Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 October 2013: Wolf Point in the Rain

This may not be especially Halloween-y,
but i'll probably never have this vantage point again and wanted
to catch it while i could.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

30 October 2013: A Noirish Night

Chicago felt mysterious and a little dangerous tonight,
wrapped in its cloak of rain and fog.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

29 October 2013: I Wish I Could Adopt All the Dogs Here!

Entrance to the Anti-Cruelty Society on Grand Ave.
It's a dangerous place to walk past: all those poor dogs
just waiting for a home will break your heart. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

27 October 2013: "Top o' the world, Ma!"

I confess that i am not a big fan of squirrels, especially since the day i walked into me kitchen and found a big hole in my window screen and a squirrel sitting in the middle of the kitchen table trying to open a bag to get at a chocolate croissant. Nevertheless, this one, perched high atop a utility pole, is kind of cute.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

26 October 2013: The South Branch

View from the top floor of the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza.
If i hadn't been so lazy and slow this morning,
i might have gotten there early enough to get a picture
of the bridges raised to allow the sailboats
to head to port for the winter.

Friday, October 25, 2013

25 October 2013: A Grand Entrance

This just might be my all-time favorite doorway.
It actually leads to a passage between two identical houses,
which is unique in itself, but the curved buttresses
and beautiful ironwork make it even better.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

24 October 2013: Timber!!!

I happened upon this scene this morning, as a noble old tree was chopped down outside 6823 N. Wayne Ave. in Rogers Park. I was curious about the age of the tree, and remembered seeing pictures in the Library of Congress American Memory Collection showing the house as it looked in 1909, when it was the home of Dr. Haldane Cleminson, who stood trial for killing his wife in the house. The last three pictures in this series show how little the house has changed in 104 years. Apparently the tree was not quite that old since it is not in the final picture.









And here's how the house looked in 1909:
"DrHaldane Cleminson murder case, seven men in the Coroner's Jury,
walking up the Cleminson residence front steps"

Chicago Daily News negatives collection
, DN-0003451. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum.
"DrHaldane Cleminson murder case, men carrying a coffin
away from the Cleminson residence during the funeral"

Chicago Daily News negatives collection
, DN-0003451. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum.
And, finally, here is a good view of the house 
(without the tree) at the time of the murder in 1909. 
Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-0003451. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

22 October 2013, Pt. 2: Peace, Love, and Free Books

I posted earlier about the library box on Glenwood Ave. by Lifeline Theatre, which has been repaired and is back in use after losing its door last month. This morning i discovered another library box in the neighborhood, this one on Ashland just south of Morse. The library box is outside the house with the prayer flags and vegetable garden next door to the United Church of Rogers Park. 
Rogers Park Free Library, with the ubiquitous construction vehicles in the background 


22 October 2013, Pt. 1: The Obstacle Course

It's a real challenge to walk around Rogers Park lately with all the construction equipment and torn-up streets and sidewalks for the installation of new gas lines. Farwell, Greenview, and Ashland were all an obstacle course this morning.
The official totem of Rogers Park

A tangle of caution tape and no-parking warnings at Farwell and Glenwood.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

20 October 2013: In the Footsteps of Charlie Chaplin

I emerged from my Batcave today long enough to experience something truly memorable. I visited the old Essanay Studios at 1333 W. Argyle St. in Uptown as part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation's  Open House Chicago. 
From 1907 - 1917, Essanay was home to such stars as Charlie Chaplin, Wallace Beery, Ben Turpin, Broncho Billy Anderson, Francis X. Bushman, and Gloria Swanson (who made her film debut there); as the promotional video for a crowdfunding project to restore this treasure of early cinema puts it: "Before there was Hollywood, there was Chicago." 
CLICK HERE for more information or to contribute to the campaign to restore Essanay, "one of the world's first and last silent film studios."

The entrance to the complex, which is now home to St. Augustine College,
still bears the Essanay name and trademark Indian-head logos. I've seen them
before but noticed for the first time today that they subtly replicate
the traditional masks of comedy and tragedy:
the figure on the left is smiling ever so slightly,
while the one on the right's mouth turns down at the corner.
The terracotta is in great need of repair, one of the primary
goals of the fund-raising campaign.


A special treat for Open House Chicago was the showing
of His New Job (1915), in the very same studio where it
was shot. The comedy starred Charlie Chaplin,
along with Ben Turpin and a very young
Gloria Swanson.

Mural over the studio door shows Chaplin as the Little Tramp,
along with child star, and Jackie Coogan,
in their beloved roles from The Kid (1921).

Saturday, October 19, 2013

19 October 2013: My Favorite Construction Site Photo of the Day

Pouring Concrete
I took a lot of pictures today for my other blog, How to Build a Substation, and I'll post them there some time this evening. But this is definitely my favorite, it just strikes me as heroic in scale, in keeping with the tough job the workers on this site do every day.

Friday, October 18, 2013

18 October 2013: Adrian and Mark Revisited

This isn't the first time i've posted a picture of Adrian and Mark Duet. 
They are always great, but today's performance in the Lake St. Red Line station was exceptional. 
The crowd was so mesmerized by their music that i think we were all a little disappointed 
when our train arrived. At one point, they ended a song 
and the whole station erupted in cheers and applause. 

Here's a
link to a twenty-minute documentary on Adrian and Mark.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

15 October 2013: Waiting for Kaner

When Patrick Kane goes to Santorini, he never has to wait to be seated.
Life is good when you're a hockey god.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

12 October 2013: Nice Tuckpointing, Boring Windows

The latest update on the gut rehab at Farwell and Sheridan. 
The brickwork looks beautiful, but i was a little disappointed to see 
that they chose to install such plain, characterless windows. 
Friday afternoon

Saturday night

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

8 October 2013: And Now the Bad News....

Back in June, i reported on the effort to save the Shambala Meditation Center building at 7331 N. Sheridan Rd., which was going to be torn down and replaced by a multi-level parking garage. Sadly, that effort was unsuccessful and the building is now being demolished. As much as i enjoy watching construction and demolition, i find this heartbreaking. I am appreciative of the effort and investment that Col. Jennifer Pritzker has made in Rogers Park--including the Mayne Stage, Cat's Cradle B&B, and Farcroft by the Lake apartments--but this is a real shame! Surely this building could have been given a little TLC and the parking garage could have been located elsewhere. 

Here's how the building looked in June:

And here's how it looks today:
 














8 October 2013: First the Good News...

Just a few days ago, i posted a picture showing the demolition of  1444 W. Farwell,
which was destroyed by fire in January. I'm happy to report that the work
of rebuilding the property has already begun!
 The beautiful adjoining home -- which was also damaged by the fire
and is currently undergoing extensive renovations -- has been looking
sadly incomplete without its other half, and i'm sure this corner
will be beautiful again when the building is complete.

Monday, October 7, 2013