The Yale Building of Chicago: atrium under the influence of cat figurines

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.



How we got to Englewood: train.
Where we slept: at home. Price: mortgage, assessments and utilities. Recommended: highly.







  1. Nemorino · · Reply

    My grandmother used to collect cat figurines. She had nearly 800 of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What happened to all of them?


  2. What a beautiful building! I love the plants.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes! The plants are such a perfect, low-budget way to may a dramatic impact in the open space.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My flat is pretty small but I’m working on slowly filling it with plants. They brighten up a space and really bring it to life, no pun intended lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reminds mee of my mother-in-law’s house, not the building but the cat figurines!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At least you always know what to get your mother-in-law for Christmas….


  4. What a place to retire to!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In case you and Leo ever get tired of the farm, I know a place for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can just see us entering with a crowd of dogs and a geriatric sheep…it would make a change from the cats, though…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That’s an awesome high atrium!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know I’m not really afraid of heights but open staircases and atriums like this make me wobbly. I admire the Yale building but I couldn’t like there.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I absolutely love this. The building is gorgeous and I’m happy that the apartments were affordable living for seniors and not condos for entitled people with too much money.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Can I get an amen?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Can I reserve a place there? Maybe Crazy Cat Ladies have an edge, if there’s a waiting list? Now if they added a daycare center so kids could have all-day grandmas and grandpas it would be even better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m pretty sure Crazy Cat Ladies have a floor reserved just for them.


  9. Confession: I had to look up the word gewgaw to find out what it means. Can’t wait to use it in a blog post myself now, too. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was *this* close to throwing a “gimcrack” in there too.


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