Great Neighborhood Walks: Exploring The Turrets Of Armitage
Jul04

Great Neighborhood Walks: Exploring The Turrets Of Armitage

  Take a stroll west along Armitage Avenue from North Halsted Street and squint. Imagine those modern cars you see are horse-drawn carriages and you’re walking on a wooden sidewalk. Then look up at the buildings on either side of the street. You’ve basically taken a mental trip back to 1880. Those homes and businesses look pretty much the same now as they did 134 years ago. There’s something else that makes these structures stand out....

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How One of Chicago’s Award-Winning Buildings, And A Family’s Memories, Disappeared Overnight
Jun10

How One of Chicago’s Award-Winning Buildings, And A Family’s Memories, Disappeared Overnight

One week ago, a couple of buildings at 849 West Armitage Avenue were smashed to bits. I snuck through the surrounding fence on Saturday morning to survey the rubble. There was some mangled, twisted cable and other detritus. It bore no resemblance to the studio that once stood there. Until recently, the 2,500-square-foot property was the home and workplace of architect Howard Alan. The rear building was unusual looking, and innovative...

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Passive Solar Energy Warms a Lincoln Park Architect’s Studio
Oct22

Passive Solar Energy Warms a Lincoln Park Architect’s Studio

“Light is what keeps us alive.” – Howard Alan. I found a little oasis from the traffic and horns through an alley just off West Armitage. I entered the hidden studio through an entranceway that I learned was an airlock—to keep warm air in and cold air out. I climbed the spiral staircase and found Howard Alan, the creator of the building—and one of the foremost authorities on solar energy. “Everything begins with the sun,” said Alan,...

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