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Round Building
Doubtless, few mourned the passing of the Central West End's Round Building, originally built as the Regency Nursing Inn in 1973. Located at 4560 West Pine Boulevard, it was a stylistic anomally among the neighborhood's early twentieth century apartments and houses.

Built in the waning days of low Modernism, it reflects the dying era of that movement: it uses lower-cost concrete to achieve effects that were once accomplished in aluminum; it is simple to the point of monotony. The base, with its arched arcade surrounding a glass lobby, hearkens to O'Nassis Modern, but the workmanlike tower above crushes the intended effect of elegance.

Yet the round building was a quirky individual, one that had no peers in the city (a failed but equally quirky alternative development plan called for dressing it up with elaborate trim and colors.) Having its glass-walled lobby boarded up certainly didn't help its appearance.

The round building was destroyed in 1998 after several years of vacancy to make way for a townhouse development more in keeping with the district's existing fabric.

Above right: The Round Building undergoing demolition, 1998. Photo courtesy of Ralph Fuhrhop.

I forget the name of the townhouse development. Like the complex itself, it's a fairly generic moniker, West Pine Court or something like that. Whatever it's called, it stands today on the former site of the Round Building.

It's nowhere near as odd or interesting as that late, unlamented tower. But it definately fits in with the neighborhood better. Judging from the status of a similar development across the street, it will be quite attractive in a few years when the trees have grown out some.

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