Monday, May 24, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
This is part of a large industrial area directly south of Rosehill Cemetery. I've driven past many times, but there's no better place than the train to view the site. I would love to explore this on foot, but sadly I've left my trespassing days behind me. Nowadays in order to gain access I would have to present myself as a serious scholar of industrial architecture. Might be worth a try.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Years ago I watched a documentary called Divided Highways (1997), which I recommend for a quick overview of the system. One of the interviews was a transportation planner whose job was to locate the expressways through and around cities. Planners were trained to find the least expensive land, so no surprise that they often bisected the poorest, least connected neighborhoods. In Chicago the highways often ended up reinforcing segregation lines. Nothing like an 8 lane highway to discourage a casual stroll.
Speaking of planning, I found a study of New Orleans which considered a raised highway along the waterfront, effectively blocking off Jackson Square. The best part was an analysis of how much scenic New Orleans the drivers would be able to enjoy as they whiz past.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
S &C Electric is hard to miss. Basically, they own nearly all the land from Ridge east to the Metra tracks. Although they don't use the train anymore (as far as I can tell) there's still a spur line leading down into their loading areas.
S & C was formed as Schweitzer and Conrad, Inc in 1911, building on their invention of a safety fuse that could prevent overload of electrical utilities. In 1947 they bought 6 acres along Ridge for new facilties. By 1971 they had expanded to fill nearly 50 acres. In 2002 they enlarged their Rogers Park plant along Pratt Avenue. You can follow their history in more detail on their website.
I'm fascinated by how much history these companies include on their sites. I need to get some good recommendations for books about industrial history and architecture.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
The 2-story section with the stepped gable roof and projecting bay is from 1901, while the 1-story extension is dated by the assessor as 1928. To the left you can just glimpse the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through, which also has frontage on Addison. To the right is a car repair shop. In the background you can glimpse St. Andrew's Church.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Just saw the Horween Leather Co. website. I'm impressed that Chicago businesses care so much about their history. This is worth visiting if only for the photos of their complex from the 40s. It also says that they're the only tannery left on the Chicago River. Can that be true?