Sunday, June 6, 2010

Trip 35: Two Humboldt Park Landmarks and a Bird Attack

Date: June 3, 2010
Trip: 35
Landmarks Visited: 2
Landmarks To-Dated: 63
Landmarks Remaining: 290

After work on Thursday I drove to Humboldt Park just west of my office in Bucktown. First the bird attack; I was walking on a wide paved trail in Humboldt Park. Suddenly something hit me in the back of the head. At first I thought it was a prank by one of the kids playing in the park, but then I saw the bird coming back for a second strike. It was a black bird like a small crow, with red patches on its wings. Apparently it thought I was too close to its nest. After swinging my arms like a crazy person and running, I escaped the bird. Lucky for the bird, I found an alternative path back to my car. Otherwise I had decided that the bird was not going to get the better of me twice.

I'd been looking forward to visiting Humboldt Park for a while, because I had driven past the
"Receptory Building and Stable" once and never forgot it. It's a very unusual building for Chicago. It's a rambling brick building with a natural stone foundation. It looks more like a building that you would see in northern California. The entire building has a terra cotta roof, and something that I've never seen before is that the tiles on the tower portions of the building's roof are glazed. Perhaps the entire roof was made of glazed tiles originally, and the flatter portions of the roof had to be replaced over time with cheaper tiles.

I only found one reference to the building's former use as a stable; there is a wagon wheel and a horses head on one of the peaks of the building. It has a lot of quaint touches like rounded rooms, stone staircases, arched windows and the like.

The building is a great condition. It's in the process of being renovated for use as a Puerto Rican cultural center or museum.

More below...

The second landmark that I visited in Humboldt Park was the "Boathouse and Pavilion". It's more of a pavilion than a boathouse, but it's a beautiful structure. The upper level is an arched pavilion with an exposed beam ceiling. The lower level is at water level with a large pond, but I can't tell if it was ever really used to house boats.

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