Then and Now, Morse-Glenwood

1978--Morse Avenue @ Glenwood, view west

1978–Morse Avenue @ Glenwood Avenue, view west

2013--the same location

2013–the same location

Morse Avenue is the heart of Rogers Park.  The Ashkenaz Restaurant was already gone when the older picture was snapped, but the Jewel Food Store and many of the other businesses were still going strong.  CTA bus service was frequent, too.

Today the Morse Avenue strip has been spruced up, with trees, retro street lights, and bike lanes.  There are new buildings, and the neighborhood is definitely on the upswing.  Though the buses don’t run as often as they used to, the ‘L’ station has been renovated.

—30—

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14 Responses to “Then and Now, Morse-Glenwood”


  1. 1 Joe H. October 1, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Yes, the buses ran more often; in fact you can see bus bunching there! The ambiance, however is a bit different today. I’ve heard (I wasn’t in the neighborhood then) that Morse avenue was very upscale in the late fifties, early sixties.

  2. 2 Kyle L October 1, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Was the Ashkenaz Restaurant on Morse related to the Ashkenaz that was at Oak and Rush until earlier this year? I sure did love their big matzoh balls.

    In so many of your Then and Now photos there is a remarkable increase in the number of trees lining streets. Did the urban trees program get going under Daley 2.0 or before?

  3. 3 barkinesq October 1, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I have fond memories of Morse Avenue and especially Ashkenaz, probably one of the best Jewish delis in Chicago, if not the country. Their cabbage soup was the best I have ever tasted, and is the standard which I rate cabbage soups to this day. A sad day it was when they closed their doors.

    • 4 J.R. Schmidt October 3, 2013 at 8:13 am

      I moved into Rogers Park just after the fire. Too bad I didn’t arrive sooner–my business alone would have made it profitable for them to rebuild.
      –JRS

  4. 5 Garry October 1, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    It’s the same restaurant.
    The Jewel building is still there, but Jewel has a restrictive covenant & won’t let another grocery to be in there because they don’t want to be shown up after they closed their store.

  5. 6 brian October 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Great shot John. I moved to RP in 1984. That street has changed much. No more “Top Hat” dive lounge.
    Thing I miss most about t
    Morse is Mama’s Fish aka Taste of Fish

  6. 7 Johnny November 11, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Nice old picture of Morse. I worked at that Jewel while in high school at Sullivan. Smoked a lot of weed in the basement and stole a lot of beer on late Saturday shifts. Remember that was a different era, Disco demolition, stadium rock etc. There was a really good Greek fast food place with char broiled burgers and gyros east of the train station, which I doubt its still there. Anyhow thanks for the picture, brought back a lot of happy stupid high school memories.

  7. 10 Sandy Goldman January 16, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Read the “Morse Avenue Card Players ” by Sandy Goldman

  8. 11 jc pool July 26, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I was 19, working at the Clark St. McDonald’s and living at the Morse Ave Apt Hotel. The night of January 18, 1978, I came home from work and a few minutes later I saw smoke coming from the vent in my kitchenette. My unit was at the back of the building on the second floor. Unsure what was happening, I walked to the front desk and told the clerk. I tried to return to my room to get as much of my belongings as possible before everyone was evacuated. A fireman stopped me in the hall and forced me downstairs and outside. I wish I had thrown my clothes and photos into my bedspread and left the minute I saw the smoke. I lost everything except the clothes on my back. Baby pictures, photos of my grandparents, were all gone never able to be replaced. I remember standing outside, crying, no coat, no home. My boss at McDonald’s gave me 2 new uniforms and a coworker gave me shoes. My only clothes. I’ll never forget that fire or the kindness of my co-workers.

  9. 12 Nick February 5, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    My dad had a fruit store – Pete’s fruit stand – across from the Jewel store throughout the late 70’s and 80’s. I would take the train to from Lawrence Ave. to Morse and open the store while my dad was shopping at South Water Market. We would eat lunch with Mr. Sam Ashkenaz whose dell was couple of east of our store in the early 70’s. Kinda neat, the immigrant Greek fruit store owner and his son enjoying regular lunches with the Jewish deli owner talking about everything under the sun. A great neighborhood back then and a great time in Chicago as well.

  10. 13 don gruber April 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    I worked at the Askenaz restaurant in 1944. I was a soda jerk. Restaurant was always busy. BTW, i don’t remember any Jewel. Morse Ave was lined up with small shops from the El station west for several blocks. There was a small italian restaurant on the south side of Morse where I had my first pizza.


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