August 30, 2011

Edgewater Beach Hotel's Gray Goose Air Lines Service, 1928

The swanky Edgewater Beach Hotel once ran a flight service for its guests that would take you from the frozen north to the sunny south in just seven hours.

Text reads:

Direct to the Gulf Coast by Airplane
A Special Service for Edgewater Beach Hotel Guests

Rise from the Municipal Airport, Chicago, and after seven delightful hours, find yourself at the Gulfcoast.

On wings of luxurious comfort, speed your way Southward, from Winter's blustering blasts to balmy summer zephyrs.

Loll restfully against the handsomely appointed upholstery of your easy chair as you are wisped along with the speed of the wind.

At your will enjoy exhilarating freshness of the open window or the snug comfort of the closed one.

All the attendant comforts of travel are provided: heat, light, and lavatory.

Come as you would, dressed for street or ordinary travel.


Update: I did a little more poking around on the Internet, and found this old advertisement as well:

August 29, 2011

Accident at Magnolia and Ainslie, 1982

Based on the buildings in the background, I want to say that this is the building on the north side of the intersection. Anyone along there remember this happening? Currently on eBay here: item 280731352725.

Accident at Wilson L, 1956

Currently on eBay there is a seller with images from an accident at the Wilson L station in 1956. Here is one of them (item 190571078950); in the background you can see the Yankee Grill, which I think was the on 1100 block of Wilson. Check out eBay to see the rest of this seller's items.

Mickey's Miracle Cabaret, Argyle St., Uptown Chicago 1956

Note the advertisement for "Ossie Osborne" and his trio! This image ran in a Chicago paper following a triple murder at 1114 Argyle. We featured an earlier photo of the same tavern from 1946, which ran after a shootout. (See that one here: Mickey's)

Rogers Park Beach, 1957

From the seller's caption: Clad in raincoat, Greg Adler went down to Rogers Park Beach hoping for a break in weather. (Photo By Ralph Walter) The far north Rogers Park neighborhood contains a series of small "street-end" beaches that unlike most Chicago beaches are often separated by private property and therefore, unconnected to each other by public parkland. This accounts for the seemingly large number of beaches in this one neighborhood.

Image available on eBay: item 250879888129

August 25, 2011

Wilson Avenue, 1970

Wilson Avenue, looking west. The Bank of Chicago in the image is the TCF Bank Building (formerly the Wilson Theatre). Image available on eBay: item 160639430714

Lawrence and Broadway, 1955

We posted a similar picture a while back, but it was washed out. Here is an image that is sharp and crisp.

Currently available on eBay: item 150650696724

Concertgoers Waiting to Get into the Aragon Ballroom, 1984

Image currently available on eBay here: item 260834373775

4880 N Marine, 1952

Image currently on eBay: 290602722367

499 Wilson Chicago, 1907

Currently on eBay: item 400238269909.

August 24, 2011

Edgewater Beach Hotel Student Dorm

Before it was finally torn down, the Edgewater Beach Hotel served briefly as a student dorm for Loyola University.

Image currently available on eBay: item 270806123289.

Winthrop, Just North of Argyle, 1980s

Another great image of Uptown from Jonie Snake's photo stream. Shared with flickr's blog this feature.

Kenmore and Leland, 1980s

pre-condo by Jonie Snake
pre-condo, a photo by Jonie Snake on Flickr.

Used with permission of flickr's "Share on Blogger" feature. Check out Jonie Snake's photo stream for more excellent photos of Uptown in the eighties.


View Larger Map

Argyle Liquors 1980s

Argyle Liquors 1980s by Jonie Snake
Argyle Liquors 1980s, a photo by Jonie Snake on Flickr.

Shared via flickr's "Share on Blogger" feature.

I always felt the lame upgrade of this buildings was a crime. I talked to the demo crew when they took off the terracotta, and was told there was nothing wrong with it structurally. I was able to rescue a few pieces and have them sitting in my yard.

Follow the link back to flickr to see more of Jonie Snake's work.

