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Suggestion For Chicago Landmark

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks appreciates receiving ideas and suggestions from the public for potential future landmark buildings and districts. By ordinance, Chicago Landmarks must meet at least two of the seven criteria for designation as well as an integrity criterion (see back). An indicator of whether your suggestion may qualify is if the property is included in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey (CHRS), which is depicted in the citys online Zoning Map and may also be accessed from the Chicago Landmarks web page at Please answer the questions below completely and include current photographs (which will not be returned) and any available historic research you may have as part of your suggestion. Please fill out one form per suggestion. The Commissions Program Committee generally reviews public suggestions twice a year. Received suggestions are forwarded by the Committee to the Department of Housing and Economic Development for further consideration.


Commission on Chicago Landmarks 33 N. LaSalle Street Suite 1600 Chicago, Illinois 60602 Attention: Program Committee

Your Name: Your Address (Street, City & Zip Code): Your Telephone Number: Suggested Building or Area: Address: Date of Construction:

Friends of Cuneo
E-mail: friendsofcuneo (at) Facebook: Flickr:

Cuneo Hospital with Skybridge and Cuneo Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Facilities 750 W. Montrose Avenue (4536 N. Clarendon; 824830 W. Montrose + 839841 W. Agatite) 1957, 1975 Belli & Belli Architects & Engineers

Architect, Builder, Engineer, Artist, Craftsman:

Name of Current Owner: Historical Importance:

Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus unknown Two decades of mid-century design by Belli & Belli, a Chicago-area family-run architecture

Would current owner consent to landmark designation?

and engineering firm that has engaged communities in progressive architecture both locally and internationally for over 70 years Extensive use of design features in the 1950s & 1970s that demonstrate a continuum with sustainable design practices today. Located at midpoint of non-commercial street lined with historically significant examples from every era of Chicago's built environment, including historic lakefront land fill and beach house. . X Current Photograph(s) Enclosed (REQUIRED Suggestion form will be returned unless accompanied by current photographs)
Architectural Importance or Noteworthy Physical Features:

Additional Background Information Enclosed (Up to 5 pages will be forwarded to Commission members for their review; any additional pages will be kept for Commission files.)

For Landmarks staff use only:

Date Received _________________

CHRS ___________________

Aldermanic ward ____________

HED ______________________________________

Revised January 1, 2011

Suggestion for Chicago Landmark: Cuneo Hospital campus, Montrose & Clarendon Avenues Part of the Collective Heritage Cuneo Hospital and Cuneo Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Facilities illustrate the contributions of Belli & Belli Architects & Engineers Inc. to Chicago architecture over two very different American decades. Cuneo Hospital on the east side of Clarendon was designed and built during the post-WWII building boom of the 1950s, which saw complex community design challenges emerge, particularly in ecclesiastical building, due to a rapidly expanding and diversifying population and changing values.1 Cuneo Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Facilities on the west side of Clarendon was conceived and built during the harder economic times of the 1970s, an era bookended by energy crises when the continued shift to suburban family living sometimes meant fewer resources for still-urban populations as in Uptown.2 Diminutive, ultramodern Cuneo Hospital, dedicated in 1957, originally sat nimbly alongside the aging Lake View Pumping Station, built during the years 19071915, until the latters demolition in 1979. The geometrical, brutalist Cuneo Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Facilities were added to the west side of Clarendon, with construction begun in late 1975 completed in late 1976, after careful consideration of several expansion options, including moving the original hospital to the west side of Clarendon where more land was available. Whereas the pumping station and Clarendon Park Beach House (1916) had been built on the original beachfront, Cuneo Hospital and Cuneo Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Facilities were designed and constructed during the decades immediately following the landfillwith special measures below grade to address encroaching water at the former lakefront site. Early pictures of the hospital campus show the rich proximities of the original historic location.3 From the outset Cuneo Hospital shared another and very direct tie to its historic site: it was literally linked via its futuristic 1957 skybridge to the early twentieth-century convent on the other side of Clarendon Avenue where the hospitals owner-staff lived. The convent was a three-story, six-flat apartment building similar to many nearbyincluding in the nationally registered Buena Park Historic District located on the other side of Montrose Avenue today. The daylit skybridge later came to link the original Cuneo Hospital building to yet another architectural era when it was reused to bridge Clarendon Avenue to Cuneo Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Facilities that replaced the convent in 197576. The silvery skybridge that connects the decades on either side of Clarendon Avenue has been a steadfast feature of the visual landscape of lakefront Uptown for over fifty years.


