Uncertain Future for a Vacant Gothic Mansion Built for Co-founder of Schwinn Bicycle Company [UPDATED]

3329 W. Washington

3329 W. Washington. John Morris/Chicago Patterns


UPDATE 11/18/2015

After facing an almost certain demolition for the past several months, the Arnold-Crowe House has been sold to owners who are planning to rehab and restore the long vacant house. The previous owner, Peter Creig Toalson, expressed a strong desire to put the home in good hands when his own restoration efforts ran into difficulty.

Lisa DiChiera, of Landmarks Illinois, and Matt Cole, of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, are assisting the new owners in identifying tools and resources to mend the historically notable structure. The house is on the 2015 Landmarks Illinois Most Endangered Places List.

We’ll continue to update this article with the latest developments.

One of Chicago’s most distinctive houses resides in East Garfield Park. Possessing elements of Gothic and Moorish Revival and a uniquely shaped tower, it is unlike any other house in the city.

Beyond architectural details, the house is special because two noteworthy Chicago residents had once lived there: the co-founder of Schwinn Bicycle Company and, later, a State’s Attorney and ally of infamous Chicago mayor Bill Thompson.

Continue reading »

The Portrait Artist and the Egyptian Lacquer Company


On a quiet street lined with utilitarian industrial buildings is an interesting part of the 1920s wave of Egyptomania that swept across the world after the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Today, this architectural artifact is a studio for a portrait artist with no desire for publicity.

Continue reading »

Little Giant of Groveland Park

Andi Marie/Chicago Patterns

Andi Marie/Chicago Patterns

On a recent trip to Ottawa, IL, I spent some time in the space where Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas first debated. When I looked at statue of Stephen Douglas, my thoughts instantly went to the Chicago’s South Side.

I imagined the past with trees, farmland, cottages, and Camp Douglas, the prisoner of war camp, to present day Lake Meadows, Groveland Park, and Bronzeville.

Continue reading »

Demolition Imminent for Former Standard Brewery Tied House (Updated)


Detail view of the Standard Brewery logo masonry ornament detail and keystones. Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns

UPDATE 07/20/2015: 

One month since my last update, I can now report that the demolition of the former Standard Brewery tied house at 3801 West Grand Avenue has been completed. It began early on Monday, July 13th, continued through that day and the next, and the building was completely wrecked & removed by sunset on Tuesday, July 14th. I visited the site several times over that 48 hour period of demolition, and some photos made during those visits are seen below. Continue reading »