Phillips Martin Real Estate, a well established Chicago based commercial real estate development, brokerage and asset management company, recently approached me as they were gearing up for a major update of their website. For marketing related purposes the partners were looking for a visually clean and distinct architectural photographic style.
Ideal conditions of the subject matter, a fully present muse, good weather, and mostly a trusting and enthusiastic client who allows for creative freedom, pave the way for potentially compelling images.
As with most photography, architectural photography in particular is meant to convey the feel of design and aesthetics. To express and showcase the space and its surroundings. To give the viewer a hint of a story.
The historic Drake Hotel in Chicago as well as the Drake Oak Brook Office Plaza in Oak Brook that I photographed for this assignment, boast many stories. The history of Phillips Martin Real Estate goes back to 1930 when Edwin L. Brashears, Sr., and renowned Architect, Benjamin H. Marshall, founded National Realty & Investment Company (NRIC).
The two had teamed up to manage Chicago’s Drake and Blackstone Hotels and developed the adjacent Drake Towers co-operative apartment building – Marshall serving as architect and Brashears as engineer for the project. NRIC later acquired the Drake Hotel, which it owned and operated until 1979 when the company converted its position to Landlord under a reversionary ground lease.
In 1960, NRIC acquired property in Oak Brook to develop the area’s first hotel. The Drake Oak Brook Hotel acted as the suburban affiliate to the internationally famous Drake Hotel and was easily accessible to O’Hare International Airport and downtown Chicago.
The company continued its investment in the site in 1980 with the development of the Drake Oak Brook Office Plaza, a 250,000 square-foot, twin-tower atrium office building. Both were sold in 1983 and 1990 respectively.
Phillips Martin Real Estate was founded in 1984 and maintains business roots in DuPage County and Chicago.
The partners have collectively been responsible for over $750 million worth of commercial real estate assets.
It’s two current operating officers, Stanley P. Brashears and James M. McGinn extended NRIC’s holdings in 1987 by developing the 385,000 square foot, 272 unit, Iroquois Club in Naperville.
One of the holdings, Phillips Martin Management, Inc. also manages Greenbriar Place Condominiums in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, which was developed by Brashears and McGinn.
Recently, Phillips Martin developed a new 20,000 square foot, single tenant retail building at 162 East Superior adjacent to Neiman Marcus just one half block east of Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. This is now home to the highly famous and successful Gino’s East Pizzeria.
New projects are in the making and I look very much forward to lay my eyes on a new restaurant in the near future that is nearing it’s completion. My eyes started clicking when I recently saw the drawings. Going by my first experience with Phillips Martin Real Estate it will no doubt be a thrill to be photographing the stunning interiors and exteriors. Stay tuned for more to come.
Marian Kraus Photography is a Chicago area based professional architectural photographer, multi media artist and purveyor of fine art photography who has been consistently delivering compelling architectural photography to clients ranging from architects, advertising agencies, construction companies, home builders, corporations, real estate companies and the like since 1999. Additionally, Marian Kraus Photography’ s nature and architecture fine art photographs can be found in a growing number of corporate and private art collections.