October 13, 2010
Buena Park Hotel, 4139 Broadway, Chicago
"Imagine a building with regular, run of the mill business storefronts. One of these storefronts has a hidden, huge disguised back room created for party festivities featuring 'a marble-floored ballroom, terra cotta moldings, a four-foot marble clock placed over the bar area and even ornate drinking fountains mounted into the walls.' Needless to say, many a good time was experienced here, through dancing, drinking and by partying hardy..."
When the hotel had a hidden speakeasy, you could escape police raids through ten different doors. In an interview with the Tribune, Larry Bryan, of National Pastime Theatre (which now resides at this address), says, "You could escape into three different storefronts, into the alley, down into the basement and then up the steps into an apartment building. And from the balcony, which is now our control booth, you could quietly ease into a hallway and head toward an elevator in the same building as if you'd never been there."
Read more about the hotel, built in 1929, here: