New Construction in NYC Takes Cue from Chicago Architecture

This time of year, there’s a little thing that could easily put a, damper on the luxury experience that comes with upscale living: curbside slush deeper than your ankles.

But there’s one architectural feature among condo buildings that makes this seasonal struggle much more tolerable: the motor court.

A recent article in the Wall St. Journal highlighted the old-world motor court as making a “comeback” among new construction buildings in New York City. But this architectural perk can be found in several Chicago condo buildings, which makes me wonder if Chicago has provided a bit of inspiration for the big apple’s new construction properties.

Dating back to the early 1900s, the motor court is a driveway that leads to an open area near the entrance of a building, allowing for passenger unloading and pick up. The extra space means residences can unload things like groceries, luggage, etc. away from the street.

New York Luxury Right Here in Chicago

Maybe it’s our especially fierce winters, but Chicago has been onto this for awhile, and I’m wondering if a few well-recognized buildings here perhaps influenced the upcoming trend in Manhattan.

Here are a few luxury condo buildings in Chicago that feature a motor court:

Lake Point Tower: This lakeside beauty was built in 1969 with this exact feature that is popping up in New York. The motor court at Lake Point Tower is one of distinction; it’s the largest pull-in, circular driveway in the city and sits under a two-story rotunda with an open skylight that illuminates the garden at the building’s entrance. Another highlight is Skyline Park, a 2.5-acre outdoor garden designed by renowned Chicago landscape architect Alfred Caldwell that sits three floors above the street.

Waldorf Astoria (formerly known as The Elysian): Famed Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange drew inspiration from French style to design this richly detailed motor court. The result is a European elegance that offers both visual interest and convenience for residents here.

1000 S. Clark: While still in development, the motor court planned for the new luxury building at 1000 S. Clark has been described as “dominating” the entrance. This one is a more modern rendition, large and cleanly landscaped in line with the building’s sleek design.

One of the most distinctive features of luxury real estate in Chicago is the architectural significance of many of the buildings here, from well-designed motor courts and beyond. Perhaps the big apple is catching on, but the beauty of Chicago is that real estate here is a fraction of the price you would find in NYC.

NYC Features for a Chicago Price

The best comparison to real estate in New York and in Chicago is the price point. Luxury real estate that easily compares to some of the finest buildings in Manhattan cost a fraction of the price. Chicago brings all of the benefits of living in a major urban area (major businesses, architectural significance and plenty to see and do) without sacrificing space, budget or quality of life.

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