Byrne designed several chapels for seminaries and colleges. The “Chapels Gallery” link above contains images from some of these buildings.
J.T. Kenna Apartments, Chicago (1916)
Barry Byrne received this commission in 1916 from John Francis Kenna for an apartment building at 2214 East 69th Street, Chicago. The result was a three story building that depicts the real emerging style of Barry Byrne. Unlike the houses of Frank Lloyd Wright or Walter Burley Griffin, Byrne adopted a simple and straight forward appearance to the exterior. The brick walls form a smooth flow that harmonises with the positioning of the windows and polygon section. The inner frames of the windows, are decorated in a black diamond-like pattern. In comparison with other buildings on the same street, many built years later, Kenna Apartments, still appears very modern. The absence of an over-lapping roof and trademark Griffin windows, shows that while Byrne is no doubt applying the disciplines of those he worked with, he is never the less developing his own unique style. The clever and elegant use of brick was to feature in his later work on churches.
The entrance, located off to the left of the building, features two sculptures by Alfonso Iannelli, one of a male and the other of a female, each placed on either side of the door.
Immaculata High School, Chicago (1923)
The original site for this building was located on the shores of Lake Michigan. Byrne, anticipating the future construction of Lake Shore Drive, faced the building in a southern direction. At that time, most schools were built in rectangular form. Byrnes’ design was more of a T-shape.
The windows are framed in brick bevels which run the full height of the side walls, giving a sort of continuity to the windows as they span from one floor to the other. The attic room, consist of wide airy windows and originally functioned as a lunch room. This building was the first large building Byrne designed in Chicago.
The main entrance features a placeholder that was once used to house an Alfonso Iannelli statue of the Virgin Mary. Today, the building functions as an Islamic school and this statue is long removed. The b&w image depicting the statue, was taken in 1965 as part of a survey of Prairie School architecture in Chicago. This image was sourced from the Library of Congress American Memory Archive.