Edgeville Buzz

Two Renderings Released Of Development To Replace Edgewater’s Historic Woodruff Arcade

A new development is slated for the busy corner of Sheridan and Broadway in Edgewater and renderings of the proposed building are being circulated. Unfortunately, the historic Woodruff Arcade (the last remaining commercial structure of its kind in Chicago) sits on the property and is set to be demolished.

Two different images of the proposed building have been released, a six-story and a seven-story structure. The original plans released in May, show the six-story version and a proposed 136 residential units atop ground floor retail.

Yesterday, the city home gurus at Curbed Chicago first reported new renderings of the development. Those plans call for a seven-story building with only 58 residential units and first floor retail. The building is being marketed by Edgemark Commercial Real Estate for Fall 2018.

The property was bought by developer Borekci Real Estate and Algonquin Ventures Real Estate LLC for $4.5 million recently from the former owner Michael Keller. All the tenants have been asked to move out of their spaces by December 31, 2017.

“(The developer) is still revising the proposal,” the 48th Ward office told EVB. “When a final rendering is complete, the Alderman will host a meeting for the community to have input on the plans.”

That meeting is sure to be a spirited one, as the Edgewater Historical Society is spearheading a fight to help save the building. An online petition has already gained 467 signatures and growing.

Woodruff’s arcade – Photo Thom Greene

The Woodruff Arcade, built in 1923, is the last surviving commercial arcade building in the area and is a precursor to the modern day mall. Though the building is quite plain on the outside, the facade actually uses 17 (of what is known as) Chicago-style windows on the second level. A true Chicago window is that the center window must be a single pane that cannot be opened and that it must be larger than either of the two double-hung side windows each of which must be the same size.

“I know of  few commercial building outside of the Loop that have this, and none in Edgewater,” said Leroy Blommaert of the Edgewater Historical Society. “While there are other neighborhood commercial buildings in Chicago that have a pleasing arrangement of windows on their upper floors; few use Chicago windows to the extent that the Woodruff Arcade does, to the best of my knowledge.”

But what makes this building truly unique is its interior. Inside you will find a interior two-story courtyard with a grand glass skylight that runs the length of the structure. A walkway on the second floor has a walkable balcony that gives views to the floor below.

As a building boom has hit the Loyola campus and surrounding area recently, hopes remain that the Woodruff Arcade will survive.

To sign the online petition to save Woodruff, click here.


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