On the ecclesiatical building boom specifically, see Jay M . Price, Temples for a M odern God: Religious Architecture in Postwar America (Oxford U niversity Press, 2012). 2 For conditions in U ptown, see, for example, Roger Guy, From D iversity to Unity: Southern and Appalachian M igrants in U ptown Chicago, 19501970 (Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2007). 3 See photos: a nd

Significant People In the mid-1950s, the Uptown community was the fortunate beneficiary of a confluence of commitment that ultimately led to the building of Cuneo Hospital by instrumental and capable parties, among them John F. Cuneo Sr., Cardinal Samuel Stritch, The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Belli & Belli Company. John Cuneo Sr. was the owner of Hawthorn Mellody Farms Dairy as well as founder and owner of Cuneo Pressat the time one of the three largest printing presses in the world. A philanthropist and patron of the arts, Cuneo wanted to build a childrens hospital, to be owned and operated the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the burgeoning postwar community. The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, founded by Mother Cabrini and devoted to the care of women, children, and the elderly, had for decades worked extensively in poor and immigrant communities in Chicago. Edo J. Belli met John Cuneo through Cardinal Samuel Stritch, who championed progressive architecture for the building of neighborhood schools, churches, and hospitals during his time as Archbishop of Chicago from 1940 until his death in 1958. The first American ever appointed to lead a department of the Roman Curia, as Pro-Prefect of Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Stritchs interest in new architecture had led him to a vital, continuous working relationship with Edo J. Belli, the designer of the Cuneo Hospital campus. An interview compiled under the auspices of the Chicago Architects Oral History Project archived at The Art Institute of Chicago records Edo J. Bellis description of his first contacts with Cuneo as follows: He had offered me the shopping center, the Golf Mill Shopping Center, and I had turned him down because I had enough work to keep me busy. I felt I couldnt service the account the way hed want it serviced. I told him in a nice way that I wasnt interested in that kind of work, that I was interested in church work. So he said, Well, if youre interested in church work, Im going to build a hospital. Important Architecture Preservation Chicagos 2012 brief describes the Cuneo Hospital building dedicated by Cardinal Stritch on Oct. 3, 1957, in a ceremony attended by then-mayor Richard J. Daley, as the most modern of hospitals, including a stunning lobby and operating rooms with patterned walls and floors of individually designed Romany-Spartan glazed tile walls.4 Still in remarkably good condition on exterior round columns at Cuneo Hospital today, the specially produced tiles from the United States Ceramic Tile Co. in Ohio typify the up-to-date nature of the projectthe Romany Spartan name had first been used in commerce on Dec. 29, 1956. The brief continues: Architect Edo J. Belli introduced a new modernism to Roman Catholic architecture in Chicago, including St. Patricks High School at 5900 W. Belmont and St. Joseph


Preservation C hicago:

Hospital at 2900 N. Lake Shore Drive. Cuneo Memorial Hospital demonstrates his whimsical yet thoughtful approach to hospital design, including a roof line that resembles an artists palette. Belli combined lyricism with modern materials to create his own architectural style, one that departed ever so slightly from the rigid Miesian orthodoxy that dominated architectural expression at that time. Bellis unique approach to space is well illustrated by Cuneo Hospital, where curved faades, bending interior walls, and circular operating rooms optimize the use of limited space to allow for wide range of different but interwoven functions with very different lighting & privacy requirements.

