Sunday, February 15, 2009

Clark and Pratt, southwest corner

So McDonald's has started to replace their old 1980s mansard-style outlets with something a little more sensitive to the street Sure, they'll still surrounded by parking lots and driveways, but they're faced with brick, they're typically built with one wall right on the street, they have decent storefronts, and the interiors are better designed and more comfortable. Say what you will about McDonald's, but I'm impressed that they periodically reinvent themselves.

We took Felix to the Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday. If we hadn't felt a crazy need to see everything we would have just stared at the amazing model train exhibit for hours. They basically created the Loop, complete with working CTA trains. Wow.

On Sunday we took Felix to get his hair cut. At the end of the haircut the woman said, "Oops, I nicked his ear. Free haircut." Sure enough, there was a tiny cut on the top of his ear which Felix barely noticed. We were left conferring on what to do. Should we just leave? Should we give a tip anyway, since we already saved $20? Should you tip someone who just cut you son's ear? We grabbed a lollipop and shuffled out awkwardly.

1 comment:

  1. This property had a variety of unusual predecessors.
    At the south end was an old truss roofed garage that at one time in the 1940s or 50s was the VJ Chinchilla Ranch.
    Then it went back to being a repair garage.
    The north part was a series of storefronts that held the Guernsey-Dell Co. which made chocolate for bakeries & other companies.
    They used to wash out their huge mixing tubs on the sidewalk. They moved to the SW Side when the phone company bought the entire property for a new central office to replace the one at Pratt & Ashland. AT&T put in a tunnel under Pratt, which I assume is still there to transfer all the cables.
    But when the electronic switching systems came in, they were able to put them into the old building, so they didn't need this property. Look at the alley on the east side of the central office & you'll see it's covered by sheet metal siding. That's covering up at least a dozen large diameter metal conduits that houses the cable for the ESS on the top floor.
    It lay unused for years until the phone company finally sold it to McDonald's & this is the second building of theirs on the site. The McDonald's used to be at Farwell & Clark, where the school parking now lot is.