Monday, May 31, 2010

Trip 31: The First Bike Ride of the Season

Date: May 29, 2010
Trip: 31
Landmarks Visited: 3
Landmarks To-Date: 58
Landmarks Remaining: 295

On Saturday I pulled my bicycle out of storage for the first time. I pumped up the tires and rode north to the Uptown neighborhood to see two landmarks, and then headed a little west to Lincoln Square for one more.

Sheridan Trust and Savings Bank Building

This is a relatively large bank building that is today a Bridgeview Bank branch. Probably its most interesting feature is that the building curves around the corner.

Uptown Theatre

This building is a classic old movie house that has been abandoned for as long as I have lived in Chicago. Fairly recently one of the major concert promoters (I think it was Jam Productions) bought it to use as a live performance space. But nothing has happened yet, and the recession means it could be a long time--if ever.
I lucked out that the boarded-up front was open for some sort of maintenance the day I was there. So I was able to snap a couple of photos of the interior. The little that I could see looked much cleaner than I expected.
The Uptown neighborhood had to be a happening place in the day. The Riviera Theater, the Aragon Ballroom and the famous Greenmill Jazz Club are all nearby. The Riviera was a movie house, but today is a live performance venue. The Aragon has always been a concert and dance hall.
The Uptown Theatre was recently listed on a preservation group's list of most endangered landmarks. But I don't think it will be torn-down any time soon. It's so huge that demolition would have to cost a fortune. And after the real estate bust, the land underneath wouldn't be worth that much. I think it will just continue a slow death as it deteriorates over time.
It looks like there used to be a huge vertical Uptown sign above the marquee. But that probably had to be removed for safety reasons.

Krause Music Store

This building is a store front designed by Louis Sullivan. Apparently late in his career he was no longer able to get large projects, so he designed stores. Not many of them still exist. This store front is amazing because it looks to be in perfect condition. Considering the terra cotta architectural details, it's surprising that it was never vandalized over the years.
Today the building is used as an office, but it was have been a high-end music store in its day.

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