The Statesman

Photo by   Adam Rubin

Photo by Adam Rubin

5601 North Sheridan Road, Chicago
Milton M. Schwartz, 1961

The Statesman dates from a significant period in architect Milton M. Schwartz’s career, during which he also designed the landmarked 1954 apartments at 320 West Oakdale Avenue, the 1959 Executive House Hotel, and the 1960 Constellation Apartments.  Just a few years after he produced the Statesman, he went on to design his iconic 1966 Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas (since demolished). In addition to the Statesman’s status among Schwartz’s most recognized works, the building is an alluring example of Schwartz’s unique expression of Modernism.  While he produced this and other buildings that clearly represent the International style, Schwartz also made subtle references to previous genres.  For instance, the strikingly horizontal, cantilevered terrace is somewhat evocative of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. The building’s streamlined aluminum railings are reminiscent of the Art Moderne style. Along with the architect’s playful use of the seashell form at the garage level (a nod to the building’s lakeside location), these references show that while he sought to create a state-of-the-art International style high-rise, Schwarz also wanted to design a singular and artful work of architecture. Since its completion, the Statesman has been celebrated as an exceptional luxury high-rise along the North Lake Shore Drive corridor, as well as being one of Schwartz’s principal works.