A warehouse? An industrial supply company in the heart of a neighborhood business district? A music store? While not the flashiest intersection in town, Monroe St. and Maxwell Ave. do have some potential save for this building on the southeast corner. The reality is that this building probably once contributed to some semblance of streetlife at this intersection. Maybe it served as a retail space or even an office at one time.
Now, however, it's role is to suck the marrow out of any activity that ocurrs nearby. Taking design cues from some of the big-box stores along north Division, it presents the pedestrian and the hapless transit rider with mind-numbing blankness. Could you imagine waiting for the bus in front of this?
Really it is unfortunate as the structure has some potential: It is built to the sidewalk and some of the parking is in the back of the structure. What kills this building, and inevitably the intersection, is the complete lack of connection between the activity inside the building and that on the outside. Here's a simple concept...windows. The store is so severed from the street that they're forced to use to the neon 'OPEN' sign to ensure customers can figure it out. Another case of why the suburban model fails miserably in an urban environment.