August 21, 2011

Café Brauer Hot Dogs vs Chicago hot dogs

Bill Matteson
Uptown Chicago History Correspondent

Cafe Brauer hot dogs were among the finest hot dogs in Chicagoland
Although they were not the "Chicago Hot Dog" that we know today

In Uptown the hot dog was king, you could get a great hot dog almost anywhere any push cart stand that sold hot dogs was great.
the best was at Lawrence and Marine Drive, then at Clarendon and Wilson, One of my Favorite places was Goldblatts Basement they had a unique "Bun Puffer" that had needle like valves that shot a blast of steam through the bun, they used a fat hot dog and their relish was greener that anyone else's

Cafe Brauer Served hot dogs At The Lincoln Park zoo and every concession stand in the Park,
all the beaches and I think even Wrigley Field, but I'm not sure about that.
Their Hot dogs were great and the only condiment you could get with it was some kind of brown mustard
they cost a whole dime more and they were worth it

I will go to a hot dog stand outside the area that advertises Chicago Hot dogs
they haven't a clue as what a chicago hot dog is, But then neither do most of the patrons,
At one place advertising a Maxwell polish, I asked the owner if he knew where Maxwell St is. ?
he told me it was just the name of the sandwich and not a place.
The true Chicago Dog, I believe can only be had in Chicago

Bill "I miss the good old days" Matteson

August 18, 2011

Day Labor Worker on Wilson Ave., Chicago, 1971

Currently available on eBay (item 150649693523) is this image of a man on Wilson, which originally ran in the Times in 1971.

Excerpt from the article:

There were long scratches on his neck and face. The upper lid of his right eye was swollen and bluish. He hadn't shaved for at least two days. Harold Pixler was sitting in the Wilson Ave. apartment house doorway staring into the street. His white shirt was black around the collar and cuffs. There was a rip in the left knee of his black pants. His shoes were falling apart. He was not wearing socks.

On the other side of the street, just west of the firehouse, three men were standing outside a tavern passing a wine bottle back and forth. None of them was dressed any better than Harold Pixler. A few doors down the street, lounging in front of a day-labor center, stood a black man with crutches and a cast on his left leg and a white man with his left arm heavily bandaged.

This is Uptown. When you come right down to it, this is what Uptown is all about for so many of the Appalachian whites, Indians, and Puerto Ricans who are trapped here. Their only hope for jobs is in the day labor pools that provide barely enough in salary to pay for room and board. The work is hard and uninteresting. But leisure time in the bars along Wilson Ave. isn't any more interesting.

They are all in a trap. They don't have the slightest chance of getting out, and you can tell by looking into their eyes that they know it...

Chicago Southern Center, Uptown Chicago

Currently on eBay.

Description reads: Sandy Stout, Uptown girl, helps sort shoes donated to the Chicago Southern Center. The Center also has a small emergency pantry for its regular patrons. Photo measures 8.75 x 10.5 inches. Photo is dated 01-09-1970

August 16, 2011

Uptown Good Housekeeping Code

This was sent in by a reader. It was found in a basement workroom in a home in the Lakewood Balmoral Historic District (whose boundaries are roughly Broadway, Foster, Bryn Mawr, and Glenwood). It doesn't have a date, but it looks like it's been around for a while. Click on image for full-size view.

Bank of Chicago, Wilson Ave., Date Unknown

Currently on eBay: item 160635893091

August 10, 2011

Wilson Ave. with Deluxe Theatre, Uptown, 1971

A snippet of the old Deluxe Theatre, once located at 1141 Wilson, just west of Broadway, can be seen in this image from 1971. The original is currently on eBay: item 160635442932.


Bill Matteson
Uptown Chicago History Correspondent

I had a newspaper route almost all my life in Uptown
my route was horseshoe shaped starting at Lawrence and Kenmore Ave., South to where Winthrop Ave cuts into
Kenmore, then back north on Winthrop to Lawrence. this was for the Herald American
Then at Sheridan Rd and Leland Ave to Hazel and Back to Sheridan. this was for the Sun Times

We got a penny a paper, per day and a nickel for the Sunday paper, the raw deal we carriers got was in the pay.
We would have to go out in the evening to collect. If no one was home, we had to go back, Later in the evenings, sometimes three or four times.
We would turn in our collection money to the route manager, if we hadn't made all collections , too bad, he would pay us in receipts, forcing us to go back and collect because at that time, it became our money.
If the customer never paid, we were out the money.

One of my customers owned a 6 (maybe 4) flat on Leland Ave right where Hazel T's into it on the north, it was always a well kept building with a beautiful flower bed on both sides of the walk way, leading up to the house.

