The Surprising Interior of the Brewster Apartment Building

 

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The Brewster Apartment Building, built in 1893, is a stately but fairly unassuming building on the corner of Diversey and Pine Grove in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Besides the impressive, Sullivanesque detailing under the eaves, it is easy to look past it. However, its dark exterior is misleading.

Much like The Rookery, Chicago’s Burnham & Root office building with its widely-appreciated inner light-court, the Brewster’s heavy exterior gives way to an innovative and light-filled interior atrium. In both buildings, this is enabled by a metal frame construction system. The heavy stone exterior? Just for looks! The highlight in the Brewster Apartments is the interior hallways, which feature glass block floors. These glass blocks and open sides allow light to filter down all eight floors to the ground level.

If you’re in the Chicago area for Open House Chicago in 2018, make sure you stop by the Brewster Apartments for a visit. Its beauty comes through in pictures but it’s even better in person.

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Sources and Further Reading:

Apartment Magic: Inside the Brewster and Park Castle Buidings, via Curbed

Get a peek inside from Curbed’s article, Awesome One-Bed in Historic Brewster Building

Read the Brewster Apartments Chicago landmark designation here.

Interested in the neighborhood? Check out the text from the  Surf-Pine Grove Historic District nomination.

More about the Rookery (via previous posts) here and here. I also previously wrote about glass block (including that in the Brewster Apartments) here.

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