Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trip 115: Air Show Sunday

Date: August 21, 2011
Trip: 115
Landmarks Visited: 7
Landmarks To-Date: 327
Landmarks Remaining: 26

On the Sunday of the annual air show my friend James and I headed to the south side. The only goal of the day was to be home before 3 pm to avoid post air show traffic. The weather was great and we even had time for lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant.

Also, based on a reader suggestion I am going to start including addresses along with the names of the landmarks.

1. Engine Company 84, Engine 51 (6204 S. Green St.)

As part of this project I've seen a lot of fire stations. This one is more architecturally interesting than most. It's relatively large and has a pitched roof which is unusual for Chicago fire stations. The red brick with white terra cotta accents, however, is very typical for Chicago.

The station is no longer in use but appears to be in good shape.

Another thing that we found odd is that it sits in the middle of what seems to be an abandoned parking lot. It might have been a bus depot or something similar at one time.

2. Chicago City Bank and Trust Building (815 W. 63rd St.)

This building sits just across 63rd St. from the fire station above. The most interesting features of the building's exterior are the relief sculptures on the facade.

3. Yale Apartments (6565 S. Yale Ave.)

These beautifully maintained apartments are now senior housing. This building has lots of interesting details, included the rounded corners, arched windows on the upper floors and Louis Sullivan-like designs on the stone accents.

My friend James likes to point out unusual punctuation. So notice how the building name is written in the stone above the front door ("The: Yale"). I'm not sure what the colon is for.

4. Canaan Baptist Church of Christ Building (6657-59 S. Harvard Ave.)

This church was designed by the architect who also designed the Pullman district. And I do see some similarities with the church in Pullman.

5. Chatham-Greater Grand Crossing Commercial District (Cottage Grove Ave. between 75th and 79th Streets)

This district includes primarily commercial buildings with terra cotta accents. What's probably most unique about the district is simply the number of surviving period buildings in a relatively small area. 

6. Lorraine Hansberry House (6140 S. Rhodes Ave.)

We weren't sure if we had the right house when we first came across this one. It's not architecturally unique for the neighborhood, and there's no plaque marking the spot. But some research confirmed that this is the house of the playwright who wrote "A Raisin in the Sun". I also learned that her parents were civil rights activists who fought to de-segregated the neighborhood when they moved into this house.

7. Garfield Boulevard "L" Station and Overpass (319 E. Garfield Blvd.)

There is something very quaint about this station that was built for the 1893 World's Fair. It's very small by today's standards and I think relatively plain for its own time. But the large awning is very inviting--it's reminiscent of boardwalks or carnivals.

The station has been replaced by a modern version across the boulevard, but a friend just told me that there is some plan to make use of this structure.


  1. I've heard rumors that the Chicago Public Library was going to move a branch into the old Garfield 'L' station.

  2. That would be a great use of the space. I hope it's true. Chris

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.