History

The Edgewater Beach Apartments (EBA) is a cooperative apartment building built as part of the Edgewater Beach Hotel resort hotel complex. The hotel closed in 1967, but the EBA remains as a landmarked testament to the spacious elegance and solid construction that characterize the best buildings of the Roaring Twenties.

The EBA, built in 1928 at the north end of the property, is the only part of the hotel complex to survive and is part of the Bryn Mawr Historic District. As he had before with many of his other projects, such as the South Shore Country Club, the Sheridan Trust and Savings Bank Building, and the Hotel Kaskaskia, architect Benjamin Marshall designed the apartment building with accoutrements suited for the well-to-do. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. The apartments stand at the north end of Lake Shore Drive, quite visible to the passing traffic, and are unusual in Chicago for the “sunset pink” exterior. When both buildings stood, the color coordinated with the “sunrise yellow” of the hotel.

Design

Designed by Chicago-based architect Benjamin H. Marshall, the complex was composed of several buildings and recreation grounds.  The EBA was designed in the shape of a Croix fourchée (“forked cross”), has 300 apartments and opened in 1928.

Born in 1874, Mr. Marshall was a practicing architect at the start of the 20th century and into the 1930s. He was open to the world and a diverse range of cultures, which is reflected in the many iconic buildings he designed in Chicago, including the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, which hosted political conventions in its smoke-filled rooms, and the Edgewater Beach Hotel, where many Big Bands of the 1920s played. He also designed the Drake Hotel and helped develop the Gold Coast area between the Drake and Lake Michigan. The area was transformed from marshland into an anchor for the entire city.