Positioning it on a tiny, irregular piece of land to take advantage of sun and lake breezes, Edo J. Belli utilized design features commonly associated today with sustainable design, filling Cuneo Hospital with daylight and naturally warmed spaces, optimizing non-mechanical ventilation strategies and interior sightlines, and specifying materials sourced from Midwestern family-run producers. Circular, tiled operating rooms required less water and fewer chemicals for cleaning. Modest alcoves and the daylit skybridge offered privacy and protection from the elements. Zoning variances allowed for reduced parking and transit-friendly access. The patterned faade, integrated planters, and variegated windows continue to protect birds even today and naturalistic stonework speaks to the lakeside location. A shaded terrace tucked under the eaves affords views of both sunrise and sunset, and, through one of Bellis signature circles, the sky and stars above. Cuneo Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Facilities continued into the 1970s where the 1957 building had left off by enlarging sheltered and shaded areas at street level, stretching roof terraces over many carefully layered shapes, and angling windows into facets to optimize daylighting. Designed to expand services to cover the whole of life, the expansion used new geometries to allow residents indoor and outdoor life within the same building. A small terrace just below the roof on Montrose Avenue mirrors Cuneo Hospitals integrated terrace just below roof level also overlooking Montrose Avenue, updating the earlier circular view to the sky with a bold triangular opening. Series of paced square windows in the 1957 building have been reimagined into elongated rectangles that stand like shadows at attention behind sleek round support columns. Horizontal bars of glass replace large sections of wall near ceiling height, allowing for diffuse interior daylight from both east and west. A multifaceted glass cube facing east and perched atop an upper floor gives parallel access onto two large roof terraces atop the level immediately below. Layered shapes placed at angles create unexpected access to the outdoors, most dramatically in the chapel with intricate stained glass that hovers above a circular entrance space while carrying a roof terrace above. Important Architect Responsible for these designs was Edo J. Belli, born in Chicago in 1918 and trained in part already while at Lane Tech High School.5 Belli began working with the architectural firm


Edo J . Belli, Art Institute o f C hicago Archival Collections,

Holsman & Holsman in 1936 and the firm encouraged him to enroll in evening classes at Chicagos Armour Institute of Technology (later IIT), from which he graduated in 1939. Belli also worked for Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and Perkins & Will prior to founding Edo J. and Anthony J. Belli with his brother in 1941. Edo Belli was chief designer at the firm, where he worked until his death in 2003. Anthony handled the technical sides of construction up until the late 1970s. Edos sons, Allen and James, continue to operate the firm Belli & Belli, a family- owned and operated firm that has successfully completed over 3500 commissions in 18 states & 6 countries since its founding in 1941.6

Mr. Belli was a rare community-minded individualist, a Chicago-trained architect whose quietly influential work and insightful words have been exhibited and recorded at The Art Institute of Chicago and honored by the AIA, American Hospital Association, the Catholic Properties Administration, and others.7 Committing his professional life to creating churches, schools, and hospitals throughout the Chicago area and beyond, Belli in particular designed and developed circular forms and cores within the context of mid-century modern architectures dominant rectilinear orientation, thereby influencing later Modernist buildings in Chicago such as Bertrand Goldbergs Marina City and Prentice Hospital. Belli was interviewed by Barbara Blum under the auspices of the Chicago Architects Oral History Project, the Ernest Graham Study Center for Architectural Drawings, Department of Architecture, the Art Institute of Chicago8 and images of his work is included in the Ryerson & Burnham Archival Image Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago9 and the Hedrich Blessing Archive housed at the Chicago History Museum.10 Edo J. Bellis works exhibited as part of The Art Institute of Chicagos 1993 exhibition Chicago Architecture and Design 19231993 included St. Joseph Hospital and St. Patrick High School, which had each won AIA Honor Awards for Excellence in Architecture, as well as The Miracle House and St. Benedict the African Church. The latter two projects in particular reflect Belli & Bellis special engagement over many decades with creative collaborations on a neighborhood level. Miracle House, a fully furnished ultra modern concept home located in Chicagos Galewood neighborhood, was designed, sourced, and built in 195354 to be raffled off at a benefit for nearby St. Williams Parish Building Program.11 St. Benedict the African, dedicated in 1990, had the difficult task of unifying and consolidating several parishes of Englewood into a single building. The Belli & Belli design that grew out of the process is described by parishioner Dorothy Banks in Grant Picks 1991 Chicago Reader article: When I walk in this place, I feel excitement and joy Its like I own it. My God is here.12

