It’s our own little taste of South Beach right here in Chicago, and given the Midwestern sensibility that permeates the city more than any of us would like to admit, we’re both drawn to and slightly embarrassed about the giant salmon-colored beacon on North Sheridan Road. The massive Edgewater Beach Apartments, 5555 N Sheridan Rd, has been completely renovated, and the complex is far more egalitarian than you’d expect any pink behemoth to be.
Back in 1927, when the current building was completed as an annex to The Edgewater Beach Hotel, it was a much more exclusive joint. Bette Davis, Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe, Nat King Cole and others wined and dined at the Hotel, in the days when Chicago was the stop-over of choice for hip coast-hoppers everywhere. Today, the Edgewater Beach Apartments, a luxury co-op building, sits at Sheridan and Bryn Mawr, but during the 1920s and ’30s the resort stretched southward for blocks.
After disrepair came demolition, which during the ’60s claimed the Hotel’s nine-hole golf course, skating rink and lounges. Today, these co-op units offer slightly more spartan perks, including an indoor pool and bicycle room, but the building’s pink X-shaped exterior still bravely speaks up among rows of aesthetically reticent North Sheridan high-rises.
If interested in owning a part of the House That Ruth Didn’t Build But May Well Have Gotten Drunk In, you can peruse available co-ops at the Edgewater Beach Apartments’ Web site. Koenig and Strey lists several units at the Edgewater Beach Apartments, ranging from a 1,700-square-foot pad that weighs in just under $400K to a cozy 700-square-foot unit that falls on the happy side of $100K. Also, managment has set aside several guest units, which you can rent for reasonable nightly rates.