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Commercial 1890-1899

Boyce Building

Boyce Building

30 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL
Henry Ives Cobb, 1891

 

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Demolished in the 1960s, the Boyce Building was twelve stories high on spread foundations and built of a handsome red stone. Projecting bays flanked the façade beginning above the third story. As on the Chicago Title and Trust building (see below), the verticality was broken with two cornices, one above the tenth and one above the eleventh story. An obtrusive Dutch gable topped the building. In the entrance hall, Cobb transformed the narrow, irregular space between the elevators at the rear and a shop wall at the front into a handsome hexagonal space articulated by the floor mosaic and the ceiling molding.


Chicago Title and Trust Company Building (aka Cook County Abstract and Trust Company Building)

Chicago Title and Trust Company Building (aka Cook County Abstract and Trust Company Building)

69 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL
Henry Ives Cobb, 1891-1892

 

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Demolished in the 1960s, this seventeen-story building with spread foundations and steel columns housed Cobb's architectural offices in the front of the sixteenth and seventeenth stories. Pressed brick was used for the upper thirteen floors. The frame construction facilitated a considerable opening of the first four stories, but the use of heavy Romanesque detailing gave them a masonry character. At either end of the façade, projecting bays ran from the fifth to the fifteenth stories in order to maximize the amount of available light. A heavy string course above the fourteenth story and a projecting cornice above the fifteenth story interrupted the verticality of the building. The Romanesque arcade of the sixteenth and seventeenth story windows could only have served to lessen the amount of light in Cobb's workrooms, but was one of Cobb's favorite devices for finishing off tall buildings. Cobb's office, replete with mosaic floors and a lavish reception room with a liveried page boy, attests to his professional success.

Quote from Industrial Chicago, 1891, p.217-218: "Early in 1891 the property at 100 and 102 Washington street was sold to the Cook County Title Guarantee & Trust Co., at $48 per square foot or $525,000. With the twenty feet on the east, the lot was originally occupied by a Universalist church, having been obtained from the canal trustees. In 1850 Orriugton W. Lunt, J. W. Waughop, and Gov. Evans bought the property for $32,000. The east twenty feet were sold in 1860 to Mr. Mason, and formed part of the lot on which the Mason building stood. Lunt held his forty feet since the original purchase, Waite bought out the Waughop interest in the west twenty feet, and had offices at this location for the past thirty years. In April, 189], plans for the new building, by Henry I. Cobb, were presented, and preparations made to raze the old structure. The plans provide for a sixteen-story building, sixty feet wide, one hundred and eighty-three feet deep, and 210 feet high, to cost between $600,000 and $700,000. The first four stories in rock-faced stone, are Romanesque, the next nine stories are of brick and the three upper stories of brick and stone. The unpleasant effect caused by the great hight [sic] of the building is overcome by band-course, heavy cornice and coping, which are in the upper three stories. The basement is entirely devoted to vaults. The main floor will be occupied by the officers of the abstract company and by a bank office in the front of the building. Two arched entrances open into the building, one into the abstract office and one directly into the bank. A light court, 60 x 65 feet, is one of its features. A service of six elevators will be established. Mosaic floors, marble wainscoting, and all the essentials of a modern office building will be introduced."


Chicago Title and Trust Company Building (aka Cook County Abstract and Trust Company Building), Cobb's Office

Chicago Title and Trust Company Building (aka Cook County Abstract and Trust Company Building), Cobb's Office

69 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL
Henry Ives Cobb, 1891-1892

 

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Demolished in the 1960s, this seventeen-story building with spread foundations and steel columns housed Cobb's architectural offices in the front of the sixteenth and seventeenth stories. Pressed brick was used for the upper thirteen floors. The frame construction facilitated a considerable opening of the first four stories, but the use of heavy Romanesque detailing gave them a masonry character. At either end of the façade, projecting bays ran from the fifth to the fifteenth stories in order to maximize the amount of available light. A heavy string course above the fourteenth story and a projecting cornice above the fifteenth story interrupted the verticality of the building. The Romanesque arcade of the sixteenth and seventeenth story windows could only have served to lessen the amount of light in Cobb's workrooms, but was one of Cobb's favorite devices for finishing off tall buildings. Cobb's office, replete with mosaic floors and a lavish reception room with a liveried page boy, attests to his professional success.


Huck and Young Building

corner of Harrison St., Blue Island Ave., and Halsted St., Chicago, IL
Henry Ives Cobb, 1892

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The 1892 Inland Architect reported Cobb's work on a seven-story office building of pressed brick and terra cotta. Three of the building's six bays had projecting windows. An elaborate arch between triple pilasters surmounted by a baluster sheltered an off-center entrance. Excepting similar triple pilasters marking off its bays, the first floor is very open. Alternating double and triple windows mark the second floor. Above three sets of triple windows, corbels set off three projecting bays—two of four windows, the end one of three. These alternate for four stories with flat bays of four-paired rectangular windows. At the sixth story is a dentilled string course, above which is an arcade of windows running the whole length of the façade. A corbelled cornice tops the building.