6 7

Belli & Belli Architects & Engineers (website), Some awards listed o n Belli & Belli Architects & Engineers website, see note 6 . 8 Interview may be downloaded from the Archive or viewed online: 9 See, for example, St. Joseph Hospital: 10 Hedrich Blessing Archive, 11 Description from discussion with J im a nd Allen Belli, March 8, 2013, at Belli & Bellis offices in Wheeling, Illinois. 12 Grant Pick, Resurrection, Chicago Reader, August 8, 1991,

Unique Visual Features The curvilinear faade, rough-hewn crucifix, circular tiled surgical rooms, and circular roof opening of the original Cuneo Hospital building are unusual, yet of their time. The distinctive human-scaled geometrical brutalist Cuneo Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Facilities building offers creative site orientation, extensive indoor-outdoor circulation at roof and ground levels, a triangular roof opening, and a spaceship-like chapel that appears to hover above the earth. The daylit skybridge that spans Clarendon Avenue is a unique feature later adopted by other architects to join campuses at two nearby Uptown locations: across Eastwood Avenue at Uplift High School (former Arai Middle School) and across Clarendon Avenue at Weiss Hospital, where the skybridge just south of Leland forms a transparent northern counterpoint to the Cuneo skybridge on the southern edge of the historic Lakeside community in Uptown. The building must have a significant historic, community, architectural or aesthetic interest or value, the integrity13 of which is preserved in light of its location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, and ability to express such historic, community, architectural, or aesthetic interest or value: Cuneo Hospital campus in its entirety embodies two decades of cutting-edge mid-century healthcare facility design by a Chicago-area family firm committed to a high-standard of community-oriented architecture for over seventy years. Created through the combined efforts of its patrons, operating staff, architect, and builders, the structures today retain all important features of their original design and unaltered correspondences with their historic location. The coordinated architectural language of the buildings and the connecting skybridge remain whole. Publicly available city records indicate continued sound structural condition. In addition, Cuneo Hospitals unique setting on architecturally rich Clarendon Avenue at the geographical midpoint of lakefront Uptown holds out the possibility of a creative adaptive reuse that would contribute to the wider recognition and purposeful renewal of the historical unity of Uptown and its lakefront. Designating Cuneo Hospital as a Chicago landmark will protect and advance the future integrity of Uptowns significant architectural inheritance and its lakefront legacya fitting expression of present-day sustainable Chicago in a neighborhood that today unites residents of diverse heritage in the creation of a unique common history.
Contemporary and h istorical images related to Cuneo Hospital campus may be seen online: Friends of Cuneo Flickr Friends of Cuneo Facebook


Merriam-Webster Unabridged, s. v. integrity: Integrity 1 a : an unimpaired or unmarred condition : entire correspondence with an original condition : soundness; b : a n uncompromising adherence to a code of moral, artistic, or other values : utter sincerity, honesty, and candor : avoidance o f deception, expediency, artificiality, or shallowness o f a ny k ind 2 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : material, spiritual, or aesthetic wholeness : organic unity : entireness, completeness

Cuneo H ospital + C uneo L ong-Term Care & R ehabilitation Facilities, Historical images

This photo dated October 3, 1957, photographer unknown, depicts the blessing of Cuneo Hospitals cornerstone by Cardinal Samuel Stritch. Pictured to the right of Cardinal Stritch in the front row are Mr. & Mrs. John F. Cuneo, Mayor Richard J. Daley, Dr. Karl Meyer, and Mother Onorina, superintendent of Cuneo Memorial Hospital.