It was Ma Bakers, a House of Ill Repute. I made my collections on the first floor door on the right, it was the high light of my day, half naked women, what more could a kid ask for?
also at the same time, a squad car from Town Hall , made theirs, they would go in to another room but I was always stopped at the door .I was always given .$1.00 and I got to keep the change as a tip.
I used to wonder what took those Cops so long to collect?

When I was about 14, I was playing the pin ball machines at the Wilson Ave EL Station It was
Summer time, one evening about 7 or 8 PM As I left the station , a group of Sailor's , just off the Skokie Swift train that came in from Great Lakes. A sailor asked if I knew where they could find some girls, I said yes I would walk them over to a place, for a small fee, so I charged them .50 each. I walked them over to Ma Bakers made a $1.50.
I made them wait outside while I walked up and rang the bell, one of the ladies who knew me, answered the door.
I explained the situation to her and she motioned the Sailors in. The following Wednesday when I made my collection,
I was given a two dollar tip and the lady said if I ran into anymore sailors to bring them on by. and she would give me a few bucks for my effort , She also made sure that I understood that the Sailors should be just off the train and not drunk.
So faithfully every weekend night about 6:PM I went to work, I was always home around 9 PM.
That summer from firework sales , news paper route and this part time job I bought myself a new bicycle, a 3 speed Hercules English racer. BBgun Daisey Red Ryder and My mom was now very worried about me, Dad wasn't. as long as I would slip him $10
Bill "the opportunist" Matteson

August 9, 2011

Edgewater Beach Apartments Advertising Postcard

An excellent view of the Edgewater Beach Apartments, taken from the tower of the Edgewater Beach Hotel, with a peek at Sheridan Rd. Look how close the water used to come to the apartments. Now, it's a bit of a hike to the lakefront.

JOIN Office, Wilson and Sheridan, 1966

The exterior of the Jobs or Income Now (JOIN) office, 1966.

Image now available on eBay: item 290595622819.

August 7, 2011

Apartments on Lafayette (Now Gunnison) and the Lake, 1920s

Edgewater Casino Club, 5650 N. Winthrop, Chicago

It looks like there is now a four-plus-one on the site of the old Casino Club. This image is from 1906, in the Inland Architect and News Record.

Another image we have posted identifies it as the Edgewater Country Club

700 W. Bittersweet Place, Buena Park, Chicago

Some of the old apartment buildings along Bittersweet look like they've been there forever; it's hard to believe the gorgeous mansions that used to exist before those. This is the William Le Baron Jenney residence, built in the 1890s. This image is from 1895 and appeared in the Inland Architect and News Record.

The view today:

View Larger Map

1025 – 1031 W. Lawrence, Uptown, Chicago, c. 1906

Ilfracombe Apartments
1025-1031 W. Lawrence

A very early view of the SE Corner of Lawrence and Kenmore, where Dib now stands. (Also see Lawrence and Kenmore, 1959 for a later view.)

From Inland Architect and News Record, 1906.

August 6, 2011

Edgewater Stables (1100 W. Catalpa), circa 1890s

Ryerson & Burnham Archives
Art Institute

Wilson Avenue Theatre

Uptown Station (now Wilson El Station)

818 W. Junior Terrace

Albert Hester Residence
818 W. Junior Terrace
circa 1897
Source: Inland Architect and News Record

Greenlee Residence, Sheridan at Windsor, Buena Park

Ralph Greenlee Residence, circa 1897
Sheridan at Windsor, Buena Park, Chicago
from the Inland Architect and News Record

4801-4807 N. Winthrop (at Lawrence) Chicago

Fleur de Lis Apartments
4801-4807 N. Winthrop
Built in 1905
From Inland Architect and News Record

4040 N. Clarendon Chicago

Apartments at 4040 N. Clarendon
From Inland Architect and News Record, 1905

731-741 W. Buena Ave., Buena Park, Chicago

William J. Bryson Residence
731-741 W. Buena Ave. (originally 169-173 Buena Ave)

From the Inland Architect and News Record, 1906

940 W. Winona, Chicago (circa 1925)

The scene today:

View Larger Map

4450 Sheridan Rd. Chicago

4450 Sheridan Rd.
From "The Inland Architect and News Record", 1902.

Uptown Chicago Condo

Hello, Uptown history fans! In a bit of shameless self-promotion, I'm posting about my Uptown condo, which will be available to rent September 1. It's located on Winthrop at Argyle, steps from the Argyle El stop. If you are interested, visit Uptown Chicago Condo.

