Chicago House Portrait Series coming to life!

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Chicago Architecture is one of a kind!

I am proud to display the first paintings of my Chicago, IL house portrait series here.

It is a well known fact that the architecture of Chicago has influenced and reflected upon the history of American architecture.  Chicago’s architecture displays the city’s fascinating history and it’s multicultural heritage.  It features a variety of styles, designed by prominent architects. Sadly, in the downtown area most structures were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 (the most famous exception being the Water Tower), therefore Chicago buildings are mainly noted for their originality.

But beyond the downtown area and its towering skyscrapers, wander through the residential streets and you you will soon see why Chicago uniqueness is world-famous, from Chicago Bungalows and Victorian Two-Flats to the grand Graystones along Logan Boulevard.  There is also a wonderful variety of religious architecture such as the city’s ornate “Polish Cathedrals”.

The Classic Chicago Bungalow

Let’s start with these simple but endearing homes.  Chicago bungalows were mainly built between 1910 and 1940 for working class families. They were usually constructed of brick (many including decorative designs and accents), with one-and-a-half stories as well as a full basement. There are 80,000 bungalows in Chicago and this style represents nearly one-third of Chicago’s single-family housing.

Chicago Bungalow on S. Damen Ave
Chicago Bungalow on S. Damen Ave
Chicago Bungalow in Lincoln Square, Chicago IL. This home was the winner of my Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award in 2013
Chicago Bungalow in Lincoln Square, Chicago IL. This home was the winner of my Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award in 2013
Chicago Bungalow with Valentine's Day decorations made by the children who live there
Chicago Bungalow with Valentine’s Day decorations made by the children who live there
Chicago Bunalow in Park Ridge IL
Beautiful Fall Craftsman home in River Forest IL
Beautiful Fall Craftsman home in River Forest IL
Chicago Craftsman Style House Portrait
Chicago Craftsman Style House Portrait
Dutch Colonial Bungalow in Chicago IL
Dutch Colonial Bungalow in Chicago IL

Two-Flat and other Victorian and Queen Anne Style Homes

I found a really helpful reference to the unique architectural styles of Chicago in a Curbed Chicago article and I am using their info here.

The Victorian two-flat is often referred to as the workhorse of Chicago housing. It was typically built from 1900 to 1920, these homes were a bridge for the working class between apartment life and the single family bungalows that followed.  Usually, the owner lived on the first floor, and the second floor was rented out.  Two-flats were made of wood, brick, or stone and found in a variety of architectural styles. This Two-Flat house portrait below was built in the early 1900’s and has a Victorian layout. As is the case with many of these houses, they were converted into one home as is the case here. My clients and the owners of this house have lived there for decades and have steadily made improvements over the years.

Chicago IL Two-Flat
Chicago IL Two-Flat
Richly colored Chicago Queen Anne House Portrait
Richly colored Chicago Queen Anne House Portrait
Chicago Victorian House Portrait
Chicago Victorian House Portrait
Classic Queen Anne in historic Chicago
Classic Queen Anne in historic Chicago

 

Historic Chicago Home
Historic Chicago Home

Historic Apartment building on N. Lakeview Ave

I was commissioned to create this painting of The Marlborough. This beautiful building was designed by architect Robert DeGolyer who also designed other luxury apartment buildings in the early 1900s, all along Chicago’s lakefront from the Gold Coast to the northern boundaries of Lincoln Park.

The Marlborough, an historic apartment building on N. Lakeview Ave, Chicago IL
The Marlborough, an historic apartment building on N. Lakeview Ave, Chicago IL

Mid-Century Modern Homes

As in most cities in America, Chicago has it share of Mid-Century Modern homes and many such as these have unique features.

Mid-Century Modern home in Chicago IL
Mid-Century Modern home in Chicago IL
Classic Brick Chicago IL house portrait
Classic Brick Chicago IL house portrait
S. Hoyne Ave Chicago IL Home Portrait in the Fall
S. Hoyne Ave Chicago IL Home Portrait in the Fall
Mid-Century Modern with unique brick in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago IL

Tudor Home in Chicago

Tudor homes experienced a revival in Chicago and throughout the United States.  Mainly built of stone and brick they were a perfect fit for the Chicago climate and for the tastes of its Chicago residents. Like the Arts and Crafts movement, Tudors were also a protest against the mass produced Victorians of the industrial era, and a move toward more hand-crafted homes and features. This can be seen very clearly with this Tudor home.

Tudor House Portrait in the snow, Chicago IL
Tudor House Portrait in the snow, Chicago IL

 

I hope you have enjoyed this mini-tour of Chicago architecture.  These hand-crafted original portraits that capture the special memories of each of these homes are now proudly on display inside these lovely Chicago houses.

Cheers,

Leisa