Lake Shore Drive Apts
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Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
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Location Chicago, Illinois   map
Date 1948 to 1951   timeline
Building Type skyscraper apartment towers, multifamily housing
 Construction System steel frame
Climate temperate
Context urban near waterfront
Style Modern
Notes By the lake shore in Chicago.


Photo, exterior overview

Photo, interior of lobby



Available on The GBC CD-ROM

Discussion Lake Shore Drive Apts Commentary

"The scheme consists of two identical 26-story towers placed 46 feet apart with their long axes set perpendicular to each other. The steel skeletal frame is based on a 21-foot grid and is clearly expressed in the elevations, indicated by black-painted steel sheets covering the fireproofed columns and beams. The rigorous consistency of the design is seen in the uniform treatment of each building face regardless of orientation. Each bay is subdivided into four window units by three wide-flange steel mullions. A supplementary mullion is welded to the face of the exterior by the others. Within these divisions aluminum-framed floor-to- ceiling windows are set. The significance of this work is a pioneer curtain-wall expression as well as a fulfillment of the all-glass skyscraper schemes proposed by Mies three decades earlier."

— A. James Speyer. Mies van der Rohe. p26.

The Creator's Words

"I had no conventional architectural education. I worked under a few good architects; I read a few good books—and that's about it."

"I remember seeing many old buildings in my hometown when I was young. Few of them were important buildings. They were mostly very simple, but very clear. I was impressed by the strength of these buildings because they did not belong to any epoch. They had been there for over a thousand years and were still impressive, and nothing could change that. All the great styles passed, but...they were still as good as on the day they were built. They were medieval buildings, not with any special character, but they were really built. "

— Mies van der Rohe. from John Zukowsky, organizer. Mies Reconsidered: His Career, Legacy, and Disciples. p13, 14.


860-880 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois

American Institute of Architects 25 Year Award, 1976

Sources on Lake Shore Drive Apts

"Mies on Lake Shore Drive", by Neil Harris, ArchitectureWeek No. 285, 2006.0503, pC1.1.

Peter Carter. Mies van der Rohe at Work. London: The Pall Mall Press, 1974. photo of entrance lobby, f117, p55. photo of aerial view from the east, f227, p118.

Johnson Architectural Images. Copyrighted slides in the Artifice Collection.

William S. Saunders. Modern Architecture—Photographs by Ezra Stoller. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3816-2. exterior photo, close-up near entry, p61. — A wonderful & inspiring book of beautiful photographs by the master of architectural photography. Available at

A. James Speyer. Mies van der Rohe. Chicago: Hillison & Etten, 1968. NA1088.M65S6. p26.

John Zukowsky, organizer. Mies Reconsidered: His Career, Legacy, and Disciples. Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1986. ISBN 0-8478-0771-1. LC 86-17303. NA2707.M55A4 1986. p13, 14.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Lake Shore Drive Apts


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