El Lago: another of Edgewater's architectural Bad News Bears

El LagoOne might expect to find a building named “El Lago” painted with pastels or deep marine-green — something breezy, at any rate. But our Edgewater “El Lago,” 6157 N Sheridan Road, surprises with its chocolate-brown and phlegm-yellow facade.

Irving M. Karlin Associates designed this building, finished in 1959, before embarking on such other delicately rendered projects as the Judge Green Apartments and Shoreline Towers. In our opinion, El Lago beats the pants off not only the rest of Karlin Associates’ work, but also most other Sheridan Road high-rises.

North Sheridan Road buildings get a lot of stick, and for good reason, but some of these towers, including The Edgewater Beach Apartments and Granville Tower, exemplify inner contentedness and brave architects’ refusal to pander to the public by creating buildings that are easy to look at. And El Lago, apparently fashioned inside a waffle press, stands proud, without the pathological self-awareness that afflicts certain streamlined new developments.

While the suckers pay through the nose for addresses in sleek superficial high-rises, $269,000 gets you a 1,000-square-foot place in a building that’s true to itself.

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