Renovated by FitzGerald Associates in 1988, the 12 story 219 East Lake Shore stands among several imposing buildings along the short stretch of East Lake Shore Drive at the end of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood.
The building’s dignified and restrained façade harmonizes well with its neighbors, and was built in 1924 by Hugh McLennan, who also served as the construction contractor. “Quietly aristocratic,” ran the phrase of one publicist in the 1920s.
FitzGerald Associates provided full architectural services for a complete interior and exterior restoration of the building, a beaux-arts design by Fugard & Knapp Architects in dark red masonry over a limestone-clad base. The building features a series of classical ornaments including a scrolled, broken pediment over its entrance with a terra-cotta balconette. The original interior, with four apartments to a floor, was a bit less spacious than others on its block, although the reduced scale was welcomed by some.
“A Bit O’Cheer For The Poor Rich Newlyweds,” ran the Chicago Tribune story line upon the building’s original completion. ”…one especially depressing feature has always been overlooked. No mention has ever been made about the unfortunate millionaire newlyweds who, despite their unwieldy bank balance can’t find a small, cozy Lake Shore Drive flat with a rental exorbitant enough to be interesting.”