August 24, 2021
Today, the countdown of our Top 100 Projects in our history continues with 1958’s 247 East Chestnut, a 26-story residential high-rise located in Chicago. This Epstein-designed and engineered building is a grand example of reinforced concrete construction and featured economical flat-plate slabs and columns, which were exposed on the exterior and painted black to accent the skeleton of the structure. Within the black grid, there were spandrels of pinkish brick that concealed the fan-coil heating and cooling units.
The black structural skeleton was left exposed on the roof of the tower’s south side to provide space for a resident sun deck; the rest of the penthouse space was designed to house the building’s mechanical units, provide tenant storage as well as a unit dedicated to the apartment building’s superintendent.
A typical floorplate at 247 East Chestnut consisted of 4,700 square feet and four apartments as well as a centrally-located stair-elevator core. This core also served as the service conduit for the apartment’s kitchens, bathrooms and entrances while freeing up the exterior living space to allow for better views and daylighting opportunities for the units.
Due to poor soil conditions, the parking, which consisted of 70 spots for residents of the tower, was designed for the first three levels.
Epstein’s simplistic design and choice in materials helped keep the construction costs for 247 East Chestnut extremely economical; the high-rise was constructed for approximately $14/square foot or $1.6 million! (That number equates to a little over $15 million in 2021.)