At the northwest corner of North Taylor and McPherson avenues is this stellar apartment building. It’s huge, and contains dozens of apartments. But if you look closely, again it’s really just a bunch of six-family flats built right next to each other with exterior entrances for each “unit.”
The Sherwood Court Apartments were developed by Claude Vrooman and cost $200,000 when it was built in 1908, according to designs by George Kennerly. Apparently William B. Ittner, who designed many of the schools I’ve shown recently and in the past, lived here at one time.
The centerpiece is the courtyard, with its elaborate central portal, which reminds me in a lot of ways of an Ittner-designed school.
Looking closely, we can see that this is terracotta, cast to create the intricate designs.
The elaborate cornice above the main entrance has two volutes above a cartouche with the plaque holding the name of the apartment building.
But looking more closely, something else becomes obvious about this building.
Update: Thanks to a reader’s tip, I learned that the apartment building was in fact finished, but portions of it were demolished. Sanborn Fire Insurance maps confirm that there were originally two more wings that connected the central portion to the other wings along McPherson. Also, it can be seen below how the building is really just a series of self-contained units joined together into a single whole. It was also originally known by its builder’s name, the Vrooman Apartments.
It is clearly not finished! On either side of the central six-family, there are two wings missing that would have attached the centerpiece to the other large wings facing McPherson Avenue.
Those two flanking wings have an abundance of ornament that are accented with more terracotta elements, including more cartouches and shields.