The Ohio Players’ “Heaven Must Be Like This”, an intimate tribute to a life that transitioned before its time, sparked the vibe for the 47th Street Corridor’s Sydni building. The building captures the inspirational, celebratory spirit of this classic soul song by complimenting Bronzeville’s residential renaissance with a triumphant retail, office, and commercial complex. This neighborhood was once home to world-renowned blues joints that featured acts like Lou Rawls, Louie Armstrong, and Sam Cooke. The Sydni’s two-story solid masonry structure was formerly the 708 Club, the most famous, historic blues club in Chicago. Just as the blues gave birth to soul music, this landmark structure captures the hopeful spirit of a neighborhood on the move. Sydni’s Belt Course is a repetitive rhythmic expression of the song’s inviting strings. The Angel Marquis symbolizes a loved one who has transitioned to the lyrics’ lofty Heaven. And the Crown—a steel and glass truss evoking angels’ wings—completes the ascension. Together—the Belt Course, the Angel Marquis, and the Crown—form Sydni’s Intro.
The breathy, romantic vocals of “Heaven Must Be Like This” suggest a relaxed paradise, a vibe the client has offered like a gift to the community. This aura is expressed in Sydni’s limestone window frames and accents and the ambience of a comfortable loft. The yellow casting on the Marquis suggests the ease of “…sippin’ on lemonade,” while the gold accented glass and casings suggest the decadence of “…sippin’ on champagne.” This transition parallels the growth and maturation of intimate relationships, as well as the evolution of an entire neighborhood. The grand staircase, capped by a skylight, with a shape echoing the wing and crown structure of the exterior, is Sydni’s Interlude.
In the midst of America’s housing collapse, Bronzeville defiantly boasts a residential boom by currently adding more than 5,000 new units. The Sydni is a destination for new and existing residents, drawing traffic from the surrounding neighborhoods of North Kenwood-Oakland, the McCormick Campus, Hyde Park, and IIT. The Level 4 vista features views of Chicago’s commanding skyline, offering prospective guests a heavenly backdrop during weddings and receptions, and the perfect vantage point during fireworks or baseball games. The rooftop garden, reprising the champagne gold metallic backdrop and the exterior Crown serving as its trellis, acts as the Sydni’s ethereal Coda.