Monday, March 7, 2011

Lights Help! The Scout Shows Off a Subtle Improvement

Call it insignificant, call it beautiful or call it crazy...but in our opinion a subtle lighting addition to the old Opera restaurant at 1301 S. Wabash has us excited about what could be going on inside. If you're a reader of the Sloopin you probably know that Opera served it's last meal on December 31st of 2010 and that a new concept called the Scout is planning on moving in this spring (last we heard in May).

The windows are papered up and last we saw the entire place was gutted. But last week when strolling past the building at night we noticed the addition of new lights which do an excellent job of accentuating some of the buildings character. It seems like a simple yet impactful improvement to the building and with this type of attention to detail we're excited to see what they have in store for the inside.

It also appears that the vintage, translucent glass near the corner of the building might be coming down. A couple days after we took the picture above we noticed that plywood boards have been put over these tiles. We can only assume that means they're coming down. Maybe we're wrong.

Or maybe we're just crazy and shouldn't be looking so hard for signs of life at places like this.


Anonymous said...

It looks nice. Hopefully the glass comes down too.

Anonymous said...

Night lighting always helps. And it's sad about the glass blocks. They really complete the deco look of the building. Boring glass panes won't do the same.

Anonymous said...

I hope it's not true they're gonna take down the vintage glass blocks. It's a historic building -- one of the few film exchange buildings on that row still left -- and the glass blocks, as the previous poster noted, really make the Deco styling of the building.

Anonymous said...

There are two glaring issues with this renovation:
1. The lights shining towards the stars contribute to the ever growing light washing/pollution of our night sky.
2. The glass blocks are an integral part of the building's original design and should be restored.
I hope there will be no more destructive "improvements" to this beautiful building.

Anonymous said...

"I hope there will be no more destructive "improvements" to this beautiful building."

I never met someone who called this fugly monstrosity "beautiful". It can only be improved.

MarkChicago said...

@ 9:31 Anon:

Agreed maaaaaaan. This building is certainly an architectural gem. The floating door on the front is evidence enough.

Anonymous said...

ehh...the glass blocks don't impress me much. I think they make it look fuddy-duddy.

If the place had good atmosphere and food once inside, I would forget about the glass blocks though.

Anonymous said...

I really liked Opera but will be happy to just have a good resturant in the loop!