Narragansett Apartments

Narragansett Apartments
  1. About the Narragansett Apartments in Chicago
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Narragansett Apartments is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Leichenko & Esser and built in 1929 in Chicago, IL.

Its precise street address is 1640 East 50th Street, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

The Narragansett Apartments is a structure of significant importance both for the city of Chicago and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Art Deco style. Because of that, the Narragansett Apartments was officially included in the National Register of Historic Places on April 18th 2005.

Building's timeline

Construction completed
Added to the NRHP
years ago

Architect and team

Leichenko & Esser was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design. But there was also one other architect involved, as far as we know. We are talking about Charles L. Morgan.

Leichenko & Esser and the other architects already mentioned were in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the Narragansett Apartments a reality:

  • Otis Elevator Company as the company in charge of the elevators system
  • Garard Trust as the Main Developer

Architectural Style

The Narragansett Apartments can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The Narragansett Apartments was completed in 1929, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The Narragansett Apartments reaches an architectural height of 253ft (77m). It has a total of 22 floors.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1929, the Narragansett Apartments has mainly been used as Residential space.

253ft (77m)

Materials & Structure

The Narragansett Apartments uses a frame structure made of columns and reforced concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.