Saturday, June 21, 2008

Casa Bonita condominiums

Casa Bonita Condominiums

The U-shaped apartment building is a very standard 1920s Chicago development scheme, allowing a tall building with lots of rental units, while still providing each with plenty of natural light. The resulting courtyard can also become an amenity, providing a slice of nature to the residents.

These buildings are decorated in a wide variety of styles, but far and away the most elaborate one I've found to date is the Casa Bonita, on Ridge Avenue just north of Touhy.

Casa Bonita Condominiums

Designed in 1928 by Alexander Capraro and Morris Komar, it's slathered in glazed white terra cotta ornament. Sculpted faces, spiral pilasters, brackets, medallions, and floral decoration are only part of the list.

Casa Bonita Condominiums

The building is well-maintained today, having been converted to condominiums. Plantings surround a small reflecting pool with a sculpture in the center.

Two trees near the open end of the courtyard ensure that it's almost invisible from Ridge (and unfortunately make photographing the building as a whole impossible.)

Casa Bonita Condominiums

But those trees also provide a screen from the street; a grade change allows the courtyard to be sunken half a flight down from the street, further sheltering it from the busy traffic on Ridge. The entire building as it stands is a testimony to how wonderful controlled outdoor space can be, a literally shining example of the wonderful power of architecture.

Casa Bonita Condominiums

More detail photos may be seen at my Flickr space.

4 comments:

Didi said...

This one of my absolute favorite apartment buildings! I am a graduate of the high school next door and use to walk past this every day, five days a week during the school year. As a fourteen year with little knowledge of archiecture I was very apreciative of this building even then. I have not gone to walk past it in so long. Even back then the condos here were pretty expensive. This was way before the housing boom.

JRJ said...

These are beautiful pictures! I live in Casa Bonita and would love to use some of these for our new website (nothing fancy, just a place for us to post news/notices for the residents). Let me know if this is possible! You can reach me at janellerjones@aol.com. Thanks!
- Janelle Jones

Gabb said...

Looks like a peaceful place to live. Thanks for sharing!

Randwick Real Estate said...

Good to see a structure like this, an old style wonderful built condo.