No Rumble in the Bronx

I’ve passed by the “historic Bronx building” many times on my way through Skokie, and I’ve always meant to stop and take a few shots. Looks like a 20s era building. Not sure what makes it historic. I haven’t found much more info about it online, save from the company that was apparently hired to rehab it—and they seem to be incurious creatures. Snazzy entryways! Anyway, enjoy:

The House That Richard “Built”

Made an interesting trip today to Richard Nickel’s house. With the thaw I felt an itch to search for interesting buildings. Then I remembered that I had yet to see Nickel’s home—though he never actually lived here, having died not so long after buying it. I think it was on the endangered buildings list, but it looked to me like someone was fixing it up. The back gate was open, and I was severely tempted to go round back to see where he stored all that ornamentation he liberated from fallen Sullivans, et al. I chickened out. Anyway, it seemed like a nice way to intiate what I imagine will be a fruitful year of visiting beautiful buildings. I hope to see a lot of midwestern Prairie School architecture, and get a few more Sullivan banks under my belt, hopefully with Nate in tow. He’s been asking to see “beautiful buildings” again, God love him.

A Lunchtime Stroll, October 11, 2010

While I have an abiding interest in Chicago’s architecture, it dawned on me that I had yet to enter a number of my favorite buildings. So, I’m undertaking what I’ve decided to call the Lobby Project. I’ll see how far I can get into certain buildings—odds are I won’t make it past the lobby. And that’s fine. Some of them are bee-yoo-tee-ful. Take, for example, the Art Deco Carbide and Carbon building. Look at that damn mailbox! The guard at the Jewelers Building not only wouldn’t let me past the lobby area, he got up from his little chair and told me I couldn’t take any pictures. Which seemed perfectly idiotic. Maybe it’s an ambassadorship, or maybe someone owns the rights to the lovely golden interior ornamentation. Still, ridiculous. Maybe I’ll go in there over the next few months and take a picture here and a picture there.

Otherwise, plenty of shots of 1880s–1920s era buildings. They kind of get lost in the glass and steel canyons, but they’re there. They’re there.

These unseasonably bright fall days are washing out most of my photos. Fie.

The Rivoli

The Muslim Community Center at 4380 N. Elston Ave.—one of Chicago’s oldest mosques, I believe—has had problems in recent days. First-off, some brave, anonymous kook burned a Koran on their doorstep, while this week part of the their building’s facade crumbled off and injured a pedestrian. One good thing came of the latter event: the center is in the process of removing the old facade, revealing a rather fancy archway underneath (just barely; sorry the pictures couldn’t be better). Research revealed that the center was first occupied by the Muslims in 1969. Before that it was the Rivoli Theater.

(As a side note: What do you suppose happened on “Feather Night”?)

I haven’t turned up a photo of the original facade, but I’m looking. Until them, here are a few snapshots taken from across the street. I love when stuff like this turns up during construction.

The Rivoli went through a lot of changes. I’ve come across articles describing it as a theater, a dance hall, and a country and western joint where Ray Price played. How bizarre.

Also, it seems that Rex the Wonder Horse was a fucker.

A Lunchtime Stroll, September 30, 2010

Walked north on Michigan, stopped in at Jazz Record Mart, then walked much of my original route to work (Montgomery Ward) in 1990. Much has changed, but more than I thought hasn’t. Kept heading north and wandered past Bughouse Square. Searched for the Dil Pickle Club alley but wasn’t sure if I found it. turns out I did, but didn’t walk down far enough. Hooked back onto Michigan Avenue and met with an unseasonably warm sun. A good stretch of the legs.