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6841 S. Bennett Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60649 #260Z

6841 S. Bennett Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60649.

Jackson Park Highlands

This article is about my childhood home on Bennett Avenue #260Z in the Jackson Park Highlands, Chicago. Written by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery. I was raised up as a child at our lovely and gracious home at 6841 S. Bennet Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60649. Our home was and still is, located in the Jackson Park Highlands. The Jackson Park Highlands is an landmark estate neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, and is the step child of mansion district of Kenwood.

History

The house was built in 1913 next door to one of the developers of the Highlands, Mr. Roberts. The house is just under 5,000 square feet and has 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. The exterior dimensions are 45 feet wide and 75 feet long.

Interior

All of the rooms are enormous which included a morning room, which was in the front of the house. Access to the morning room was through the living room then through the dining room. Morning rooms are always adjacent the dining room for kitchen services. Of course, next to the dining room was the butler’s pantry for all the china and table settings. Past the butler’s pantry was a large kitchen with very ample pantry. Going straight through the kitchen you entered the game room. This was a very large room designed to hold a pool table and card tables. This room has a direct access to the back inner porch that lead to the garage and back yard.

The living and dining room were separated by a large set of sliding glass doors. The entrance to the house from the street was on the south side of the house and was a small suite off of the central block of the structure. Upon entering the suite you were in the marble vestibule, and looking to the left were three large encased glass panels, the first being the door to the entrance hall.

The entrance hall was vast and straight ahead was a grand wooden staircase. As you entered the hall to the right with the library and to the left was the living room. All of the room throughout the house was done in the finest mahogany wood. Two large massive beams wrought across the ceilings of the entrance hall, the living room, and the dining room. These beams were joined to very thick wooden moldings that encased the ceiling and mounted it to the walls. The fireplace in the living room was a massive wood structure.

Lots

When then house was built back in 1913, when the Jackson Park Highlands was developed, all the homes were designed with garden lots. That meaning that each home had a separate lost next to it for privacy. In some cases homes had two or more such lots. Mrs. Roberts house has seven city lots and is the largest in all the Highlands! Mrs. Roberts home is dead center in the Highlands as this was the home of the builder. Having a place at the center was the most prestigious because you were far from the perimeter of the neighborhood and thus most quiet. Our home was right next door and dead center as well.

Just after the First World War, our garden lot was sold off and a home had been built on it, this was the home of the Lemonthal’s. The Howett’s, Michael Howlett,¬† Secretary of State, who live four doors down from us had a garden lot on each side of their home. I was a classmate of Robert Howlett at St. Philip Neri, As the Howlett’s and my parents were old family friends. My grand parents, Dr. & Mrs. Francis Leo Condren stood up at their wedding.

South Side

  • Prairie Avenue
  • Kenwood
  • Hyde Park
  • Jackson Park Highlands
  • Beverly

The south side of Chicago is the best planned and designed part of Chicago. Grandeur was always the tone of any development of the south side of Chicago. Only in the south side are there grand boulevards and parkways. It is only in the south side that you have center park trolley lines.

The growth and development of a city the size and scale of Chicago is very complicated in imbued with ambiguities. It is my task here to highlight upper strata communities of the south side of Chicago, and more particularly, to focus on the dwellings in these communities. Side commentaries on expected social behavior given at appropriate times.

Prairie Avenue

The community of south Prairie Avenue is where the history of high society in Chicago starts. However, it should be noted that this was not the first area of “upper crust”. Downtown Michigan Avenue and Wabash Avenue were the very first areas of fine home construction. However, these areas were not developed as a community as we think of at later times. These homes were mixed in between all sorts of sites, from taverns and shops, to book shops and barbers. The development of segregated communities for “better living” start on the south side with Prairie Avenue, and later with Potter Palmer on the near north side, on Belleview and Lake Shore Drive.

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Chicago Skyline #258Z Pen & Ink Sunset Drawing

Chicago skyline 752B pen & ink drawing of downtown at sunset.

