Sunday, March 12, 2017

I returned to the scene...

...of the crime yesterday, that is, Sheridan Road in Uptown. I mentioned in my post on Thursday that I'd try to come back in the daytime and take some more, and better, pictures of the neighborhood.

I drove there after having breakfast with a couple of old friends at Baker's Square in Wilmette (where the corned beef hash, by the way, was excellent!), and walked south from Foster down to Irving Park. I turned right at Irving and worked my way back north on Kenmore and Broadway, and then Kenmore again, to where I parked my car on Winona. It's still March, of course, and at a little after noon the sunlight made it difficult to take pictures of anything on the west side of the street. I still took a bunch of shots, but rather than include all of them in one long exhaustive (and exhausting!) post I decided to break them into small bites.

The first place I mentioned on Thursday was the old Marmon Hupmobile Showroom at 4015 N. Sheridan, completed in 1920 by Paul Gerhardt (above two photos). According to my handy dandy AIA Guide to Chicago:

Things Egyptian were very popular in this era of archaeological marvels, which culminated in the opening of King Tut's Tomb in 1922. Gerhardt was so enamored of Egyptian motifs that he incorporated them into two entries for the Chicago Tribune Competition. 

The entry doesn't say what the other one was.

According to this the former car showroom was the sight of Nick's Uptown Bar as recently as 2011. Also:

Just learned that this location was once the Cairo Supper Club and was bombed by the mob on May 11, 1964.


According to this there is a similar building at 1494 W. Argyle, not far from where I was yesterday (I didn't take that or the next picture):

This Chicago Motor Car Company building was constructed around 1916 as the company's Fred Heyden branch. The building housed New Clark Auto Repair when these photos were taken in 2012. In 2016, it was housing Smashy Hand Car Wash.

Now I have to go back a third time. Oy!

After my walk I drove down to another Egyptian Revival building, the Reebie Storage warehouse at 2325 N. Clark, built by George S. Kingsley in 1923. According to its Wikipedia page:

It was named to the National Register of Historic Places on March 21, 1979, and was designated a Chicago Landmark on September 1, 1999.

William Reebie (1859-1921) founded the company in 1880. The Reebie brothers wanted a building in a distinctive style, and John Reebie had seen another Egyptian Revival storage building in Stockton, California (designed in 1918 by Glenn Allen for the Dawson-Mayflower Moving Company). John Reebie had also visited Egypt at some time before 1921 as well. 

The AIA Guide describes it this way:

“If Old King Tut were alive today, he’d store his goods the Reebie way!” Thus did the enterprising Reebie Brothers capitalize on the Egyptomania occasioned by the opening of King Tut’s tomb in 1922. The well-preserved polychrome terra-cotta facade (missing only its cavetto cornice, similar in shape to those above the second-floor windows) is guarded by two statues of Ramses II, representing William C. and John C. Reebie. 

The hieroglyphics at the base say, “Forever I work for all of your regions in daylight and darkness” (left statue) and “I give protection to your furniture.” Much of the elaborate sculptural program, which extends to the interior foyer and office lobby, was devised by Northwestern Terra Cotta Co. sculptor Fritz Albert.

(I'll have to get a closer shot next time.)

The bad news is, I missed that third building up on Argyle. The good news is, I now have an idea for an "Egyptian-themed" Urban Hike with Mike. Combine those three locations with a Middle Eastern restaurant and -- voila! -- you've got yourself an interesting Wednesday evening.

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