Chicago Landmarks

Tree Studios, Annexes, and Courtyard

Ohio and State Streets elevation     Address: 601-623 N. State Street; 4-10 E. Ohio Street; 3-7 E. Ontario Street
Year Built: State Street building, 1894; Ohio Street annex, 1912; Ontario Street annex, 1913
Architect: Bauer & Hill Hill & Woltersdorf , Parfitt Brothers
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark:

Ohio St. elevation Intended as a home for artists at the end of the nineteenth century, the Tree Studios was constructed by philanthropists Judge and Mrs. Lambert Tree using the finest craftsmanship and details of the period. The original 1894 building facing State Street was designed in a Queen Anne style and is lined with retail storefronts that provided rental income that subsidized the rents for the artists' studios. The 1912 and 1913 annexes built on Ohio and Ontario Streets were designed in the English Arts and Crafts style. The building's large windows, picturesque details, and distinctive interior courtyard instantly made it a unique cultural oasis and home to many significant artists, including sculptors Albin Polasek and John Storrs; illustrator J. Allen St. John; muralist John Warner Norton; painters Ruth Van Sickle Ford, James Murray Haddow, and Pauline Palmer; and actors Peter Falk and Burgess Meredith. The nation's oldest-known artist studios, the building complex is one of the most distinctive features of the River North neighborhood.