Uptown Theatre, Broadway at Lawrence, 1960

The Uptown Theatre, 1960. Photo from Cinema Treasures and shared through Creative Commons license.

August 4, 2011


Bill Matteson
Uptown Chicago History Correspondent

Some where around 1947/48 The Uptown Chicago Boys Club was started.
It Was on Broadway, right where Clifton Ave. junctions in just south of Lawrence Ave. . It was on the east side of the street in the basement right next to Klaenners Undertakers and Funeral Parlor, (I am sure I have spelled this wrong)

The Boys Club was a welcome sight and all boys in the area flocked to join. the first 500 members would get their name on a plaque, My friend Lionel did, I was number 522.
The Club itself had a good size gym for basket ball (1/2 court) tumbling, boxing, judo and wrestling every manly art a kid could think of.
Now Boxing was my game, I wasn't big, nor was I strong, but I was fast and I had a skill that most kids didn't have.
My Dad who was in WWI, was an amateur boxer from Kansas, My grandfather was a pro Lightweight, who at one time fought Sammy Mandella a World Lightweight Champion
so between Granddad and Dad I was going to be the next champ.
Now starting in third grade my Dad would send me to Johnny Coulons Gym on the south side
I remember taking three street cars and it took over an hour to get there from Uptown

Today I wouldn't think of sending a 9 year old kid that far by himself.
For those who don't know, Johnny Coulon was a bantom weight champion.
I met him a few times, but mainly I worked with his trainers.

I was at the Boy's Club one day and they just put up a punching bag. low enough for me to strike without standing on a crate, like I had to at Coulons gym.
I had that bag singing, when an instructor saw me and the next thing I knew, he had me in a city wide boxing tournament. I won that one and a few other ones until one day I fought this Philippino kid, who was a little smaller than me.. I had no experience boxing any one smaller than me so I figured an easy win.
Well in about 45 second he just beat the living Bejuesus out of me. about that time a Cuban Boxer named Kid Gavailan, who had a "bolo punch" which was an overhand punch. no jab, no hook, and no uppercut The kid hit me overhand I figured , I'll get you on the next one, he threw it again, I blocked it and he popped me with his other hand, The Ref. stopped the fight because I was bleeding from the nose. I had no defense for an overhand punch.

The gloves we used were 16 ounces and pillow fighting was more dangerous, but there i was, bleeding.

That was It I was through with boxing.
I might add that a lot of bouts I won. I was boxing in a younger age bracket because I looked so young.

The Club had one or Two pool tables and I had found a new sport, that, plus Photography.
My friend Lionel was a good photographer, mainly because he had a camera.
The Boys Club set up a darkroom with equipment and an instructor came in every so often ,
Then either Lionel or I became the instructors and would show everyone how to develop film and prints .

I don't know when I drifted away from the Boy's club or why maybe they closed it down. maybe I got older , maybe I found Girls.

I think it was girls
Bill "The Boxer" Matteson

August 2, 2011

Buena House, Buena Park, Uptown Chicago

Excerpt from a bio at the Newbury Library site:

James B. Waller was born in Frankfort, Kentucky in 1817, to William S. Waller and Catherine Breckinridge Waller. He attended Center College in Danville, Kentucky, and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and received a law degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky in 1838. He practiced law in Kentucky for the next 20 years, but also began investing in real estate after an 1849 visit to Chicago. Around 1860, Waller relocated permanently to Chicago and established a real estate business with his brothers William, Edward, and Henry.

James built a large home for his family on the north side of Chicago known as Buena House, and developed the surrounding area into the Buena Park neighborhood. After retiring from business in 1867, James B. Waller turned his attention to managing the large estate of his brother-in-law, Robert S. C. Aitchison Alexander, of which he was appointed administrator. James B. Waller married fellow Kentuckian Lucy Alexander in 1847, and the couple had 11 children: Mary Eliza (Minnie) Waller Osborne, Robert Alexander Waller, Catherine Breckinridge Waller Peet, Lucy Alexander Waller Young, James Breckinridge Waller, Susanna Lees Waller, Isabel Waller Knott, Adele Waller Rogers, Virginia Waller, and James Alexander Waller. Robert Alexander Waller attended Washington & Lee College, and later became a successful and respected Chicago businessman. The Wallers entertained often at Buena House, and the residence was known among Chicago's upper class for fine hospitality and lavish social events. James B. Waller died at his home in Chicago in 1887; Lucy Alexander Waller died in Chicago in 1902.


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