Lorado Taft’s Midway
Ingleside Ave, Chicago
In early November 2009, the Edward
Dart-designed addition to Lorado Taft’s Midway Studio at the University of
Chicago (U of C) was demolished to make way for a courtyard for the university’s
proposed Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts. While the
Studio is a
designated Chicago Landmark, the 1972 addition was not part of the landmark
designation. However, it was included in the AIA Guide to Chicago.
From the 1950s through the 1970s,
Edward Dart had a very successful career as an independent architect and as a
partner with Loebl, Schlossman, Bennett and Dart. His work was often featured in
publications such as Architectural Forum and Inland Architect. His
Midway Studio addition was featured in the January1974 issue of Inland
Architect, which praised it as a completely modern studio of contemporary
design that was sensitive to the landmark building.
After learning about the proposed
demolition plans in March 2009, Landmarks Illinois urged the Commission on
Chicago Landmarks to encourage university officials to reevaluate how the
building could be incorporated in the center’s plans. While the Commission made
this request, its lack of review authority enabled U of C to proceed with
demolition. The original Taft studio, however, will be renovated as part of the
Logan Center plan.
In the last two years, numerous
Edward Dart-designed buildings have been demolished, threatened, or severely
altered, including Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood
(demolished 2007), Dart’s own house in Barrington (altered 2008), and the Church
of the Resurrection in West Chicago, currently at risk and included on Landmarks
Illinois’ 2009-10 Chicagoland Watch List.
Photo credits: 4 David