Shoe Store
Unexpected Glamour: The Forgotten Work of James F. Eppenstein, Part 2
by Patrick Steffes » 12.16.2013

This is the second of three Forgotten Chicago articles on the work of modernist architect and designer James F. Eppenstein. For background on Eppenstein’s prolific career, his hotel and a distinctive train that once ran from Chicago to Milwaukee, visit Part One of this series.
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Railroads and Chicago Swing Bridges
by Patrick McBriarty » 9.3.2013

While it is easy to overlook the railroads in Chicago nowadays, this city has been a major rail hub if not the most important railroad city in the nation and the world for more than 150 years. Read More »

Shoreline North

092 powerhouse Wash
Cable Car Remnants
by Greg Borzo » 12.28.2012

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840 NM
Bertrand Goldberg in Tower Town Part 3: Bertrand Goldberg’s Michigan Avenue Project
by Patrick Steffes » 5.18.2012

Bertrand Goldberg in Tower Town is a three-part set of articles detailing this Chicago-based architect’s one-time residence in the 1930s. This article looks at a beauty salon announced as having been designed by Goldberg. While opened, it may or may not have actually been completed by the architect. This beauty salon opened by 1938 at 840 North Michigan Avenue, on the same same block as Goldberg’s former “commune” residence detailed in part one of this series. Read More »

The Bloomingdale Line
by Terence Banich » 5.4.2012


On the evening of July 30, 1939, Nancy Froemming “and her ambition” boarded a train in Milwaukee bound for Chicago. Miss Froemming — who thought that she “could sing with the best of them” — had decided that Milwaukee was too small of a town for her nascent singing career and set her sights on the hustle-and-bustle of Chicago. So off she went. There were only two problems with Miss Froemming’s plan: she was 13 years old, and the train she boarded was a freight line — the Bloomingdale Line. Upon alighting at Western Avenue, instead of booking a gig at the Cloister Inn or the Sunset Cafe, Miss Froemming was booked at Juvenile Hall.0.1

Long before it was ever thought of as a trail, the Bloomingdale Line — as it was sometimes known — hauled freight (and, it seems, one young girl’s ambition) for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company, the storied “Milwaukee Road.” The Bloomingdale principally functioned as a connecting line used by freight trains between the north side of Chicago and the railroad’s yards at Galewood and Bensenville.0.2 But perhaps more fundamentally, the branch was a link to the rest of the country; the trains that traversed the Bloomingdale could access the St. Paul’s sprawling, nationwide rail network.
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