In a move that sounds more like a scene from science fiction than reality, the Chicago real-estate company Zaragon Inc. bought and has recently demolished Melrose Place, the apartment complex near East Quad on East University Avenue, to make way for a 10-story high-rise. I lived in Melrose Place – also known as the Castle at Anberay – for the last two years of its 84-year existence, and I was at least marginally proud to call it home.
When I used to tell people that I lived there, I would get one of two reactions. People would either give a delighted smirk, recalling their own Melrose experiences, or they would look at me in horror, as if I just told them I lived on the 13th floor of the Tower of Terror.
Criticisms aside, Melrose Place had an ideal location, which made it easier to justify paying more than $600 per month in rent. Wedged between Za’s and Red Hot Lovers and only a minute walk to the Diag, I could get everything from a late-night Diet Coke to a last-minute Blue Book without having to go 50 feet from my apartment. It was the perfect antidote to living in Bursley, my faraway one-time home. Bursley was a mistake my roommates and I were desperate to make up for in our future housing decisions.
Melrose Place ranked higher in location than it did in aesthetic appearance. It displayed the worst of 1920s architecture with its faded yellow brick fa