Hartford Building

Hartford Building

8 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL
Henry Ives Cobb, 1893

 

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The now demolished Hartford Building was built in two phases: the first in 1893, the second in 1903 (see Commercial: 1900– and undated). Cobb achieved a high degree of structural and stylistic unity between the two parts. He opened the wall into a visual and structural glass-and-stone envelope for the steel frame. The first four stories had very large, almost square openings surrounded by smooth stone. Projecting bays alternated with sensitively-scaled windows flush with the surface. Above the twelfth story was a light cornice and above the fourteenth was a massive one on corbels. These bays contributed visual interest to the extreme simplicity of the building, emphasizing its three-dimensionality and furthering the rhythm of its fenestration.


Garfield Building

Garfield Building

629 Euclid Ave. at 6th St. (formerly 121 Euclid Ave. at Bond St.), Cleveland, OH
Henry Ives Cobb, 1894

 

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The Garfield Building appears from photographs to have been a simple and very open corner structure. The first story was marked by large plate glass openings, matched by paired, transomed windows on the second story. Equal in size to these paired windows were groups of three simple, double-hung windows which rose to the groups of three arched windows at the tenth story, there divided by heavy pilasters. The second and eighth floors were set off by string courses below and cornices above. A well-scaled cornice set on corbels above these arched tenth story windows topped the building. Portions of the building were renovated by Graham, Anderson, Probst, White in 1921 for the National City Bank. This building is extant as of April 2014.


Commercial buildings, E. Illinois St., Chicago, IL

Henry Ives Cobb, 1894-1901

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The three earliest buildings in this group were built in 1894, 1895 and 1897. The owners and tenants of these buildings are unknown. As described in Frank Randall's "History of the development of building construction in Chicago," these buildings were five stories and of mill construction (masonry walls with heavy timber columns and beams) and located at: 241-243 E. Illinois St. (1894), 225-239 E. Illinois St. (1895), and 311 E. Illinois St. (1897). They are no longer extant. (See Randall, p.161, 164, 167). In 1898-1899, a building was erected for the Chicago Dock and Canal Company at 319-333 E. Illinois St., (originally 416-428 Illinois). As described in Frank Randall's "History of the development of building construction in Chicago," this building was six stories and of mill construction (masonry walls with heavy timber columns and beams). This building is no longer extant. (See Randall, p.173). A permit for this building dated December 24, 1898 can also be found in the American Contractor's Chicago building permit database. Finally, in 1898-1901, a building for Ogden, Sheldon and Company was erected at 301-305 E. Illinois St., (originally 408-410 Illinois). The American Contractor's Chicago building permit database reports the issuance of building permits for this structure on December 24, 1898, p.20 and November 16, 1901, p.23.


Chicago Varnish Company Building (also, Caravetta Foods Building; Miller's; Kinzie's Steak House; now Harry Caray's)

Chicago Varnish Company Building (also, Caravetta Foods Building; Miller's; Kinzie's Steak House; now Harry Caray's)

33 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, IL
Henry Ives Cobb, 1895

 

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In 2001, the Chicago Varnish Company Building at the corner of Dearborn and Kinzie Streets, a former factory and showroom, was designated a Chicago landmark. The ninety by forty-five feet building of four stories and an attic is constructed of red brick with a light gray stone trim in a Dutch Renaissance Revival style. The building's Kinzie St. elevation has two large stepped gables at either end with a group of three stepped dormers in between, while two stepped gables mark the shorter side of the building. Stone quoins trim the sides of the rectangular fenestration with the same stone used to suggest voussoirs above the windows. Round windows surrounded by the same stone trim are placed at the ground level corners and the attic level of the gables. Semicircular stone ornaments topped with obelisks formerly topped the peaks of the dormers.


Chemical Building

Chemical Building

721 Olive St., Saint Louis, MO
Henry Ives Cobb, 1896

 

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The extant Chemical Building bears some similarities to Holabird and Roche's 1889 Tacoma Building in Chicago. Alternating flat and projecting bays produce a subtly undulating surface, divided horizontally by heavy string courses above and below the windows. The façade is brick with terracotta ornament.


216 W. Jackson Street Building (later, Jackson-Quincy Court Building)

216 W. Jackson Street Building (later, Jackson-Quincy Court Building)

216 W. Jackson St., Chicago, IL
Henry Ives Cobb, 1899

 

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As described in Frank Randall's "History of the development of building construction in Chicago," this building is ten-stories and was renovated in 1994. (See Randall, p.170).


Chicago Coated Board Company Building

[Chicago, IL]
Henry Ives Cobb, 1899

 

American Contractor's Chicago building permit database reports the issuance of a building permit on July 15, 1899, p.20.