The Belden-Stratford occupies a high-profile site directly fronting a relatively quiet stretch of the 1,200-acre Lincoln Park. The building was completed in 1923 as the 485-room Belden Hotel and is listed (pdf) on the National Register of Historic Places. The relatively-obscure Meyer Fridstein was both its architect and builder.
The Belden-Stratford makes a striking statement with its flamboyant ornamentation.
The overall style of the building is Beaux Arts with a Second Empire mansard roof in purple terra cotta that resembles slate.
The Belden-Stratford has studio, 1- and 2-bedroom, 2 ½ bath floor plans. One-bedroom plans have either a single bath or a bath-and-a-half.
Floor plans and near real-time availability info can be accessed online.
Most of the apartments have spacious rooms, layouts that facilitate good separation of functional living areas, and ample closet and storage space. The florid exterior belies the fact that the interiors of the apartments were originally plain and unembellished with vintage touches. The crown, chair rail and baseboard moldings in the units date to a recent renovation.
Apartments have been upgraded with open plan kitchens, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliance packages with dishwashers and built-in microwaves. Unusual in vintage buildings, the apartments have in-unit washer / dryers.
The apartments have carpeted living and bedroom areas and plantation-style blinds on the windows. Two-bedroom plans have the popular split-bedroom layout, and the spacious master bath has both a tub and a stall shower.
Short-term furnished rentals are available directly from the building and from Habitat Corporate Suites.
Views. The building’s U-shape results in most of the apartments having good views overlooking the park.
The building sits directly across from Lincoln Park, ensuring that views to the east will always be unobstructed.
South-facing units on higher floors, have good views of the Gold Coast and downtown skyline. Lower-floor south-facing units overlook vintage homes and the grounds of Francis Parker School.
Amenities, services, policies
Belden-Stratford’s amenities package is undergoing an expansion.
The building’s impressive grand lobby is a great place to greet guests or simply sit and socialize. The grand piano occasionally comes to life, setting a highly civilized tone.
Residents who don’t have the best views can head for the great views from the rooftop sundeck at the Belden-Stratford.
The new fitness center has both cardio and weight-training areas.
Valet parking is available; on-site self-parking is not.
Leasing, management and maintenance staff are on-site. The building has 24/7 door staff. Belden-Stratford accepts cats and dogs, but with a 25-pound weight limit.
The Belden-Stratford is in a quiet residential area directly across from Lincoln Park, one of the greatest public spaces in America.
The location has relatively quick access to Lake Shore Drive via Fullerton Ave, and to North Avenue Beach, which stretches nearly a mile north along the lakefront.
Shopping. Belden-Stratford has good proximity to shopping.
The nearest full-service grocery store, two short blocks west of the building, is Big Apple Finer Foods. Mrs Green’s, an upscale grocer that’s a recent arrival to the area, is a half-mile southwest of the Belden Stratford and Trader Joe’s on Diversey is a half-mile northwest.
From early May to late October, more than 50 farmers draw Wednesday and Saturday morning crowds to the Green City Market further south in the park. From November through April the market is held most Saturdays at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, just north and east of the Belden-Stratford.
The Visit Clark Street site gives you a good overview of the bars, restaurants, retail and service establishments near the Belden-Stratford.
Dining, nightlife, entertainment.
You’ll find a good selection of bars and restaurants along Clark Street, two short blocks west of the building.
Lincoln Park has too many attractions to list.
The Zoo, the Conservatory and its gardens, the landmark Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and other Lincoln Park draws are within a few minutes’ walk, directly across the street from the building.
Active recreation opportunities are abundant, some of them unusual. Fly fishing lessons, for example, are available at nearby North Pond in the park.
If your idea of active recreation is that it’s something well worth watching, you can survey the beach volleyball scene from a reclining position.
Transportation. Belden-Stratford’s access to public transportation is good, but not great.
Several CTA bus routes have stops along Clark St and several more are a short distance away in the park. The nearest CTA train stop is the Red, Brown and Purple Line station at Fullerton, nearly a mile northwest of the Belden-Stratford.
Taxi service is nearly always available outside the building. The nearest Zipcar car-sharing locations are several blocks from the building.
Access to I-90/94 and the city’s expressway grid is inconvenient, and can be a source of misery during peak hours.
Rentals are typically available in a number of nearby condo buildings, sometimes at lower rents than in the managed apartment buildings, although none of the nearby buildings offer comparable amenities.
You’ll find additional options at YoChicago’s Lincoln Park apartment guide.
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