November 15, 2021
Coming in at no. 49 in our Top 100 Projects countdown is Chicago’s Twin Towers Apartments, completed in 1952.
These two 22-story structures, featuring 252 two to six-room units, are located at 5000 S. Lake Shore Drive. They were designed as rental apartments for army personnel assigned to the Fifth Army Headquarters at 1660 E. Hyde Park Blvd (located just south of the Twin Towers).
Built for $2.4 million ($25.5 million in 2021), these Epstein-designed and engineered structures featured fireproof reinforced concrete construction with brick exterior and stainless steel spandrels. Interior features included sliding floor-to-ceiling wardrobe closets, all-electric kitchens, steel cabinets, clay tile baths, and heating provided by hot water with individual unit temperature control.
In addition, the Twin Towers were the first Federal Housing Administration project in the nation that utilized radiant heating in structural concrete. This radiant solution, which required over 100,000 lineal feet of copper tubing, provided more uniform heat and took up less floor space.
The Twin Towers were constructed in less than 18 months and fully occupied by Army personnel less than two months after opening.