George Carlin once pointed out, all destinations are final.) I thought it was fitting, in keeping with our baseball theme, that we passed what was once the home of the Wrigley family that had been physically moved from Ashland Avenue to Polk. (I wouldn't believe this if I hadn't heard it straight from the owner, who strikes me as a straight-shooter.)
St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church on the northeast corner of Polk and Ashland. The Greek Revival structure was originally a synagogue, Temple Anshe Sholom, completed in 1910 by Alexander Levy. When the congregation moved west to Lawndale in 1927, a dome and crucifixes were added transforming it into a Greek Orthodox Church. Despite changes in the surrounding neighborhood over the years and at least two fires (I'm pretty sure that's the second-generation dome), the church appears to be thriving today.
West Side Park, which opened in 1893.
The park, originally holding only about 12,500 fans, was the scene of back-to-back titles for the National League club in 1907 and 1908. Little did anyone know that it would be another 108 years before the Cubs would win another championship!
By the early 1910s the wooden ballpark was showing its age, in large part due to neglect by Charles Murphy, the unpopular owner. The dilapidated park found itself competing unsuccessfully with new steel-and-concrete venues such as Comiskey Park on the South Side and Weeghman Park on the North Side. In 1916, Charles Weeghman, the owner of the Chicago Whales of the now-defunct Federal League, bought a substantial interest in the Cubs and moved them to what later became known as Wrigley Field.
Murphy, for his part, tore down West Side Park in 1920 and sold the property to the University of Illinois.
On a personal note, both of my grandfathers, who were originally from the West Side, were Cub fans. My maternal grandfather, as far as I know, never wavered in his loyalty to the National Leaguers while my father's father abandoned the North Siders for the White Sox after owner William Wrigley Jr. fired Joe McCarthy -- a perfectly good Irish Catholic manager -- in 1930. Convinced Wrigley was a "Kluxer" (and not without some justification, actually), my grandfather shifted his allegiance to the South Side ball club of his fellow countryman, Charles Commiskey.
Tri-Taylor when we crossed over Ogden Avenue just beyond Damen. The roughly triangular-shaped neighborhood sits within the community area of the Near West Side, and is bordered by Congress Parkway to the North, Ogden to the East, Roosevelt Road on the south and railroad tracks on the west.
Ferrara Bakery, at 2210 W Taylor, was founded in 1908 and is a fixture of this Italian neighborhood. Along with his two brothers-in-law, Salvatore Ferrara also founded the Ferrara Pan Candy Company, which manufactures such favorites as Lemonheads and Atomic Fireballs. Yum!