“Hidden Chicago Landmarks”

This is not a quiz, so there’s no need to send in any answers.  Rather, this is a selection of photos from my new book Hidden Chicago Landmarks.

These are the places that aren’t on the usual tour.  You might recognize some of them.  Now you can learn the fascinating history behind them.

The book has 60 stories.  Besides 42 current landmarks, there are 10 lost landmarks that are now gone.  The final section visits 8 interesting neighborhoods that most people simply drive by.

Hidden Chicago Landmarks is now available on Amazon.  Buy several and stock up!  Or wait until it comes to your library.  But whatever you do, I hope you have as much fun reading the book as I did writing it.

Here is the Amazon link—

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=hidden+chicago+landmarks&crid=2NXQ3G7FE5VVH&sprefix=hidden+chicag%2Caps%2C163&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_13

 

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Then and Now, Madison-LaSalle

1918–Madison Street @ LaSalle Street, view east

2019–the same location

Another old photo of downtown Chicago.  Once again, vintage autos, at least one horse-drawn wagon, streetcars, solid-looking commercial buildings.  Prominently displayed, a Coca-Cola advertising sign.

A century later.  Newer cars, no horses, a dedicated travel lane for CTA buses, taller buildings (including the 1953 St. Peter’s Catholic Church).  No Coca-Cola sign, but you can probably find a place that sells it nearby.

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Midwest Athletic Club

The West Garfield Park neighborhood was enjoying boom times in the 1920s.  A group of local businessmen organized the Midwest Athletic Club, and in 1926 commissioned a new headquarters building.  The site chosen was the northwest corner of Madison Street and Hamlin Boulevard, facing the park itself.

The firm of Michaelsen & Rognstad constructed a fourteen-story building in the ornate Spanish Baroque Revival style.  The completed facility featured two ballrooms, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a gym with a running track, and overnight guest rooms.  Club members proudly boasted of having the tallest building between the Loop and Des Moines, Iowa.

Then the stock market crashed.  By 1930 the club was bankrupt, and the building was converted into a hotel.  Then it was an apartment house.  By the time I took the photo in 1976, the onetime Midwest Athletic Club building seemed ripe for demolition.

If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you might remember my stories and pictures on the Graemere and Southmoor.  Those fine old residential hotels are gone.  Happily, Michaelsen & Rognstad’s most noted building is still there on the corner of Madison and Hamlin, now called the Midwest Apartments.

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Chicago Trivia Quiz #13–Answers

7-4--fireworks.jpg

1. Which of these things made its debut at the World’s Columbian Exposition?

(C) Ferris wheel

2. The Century of Progress Exposition marked the 100th anniversary of  __________.

(A) the founding of Chicago

3. Which Chicago restaurant celebrated the end of Prohibition by obtaining Liquor License #1?

(D) Berghoff

4. To celebrate the White Sox pennant-clinching in 1959, __________.

(B) the air raid sirens were sounded

5. Where did President-elect Barack Obama deliver his victory speech on Election Night 2008?

(C) Grant Park

Chicago Trivia Quiz #13

7-4--fireworks.jpg

As we celebrate America’s birthday, a quiz on some notable Chicago celebrations—

1. Which of these things made its debut at the World’s Columbian Exposition?

(A) bicycle

(B) roller coaster

(C) Ferris wheel

(D) Chicago-style pizza

2. The Century of Progress Exposition marked the 100th anniversary of  __________.

(A) the founding of Chicago

(B) the founding of the United States

(C) Illinois statehood

(D) the Great Chicago Fire

3. Which Chicago restaurant celebrated the end of Prohibition by obtaining Liquor License #1?

(A) Billy Goat

(B) McCuddy’s

(C) Little Jack’s

(D) Berghoff

4. To celebrate the White Sox pennant-clinching in 1959, __________.

(A) taverns were allowed to stay open all night

(B) the air raid sirens were sounded

(C) public schools were given a vacation during World Series week

(D) CTA gave free rides to anyone wearing a Sox cap

5. Where did President-elect Barack Obama deliver his victory speech on Election Night 2008?

(A) State and Madison

(B) Daley Center Plaza

(C) Grant Park

(D) in front of his home in Kenwood

ANSWERS POSTED AT 5 P.M.

Then and Now, Stony Island-88th

1946--Stony Island Avenue @ 88th Street, view north

1946–Stony Island Avenue @ 88th Street, view north

2017--the same location

2019–the same location

South of 69th Street, the most notable feature of Stony Island Avenue is the large median parkway.  The plan was to develop a landscaped boulevard linking Jackson Park with a recreational area around Lake Calumet.  Instead, a streetcar line was installed on the median strip, and Stony Island developed a ribbon commercial strip.  Yet in 1946, most of the frontage near 88th Street was still vacant.

Streetcars last ran on the Stony Island in the early 1950s.  Still, it took the city a few more decades to get around to landscaping the median.  Today the trees there are grown, and buildings line both sides of Stony Island.

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Then and Now, Clark-Morse

1957–Clark Street @ Morse Avenue, view north

2019–the same location

“A small commercial district sprang up just east of the train station, at Clark and Lunt.”  That’s a sentence from the Drive-By Neighborhoods section of my new book, Hidden Chicago Landmarks.  Our 1957 photo is from a block south of that intersection.  Most of the buildings date from the early 20th Century.  Though a bus is visible down Clark Street, the streetcar tracks and wires have not yet been removed.

Today the same buildings line the east side of Clark Street.  The most notable change is the renovation of the bank building on the northeast corner of Clark-Morse.  The First Commercial Bank is now part of the Byline Bank group.

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