Chicago Patterns: Neighborhood storytelling through photography

On Death Row in Lake View: Gothic-Styled Herdegen-Brieske Funeral Home


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At the intersection of Wellington and Southport, a 1920s Gothic-styled funeral home sits empty and faces an uncertain future. A few weeks ago it was released from the city’s Demolition Delay list, a status change that allows for demolition to proceed. Since 1985, this architecturally significant structure has been the Herdegen-Brieske Funeral Home. But business recently ceased operations and both the land and building are up for sale.

The funeral home was described by a real estate holding group as a “rarely available development site,” and it certainly is. It’s also one of the few remaining purpose-built Gothic funeral homes in the city.

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Roeser’s Bakery: A Sweet Slice of Chicago History

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Roeser's Bakery with the #72 bus going by. John Morris/Chicago Patterns

Roeser’s Bakery with the #72 bus going by. John Morris/Chicago Patterns

Roeser’s Bakery, a fourth-generation family business that started in 1911, sits near the corner of North and Kedzie in Humboldt Park. The oldest family-owned bakery in the city continues to thrive,  due in large part to its commitment to quality and customer service, the Roeser family says.

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The 100-Year-Old Bridges of Chicago’s Douglas Park

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Gabriel X. Michael/Chicago Patterns

Douglas Park is one of Chicago’s most scenic city parks in the heart of the west side of Chicago. Spread across 174 acres in the North Lawndale community area, it is located between West Roosevelt Road and West 19th Street to the north and south (respectively), and South California Avenue and South Albany Avenue to the east and west.

Established in 1869 as the southern park of the West Park System, along with Humboldt (formerly “North”) and Garfield (formerly “Central”) Parks, the park exhibits the design talents of multiple renowned architects including William LeBaron Jenney, Oscar F. Dubuis, and Jens Jensen, along with locally-notable designers Michaelsen & Rognstad.

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Mr. Downing and the Bright Red Door

4500 Vincennes

John Morris/Chicago Patterns

On the 4500 block of Vincennes in Bronzeville are two sets of twin greystones–one pair is more Classically styled and the other is more Romanesque. These homes are part of an enclave of city firefighters and police officers, and many that live in the neighborhood have been here for generations.

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