Little Giant of Groveland Park

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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.

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Demolition Imminent for Former Standard Brewery Tied House (Updated)

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SB_Detail_1

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 »

One Year Later: Controversial Demolition of A 19th-Century Barn in Avondale

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Site of 2934 North Wisner Avenue barn, circa 1880s, before and after demolition.

Site of 2934 North Wisner Avenue barn, circa 1880s, before (December 2012) and after (June 2014) demolition.

A former Gothic style barn or stable at 2934 North Wisner Avenue was arguably one of the oldest structures standing in the Avondale & Logan Square community areas, and was built when the area near Milwaukee and Kimball Avenues was farmland (adjacent to the famed Kimbell Farm founded in 1836), with a few residential structures.

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Historic Chicago Subdivision in Decay: Samuel Eberly Gross Rowhouses of Fifth Avenue

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2900 block of West Monroe Street, viewing northwest from an alley connecting Fifth Avenue and Monroe Street, April 2015. (Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns)

When renowned Chicago real estate developer Samuel Eberly Gross purchased swaths of land near present-day Fifth Avenue and Sacramento Boulevard, the area was not much of a neighborhood, but the undeveloped outskirts of western Chicago—very rural and surrounded by farms.

With the assistance of architect Lars Gustav Hallberg in 1887, he erected a series of upscale Queen Anne-style rowhouses to serve a growing, fashionable professional population working downtown; Chicago’s central business district was 3 miles to the east down Madison Street, and the recently established Garfield (then “Central”) Park was 4 blocks to the west at Homan Avenue (3400 West) for city residents’ enjoyment.

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