Art & Architectural Legacy
AN ARTISTIC HERITAGE
Historically active arts organizations and venues include the Chopin Theater and the Flat Iron Artists Association. The Chopin Theater, built in 1918, at the Polish Triangle, has been home to innovative, international and award winning theater for well over two decades. At the physical heart of the neighborhood, the Flat Iron Building has evolved into a collective of artist's studios whose doors are always open, inviting passersby to take a look. The Flat Iron's 'First Friday' open gallery events kick-start the neighborhood action every month.
CELEBRATING THE ARTS
WPB also hosts a number of neighborhood arts festivals each year, including the acclaimed Bucktown Arts Fest held during the last weekend of August at Holstein Park, which provides an outdoor experience for artists, performers and artisans. The fall calendar is anchored by the Coyote show at the Flat Iron, 1579 N Milwaukee, named for the iconic tower building across the street at the intersection of Milwaukee, North and Damen Avenues whose likeness is that of a coyote howling at the moon. Other festivals include Wicker Park Fest, Renegade Craft Fair, Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest, and Out of Site Chicago.
The popular handmade movement is strongly anchored in Wicker Park and Bucktown. Our very own Renegade Handmade, 1924 W Division Street, produces the incredibly popular Renegade craft fairs in the Wicker Park community and across the country. Renegade takes over Division Street the second weekend of September, with their cornerstone Renegade Craft Fair. They do it again the first weekend of December with the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair at the historic Pulaski Park field house in Wicker Park. Renegade has developed into an international phenomenon, producing not only their marquee Chicago craft fairs, but also producing fairs in Austin, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London!
OUR ARCHITECTURAL LEGACY
Wicker Park and Bucktown serve as excellent cross sections of Chicago's architectural history and has been a part of the city since its incorporation. Walking the streets of Wicker Park and Bucktown allows one to spot architectural gems from the early 19th century up to present day construction. The neighborhoods are home to several registered Historic Districts and registered Historic Places. Browse some of the neighborhood highlights below.
Home Bank and Trust Building
1200-08 N. Ashland Ave. / 1600-12 W. Division St.
Designed by Karl M. Vitzthum and built between 1925 and 1926, Home Bank and Trust is a Classical Revival structure adorned with finely carved low-relief sculptures and stands as an example of the critical role neighborhood banks played in Chicago’s history and architectural legacy, influencing the business and civic lives of the city.
Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Rectory
1121 N. Leavitt St.
This cathedral, built from 1902 to 1093, was designed by famed architect Louis Sullivan and meant to resemble 19th century Russian provincial churches. Construction was paid for in part by Czar Nicholas II. The original congregation organized in 1892 and was Chicago’s first Orthodox parish.
Northwest Tower (The Robey Hotel)
2018 W. North Ave.
The Robey was first built in 1929 as a 203 foot office building called Northwest Tower. It stands as an excellent example of large scale Art Deco architecture in the neighborhood and is one of the only structures to qualify as a skyscraper in the area. Damen Avenue, along which the tower sits, was originally named Robey Street, which is where the Robey Hotel gets its name. Numerous area streets were renamed, some multiple times, as changes in immigration and the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood shifted over the years.