Viewing all posts from the East Garfield Park neighborhood

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

John Morris 6 comments

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

John Morris 3 comments

John Morris/Chicago Patterns

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 »

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

Gabriel X. Michael 5 comments

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.

Continue reading »

Tribute: 124 North Sacramento Boulevard

Gabriel X. Michael 2 comments
124 North Sacramento Boulevard. January 4, 2014.

124 North Sacramento Boulevard. January 4, 2014.

For years, possibly decades, the two-story brick flat at 124 North Sacramento Boulevard, just south of once-bustling Lake Street, has stood isolated and surrounded by vacancy. Bordered by an alley to the south and an overgrown fenced lot to the north and existing here since approximately 1889, it provides a glimpse into the former life of this block, neighborhood, and the greater West Side of Chicago.

Continue reading »