Cuneo Hospital (1957), west faade, photographer unknown (perhaps from Hedrich Blessing, courtesy Belli & Belli)

Cuneo Hospital (1957), daylit skybridge, photographer unknown (perhaps Hedrich Blessing, courtesy Belli & Belli)

Cuneo Hospital (1957), patient room, photographer unknown (perhaps Hedrich Blessing, courtesy Belli & Belli)

Cuneo Hospital (1957), round operating room, photographer unknown (perhaps Hedrich Blessing, courtesy Belli & Belli)

Print advertisement for RomanySpartan Ceramic Tile in Architectural Record, October 1960

The caption for this color photo of one of Cuneo Hospital's circular surgical rooms reads: Operating room walls are of RomanySpartan glazed tile, each individually designed and color styled. Plate No. 1093 Frank Cuneo Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Ill. Architects: Belli & Belli Co., Inc., Chicago, Ill. Tile Contracter: McWayne Company, Chicago, Ill.

Cuneo Hospital (1957) linked v ia skybridge (1957) to original six-flat convent for the M issionary Sisters o f the Sacred Heart, pictured in January 1972 (photographer unknown, courtesy Belli & Belli)

Cuneo Hospital (1957), the skybridge (1957), a nd the original six-flat early twentieth-c entury building that served a s convent for the M issionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, January, 1972 (photographer unknown, courtesy Belli & Belli) Surrounding buildings include the C larendon Beach beach house (today Clarendon Park field house) prior to removal of its towers, Lake View Pumping Station (right, demolished in 197879, having c eased pumping in May 1965), the 3 -story a partment buildings replaced in 1974 by Stanley Tigerman's Boardwalk (today known a s 4343 Clarendon), Weiss Hospital (1952), the Clarendon-Windsor (1920, today known a s the Legacy HB), a nd Lakeview Towers, which had been completed in 1970. Photo was taken from the former Monterey Hotel building (808 W. J unior Terrace). The buildings o f which o nly rooftops are v isible in the left foreground also still exist today.

This Metro News Photo, April 1958 (photographer unknown), highlights one of the o ngoing fundraising efforts for Cuneo Hospital over many years, the C uneo Hospital Auxiliary benefit. A description on the back of the photograph reads: For the Lucky Person United Air Lines stewardess Marilyn Austin is try- ing to make the 7 lb. poodle happy. The dog will be awarded at the xxxxx Annual Cuneo M emorial Hospital Auxiliary benefit at the Cameo Room. The pet is worth $1000.00.

Detail of a photo from the Historic American Engineering Record in the Library o f Congress collection (photographer unknown) shows C uneo Hospital a longside Lake View Pumping Station prior to its demolition. Crane & empty corner in background along with snow suggest that work for the Long-Term Care a nd Rehabilitation Facilities (begun in late 1975 and completed in late 1976) was underway. The entire photo below, source: Library of C ongress Prints a nd Photographs D ivision Washington, D .C. 20540 USA,

Rendering for C uneo Hospital Long-Term Care a nd Rehabilitation Facilities, ca. 1975

Cuneo Hospital Long-Term Care a nd Rehabilitation Facilities, southeast corner with c hapel, ca. 1976 (photographer unknown, courtesy Belli & Belli)

Cuneo Hospital (1957) a nd C uneo Long-Term Care a nd Rehabilitation Facilities (197576), v iewed from roofdeck o f the Boardwalk garage, late 1970s (photographer unknown, courtesy Belli & Belli)

Note: Per B elli & Belli (May 2013), the floor plans for Cuneo L ong-Term Care a nd Rehabilitation Facilities may not be reproduced.