from the corner of Clark and Division. It’s the whole “Garfield Park is the West Loop” fable all over again.

1201 North Clark under construction (Courtesy of Gold Cost Spy Joel)
1201 North Clark under construction in November, 2019. (Courtesy of Gold Cost Spy Joel)

Location: 1201 North Clark Street, Gold Coast

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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