Maryville Googie


The East Wing of Maryville Columbus is an elegant building at the Northeast corner of Montrose and Clarendon. The gradually curving curtain wall is secured with aluminum casements containing tongue-in-groove glass windows and opaque plastic panels at the floorline. There’s a highly Googie-esque roofline feature that makes the eaves look almost like a painter’s palette when viewed from Montrose Street.


The North and South walls of the building are covered with two foot limestone blocks. The inscription on a short span of West wall indicates that the building was erected in 1957. The architect, Edo J. Belli has a style that has been characterized as “Catholic ecclesiastical”, which was highly appropriate for this structure, as it origially served as Cuneo Hospital, a Catholic hostpital for women and children. He also designed St. Patrick’s High School at 5900 West Belmont, and the St. Joseph’s Hospital at 2900 N. Lake Shore.


Maryville – Columbus served as a hospital and shelter for runaways until 2006 when it was closed because of budget shortfalls and sold by the Catholic church. The East building shows very little wear, with the exception of a few missing windows, it appears to have weathered the past few years rather well.


The windows on the first and second floors of the East building have been covered with boards. Because of Uptown’s homeless population, the interior areas along Clarendon have been fenced off, as they have become a popular place to sleep.


The West building of Maryville – Columbus is a much more angular, high-concept building of the 70’s. It has precious few windows and highly-abrasive outer walls, as they are covered with gravel, which is not holding up very well. It is falling off in places.


One portion of the building appears to have been influenced by a flying saucer.


The wall along the entry to the subterranean garage was tagged.


The buildings are in a strange kind of limbo at the moment. Recently alderman James Cappleman hosted a vote for the local citizenry to decide if a developer could zone this land for four apartment towers and the proposal was rejected. You can keep up with the status of this building by reading the Uptown Update, or following them on Facebook.