Chandler Plaza 4-14-09

Since I wrote the first article for the Evanston RoundTable in November 2001, I have praised, criticized and reviewed a significant number of projects. I have tried to be as objective as any critic can be, especially a former practicing architect. With Christmas coming, I feel I should select the best project in several categories and reward them with special attention.

High-Rise Housing to Optima Views (1720 Maple) by David Hovey, architect, for its soaring quality of changing angles, proving that a modern high rise need not be monotonous.

Mid-Rise Housing to 817 Hinman by James Torvik, architect, for excellent floor plans, exquisite detailing and a quality exterior that are testimony to the fact that modernism is not dull.

 Townhouses at 1511 Monroe by Steve Beck and Scott Krone, architects, for a most ingenious site plan and simple, but charming, residential exterior.

 Remodeled Housing at the southwest corner of Grove and Elmwood by Aaron Wilson, architect, for the most imaginative mixture of the existing and the new and the creation of exciting interior spaces.

Remodeled Housing (the Cleridge Apartments) at 319 Dempster by Weese Langley Weese, architects, for turning a rooming house into usable small apartments of the same number and for totally respecting the existing exterior.

 Single-Family Dwelling at 1216 Main by Barry and Spats, architects, for having
the courage to be different on the exterior and for creating the most exciting interior spaces.

Commercial at the southwest corner of Church and Maple, the Border’s store, by architects Nagle Hartray Danker Kagan Mc Kay for creating a simple exterior with a very elegantly turning glass corner.

Commercial at 622 Davis by Schroeder Murchie Laya, architects, for designing a beautifully, traditionally detailed façade that is a perfect contextual infill.

Commercial Remodeling of the Chandler Building at the southeast corner of Davis and Orrington by Holabird and Root, architects, and by the staff of the City  of Evanston (Carlos Ruiz and Dennis Merino) for the courage to tear down part of the old structure, thus creating the best exterior public open space in the City.

Institutional on Northwestern University campus, the Block Museums by Dirk Lohan, architect, for designing a most elegantly detailed structure.

Interiors on the first floor of the Evanston Public Library at Church and Emerson, the Children’s Library, created by Sharon and Peter Exley, designers, for the colorful, playful and properly scaled fun environment for young kids.

Please keep in mind that I have only included buildings built since I began writing my articles; consequently, lots of good projects are left out. My selections were based on what I consider high quality and are obviously subjective. Sincere apologies if anyone feels I have left something out.

 Happy holidays and a healthy and economically prosperous new year.