This article is about Chicago skyline #258Z is a pen & ink drawing of Chicago is a cityscape done at early sunset, which is a cityscape stylus sketch, which is for sale here, at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans. The view or perspective it taking from the northwest near Western Avenue.

The three tallest points in the skyline are those of the near north side, east Randolph Street, and the Chicago Loop.

At the near north side you have 875 N. Michigan Avenue (former John Hancock Center). In the center cluster you have the skyscrapers of the Aon Center and Trump Tower. The last cluster is on the right which shows Willis Tower.

Alt Image Tag

Chicago skyline #752B pen & ink drawing of downtown at sunset.

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing #751Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing at sunset by Condren.


Chicago skyline #751Z pen & ink drawing, which is a cityscape stylus sketch, is for sale at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #751A

  • Light
  • Cross-hatching
  • Delineation

This pen & ink drawing of Chicago skyline #751Z is a cityscape of the near north side of Chicago at early sunset. In the center of the rendering is 875 N. Michigan Avenue (former John Hancock Center). To the immediate right is a cluster of buildings that comprise the near north side. The exception is the nub immediately to the right of 875, which is the Aon Center.

My original intent for the drawing was to make it much darker and with a mood of impending storms. However, while I was drawing I had my mind on the Scientific Theory of Luminiferous Aether. Thus, with light in my mind I let the glory of the sun take command of the drawing. Thus as I moved my pen along the paper it gently came to a halt as the drawing with finished!


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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing #750Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing overlooking Lincoln Park.

This pen & ink cityscape drawing of the Chicago skyline #750A, which is a cityscape stylus sketch, is for sale at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #749B

  • Landscape
  • Cross-hatching
  • Sky

This cityscape drawing is of Chicago skyline #750B looking south over Lincoln Park. Closest to the park is the immediate skyline of the near north side with show 875 (former John Hancock Center).

The linework in the drawing if very clean and clear. The use of hatching and cross-hatching is at a minimum so as to keep the forms of the park distinct from the skyscrapers. Effort has been taken to be as clear as possible without sacrificing quality draftsmanship.

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing #749Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing at sunset by Condren.

This article is about pen & ink cityscape drawing of the Chicago skyline #749B, which is a cityscape stylus sketch, is for sale at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #749B

  • Sunset
  • Cross-hatching
  • Water

This Chicago skyline #479Z drawing is done at sunset. The setting sun is on the left side of the drawing is from the east (behind Willis Tower) where it holds command. From this point the power of the sun’s rays are cast to the skyline and out onto Lake Michigan.

Making the pen & ink work effectively in creating spectrum in a work of art is difficult. For it takes great skill and care to use just enough line work to convey the gradual transition of tones. It is ever so common to cast stroke of in in random formations leaving poor results. Every single stroke has to be calculated. 

As I draw the lines with my pen I eye every element on the paper and keep moving my pen tip on a path that correctly satisfies the needed tone. It is with difficulty that I explain this process but it exactly what I do. As I move the pen and process strokes at the same time I look at the space and move the pen to fill in the need tone.

Also, as I move the pen I am very aware of the length of each stroke. If the space permits I make the strokes later and if not, then smaller. This is a quandary for I only know how to make the strokes as I move the pen. I cannot calculate the movements of the pen before hand. 

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Chicago Downtown Skyline Pen & Ink Sketch #253Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink sketch of North Lake Shore Drive.

This article is about pen & ink cityscape sketch of the Chicago skyline #747B, by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements Chicago skyline #747B

  • Delineation
  • Time of day
  • Light

The delineation of Chicago skyline #747B is short and simple. It is all preparing for the intense amount of hatching and cross-hatching that is to follow. The scene will be at night so most of the images will not be recognizable.

My interest in Chicago skyline #747A is more compositional thank formal presentation rendering. In fact this is not any form of architectural rendering for display. This is a free-hand sketch that is exploring the forms along Lake Shore Drive. You have a mixture of skyscrapers, trees, concrete, and of course water from Lake Michigan.

