The Yale Building is a survivor. It was built in 1892 in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood to house visitors to the World’s Fair Columbian Exposition, but unlike the lame neoclassical architecture from the World’s Fair, the Yale Building is has an unexpected and exciting interior design.
Sure, the exterior is a handsome but not particularly thrilling Romanesque Revival style. That interior though? It is seven floors of OMG—an open arcade and cage elevator (quite a tall and innovative structure for at the time it was built) and a huge skylight filling the atrium with a ravishing glow.
And check this out: the Yale Building is senior housing. Rather than tearing down the apartments, a developer in the early 2000’s had the brilliant idea to convert the building into subsidized senior housing instead. Everybody wins!
Now I do love a light-filled atrium filled with dangling greenery but you know what I really fancy? A light and plant filled atrium decorated with tchotchkes.
Each windowsill facing the atrium in the Yale Building has a lovingly curated display of figurines, faux flowers and other gewgaws (full disclosure: I wrote this post just to have a chance to use the word gewgaw).
These knickknacks are not dusty and neglected. No, they are pristine and so earnestly presented that I was highly distracted. (HOB was not amused and sternly admonished me to stop taking pictures of them).
Whatever HOB. Sometimes you need historic architecture. And some times you really need cat figurines.