Carl Street Studios

carl-street-studios-300Carl Street Studios

155 West Burton Place

Chicago, IL 60610

 Built: 1925

Original Architect: Sol Kogan and Edgar Miller

Restoration Architect: Mary Brush, Brush Architects, LLC

 

Building History
The Carl Street Studios located at 155 Burton Place, Chicago Illinois, are an enchanting labyrinth of architectural fantasy.  They were designed by Sol Kogan and Edgar Miller through the 1920’s.  The Victorian mansion core of the building is occasionally visible as the designers carved out and constructed 18 residential units.  Most surfaces have custom art glass, and ceramic tiles cover public walkways, kitchens and bathroom features.  The interior plaster often has an Edgar Miller fresco in the plaster.  The building is considered to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Preservation and Building Pathology Challenges
The building is a condominium with fiscally responsible resources. The building is a work of art, but it is not a museum piece.  It has been maintained over the years, but the owners retained Brush Architects to design a cohesive phased repair scheme to work with both the building’s needs and the associations finances.  The project began with a garden wall with a distinct and unintentional curvature that the owners wanted to maintain for its ‘Edgar character.’

Design Solution
The garden wall required specific care as it was structurally compromised and yet reconstruction was not an option due the artist designed offsets, insets, and seemingly random composition of non-traditional masonry objects.  A technique that Mary Brush learned in France, mortar grout injection, was applied to the wall and supplemented with masonry pins.  The wall retains its character and is now materially cohesive.  Additional work phased through the years has involved conservation and restoration of the carved wood window features, ceramic tile installation, and masonry restoration in keeping with the building and owner’s strict adherence to the design principles of Edgar Miller.