The light is this image is standard afternoon light that show all the froms. However, in the drawing that comes over this it will be in the dead of night. The lighting at the present will do to give us an image of the scene. However, there is nothing theatrical or dramatic in the light of day. The rendering that is to follow will offer a very theatrical vision of North Lake Shore Drive. Chicago skyline #747A is the preamble to #478.

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing Overlooking Lincoln Park At Noon #251Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing over Lincoln Park.

This article is about Chicago skyline #745B cityscape drawing, which is for sale here, at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans. This pen & ink drawing is looking south over the lawns of the zoo and Lincoln Park in Chicago.

Chicago Skyline #745B

It is my goal in the rendering to offer the viewer a personal note about the subject. Being a native to Chicago I am partial to art about Chicago. Further, having graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago it further underscores my love for this great city.

I am from the south side of Chicago. I grew up in the Jackson Park Highlands with is in Hyde Park Township and just south of the great Jackson Park. Being from the south side we did not venture north as often as my mother would have liked. My mother grew up in Lakeview along the north shore lake. Mom always talked about here time growing up along the lake and how wonderful it was.

So in honor of my dear mother whom I will cherish all of my life I dedicate this pen & ink drawing.

I have made use of a fine line pen for this drawing. My intent was to use the foreground as a visual support for the skyline in the rear of the rendering. There are both cumulus clouds (on the left), and stratus nimbus clouds at the center and to the right. The contrasting line movement from these shape enhance the contour of the drawing.

The skyscrapers in the background are many and most difficult to define. If you look carefully you can see the major super structures. Like any good drawing, it is best practice to use as few lines to convey the most meaning and that is what I have attained in this splendid rendering.

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing At Night #248Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing at night.

This article is about Chicago skyline #744B is a cityscape of the near north side, which is for sale here, at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans. This drawing has given me great pleasure in that gave me many unexpected twists and turns on the road but I never fell into the ditch! The drawing takes place at night and the sun is setting from behind the John Hancock Center (west). Thus, I have the surround sky gradually darken as it moves away from the sun.

In reality the buildings are very dark as well as most of the shoreline. However, to darken everything would give no meaning to the drawing. So I took the liberty to keep the building light so as to radiate light. I did keep the landscape dark to support the skyscrapers above.

The waters of Lake Michigan are not really dark as water carries illumination very well. The cross-hatching of the sky reminds me very much of a Rembrandt. He did an etching of the Holy Family but it is even darker!

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink #247Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing with sail boats.

This article is about Chicago skyline #743B is a cityscape pen & ink drawing, which is for sale here, at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans. This pen & ink is by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC. The scene is from Lake Michigan looking at a glorious windjammer sailing by the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. In the background Chicago Navy Pier can be seen under the towering figures of the Chicago skyline just behind. The setting of the pen & ink drawing is on the shores of Lake Michigan.

To the right of the windjammer is the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. Behind the lighthouse you can see Chicago Navy Pier. The backdrop of the rendering is the world famous Chicago skyline. The focal point of the skyline is the 100 story John Hancock Center which is in a cluster of other very tall buildings.

To the far left the image of Lake Point Tower can be seen as a sort of book stop that holds up the left side of the drawing. The glory of the drawing is the wonderful windjammer moving across the waters of Lake Michigan.

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink #246Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing from Lincoln Park.

This article is about Chicago Skyline #742B is a cityscape, which is for sale at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans. The view is taken from Lincoln Park across the pond from the Lincoln Park Zoo. The line work here is clean and clear. I have made it my goal to grasp the images of the skyline in terms of pure for and not attempting to replicate the buildings.

Architecture

The buildings form a bar code of the city and that is how I want to express this imagery. Together with the landscape and pond the image is strong and tells you everything that you want to know about the scene without demanding to see every detail. Chicago is famous for it’s innovative architecture and the John Hancock Center is one of those great innovations.