Video vault: Pat FitzGerald, stealth architect

If you travel down to Printers Row on any Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday afternoon, you can visit Printers Corner at 140 W Polk St and Astoria Tower at 8 E 9th St in relatively short order — according to Google Maps, its a seven-minute walk from one to the other.

On the surface, the buildings don’t share a lot more than a neighborhood. Astoria Tower, which is still under construction, is 13 stories taller than Printers Corner, was was finished more than a year ago. Astoria has almost three times as many homes as Printers Corner, and its most expensive units are priced well over $1 million, while Printers Corner kept its homes in the $280s-to-$480s range.

One thing they do share is an architect. FitzGerald Associates designed both buildings, as well Lakeside Lofts in the South Loop, CA23 in the West Loop, the Parkside of Old Town mid-rises and townhomes on the Near North Side, Oakwood Shores‘ homes in Bronzeville (for which the firm won a charter award from the Congress for the New Urbanism), and Uptown’s favorite new development, Wilson Yard, just to name a few.

In January 2007, Joe Zekas sat down with the firm’s president and managing principal, Pat FitzGerald, to learn more about the architect’s history, the pitfalls of converting lofts, development opportunities along the Chicago River, and CHA’s Plan for Transformation. The first part of that interview is above; links to the other seven segments are below.

Related videos
Part 2: Chicago’s stealth architect
Part 3: Chicago’s next hot neighborhoods
Part 4: Opportunities along Chicago’s river
Part 5: The evolving interior
Part 6: What the future holds
Part 7: Avoiding the pitfalls of lofts
Part 8: The CHA’s daring experiments

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