Monday, March 22, 2010

Time Tells on Old Town

In February, fellow blogger Vince Michael gave us an excellent piece on the Old Town neighborhood.

"When I take my students to Old Town today – as I did last week – I ask them to look not just at the architecture, but also at the sense of place. There is a scale to Old Town, a closeness of building to street and street to cross street and curb to curb that you simply don’t find anywhere else in the city. It is not so much about the rope mouldings above the windows or the paired brackets and dentils at the eave or even those Furnessian ornaments on Adler & Sullivan’s Halstead Houses. It is about a premodern relationship of buildings and streets and narrow alleyways – something not unusual in Rome or the old part of Edinburgh but exceedingly rare in Chicago." Vince Michael, Time Tells

Check out the rest of the post here,'s-old-town/


  1. There is something I just love about narrow alleyways. Getting that close to the living side of buildings and know you are in an urban landscape. But can see the human side of it. I like seeking the smallest one I can find in a new city and get a feel of the personality of the city.

    And I think that sense of place and proportion is something totally lost in most modern spaces. One of the reason I don't like Chicago suburbs.

  2. Yep, that is without a doubt one of the most unique and defining qualities of Old Town. I believe the diversity of buildings and narrow streets are more approachable than the alternatives, where building forms, materials and colors are repeated so often that one gets a sense of being lost in the repetition.