While looking at a business map of 63rd Street from Cottage Grove to Stony Island in the 30s, I counted fifteen shoe stores, eighteen drug stores, 22 millnery/hoisery shops and four florists. There's also numerous meat markets, mens clothing shops and bakeries. Some stores selling the same things were across the street from each other, some were right next door. They all seem to be separate, distinct businesses, too.
My question: back in the day when small stores were the norm, were they so specialized that you'd patronize more than, say, one butcher shop?
> I came across a photo of a matchbook cover for
> Esquire on the fantastic Chuckman's Blog
> once...now, of course, I can't find it.
I found it on that site through Google, 874 E. 63rd St. Thanks for the lead.
I don't remember your Chinese Restaurant, but I remember Alexander's; which I believe was around Kimball or Kenwood. We lived at 63rd & Woodlawn from about 1937 to 1939 .... My best memories of East 63rd are during and after the War. I'm glad others remember when the L was there and 63rd was a kid's pipeline to Jackson Park. Anybody remember Hyde Park High School?
My Grandfather and Dad had a time store at 63rd and Blackstone. I think it was on the north side of the street. All of the buildings have been torn down and replaced, or vacant lots now. The operated from 1955 to 1965 before selling the business.
Anyone has memories or photos I'd love to see them.
I remember a few stories from my Dad about 63rd street. He'd say, "they're hasn't been this much excitment since they painted the 'L' if people got worked up over something. One night he brought me home a large card board picture complete with faux frame of a band of Indians attacking a stage coach on horseback. There was a budweiser logo on the bottom of the frame and he had gotten it from one of the many taverns on 63rd where he would eat lunch. He said there was a better one depicting Custer's Last Stand but my mom wouldn't let him bring that one because it was too violent.
I remember him telling me of a kid he caught shop lifting (a repeater) who he marched over to the police station on 63rd street. The kid told cop that my Dad had beat him, and the copy replied "good". Untrue of course, and my Dad felt awful having brought the kid there after that. He said the station had bullet holes along the bottom of the walls by the floors where the cops had shot at rats.
My Dad said when he'd catch kids shoplifting, he'd usually call the parents, and the parents in the neighborhood were really tough on the kids. One kid got his hand stuck in a popcorn dispensing machine and the fire dept had to be called to get his hand extracted.
My Dad told me my Grandfather was a non nonsense sort of guy and said there was a man in the neighborhood who would come into the store and play one of the hand saws my Dad sold. He'd come in in his undershirt and just start playing the saw. My Grandfather told him he had to stop and the guy said he was going to come back with a gun and kill him, but my Grandfather said fine, but you can't play the saw in my store, and kicked him out.
It was a pretty colorful street in the 50s and 60s. My Dad said Clarence Darrow, and Jesse Jones Owens had both lived just north of the store at one time.
I have vague memories of going there on Sundays. We'd always go to the Harding Institue up by 47th street afterwords and look at the suits of Armor. That left a stronger memory with me than the Dime Store.
Captain 54 , remembers the Kit Katt Club, we would go their often to hear Ramsey Lewis. I would like to hear of your experiences at the Club. Does anyone remember the Railroad Hall in the 62/6100 Block of Cottage Grove?
Some people would patronize one and others would go to what each might have been better or cheaper at, i.e. one butcher might get better spring lamb but another might have better veal.
> While looking at a business map of 63rd Street
> from Cottage Grove to Stony Island in the 30s, I
> counted fifteen shoe stores, eighteen drug stores,
> 22 millnery/hoisery shops and four florists.
> There's also numerous meat markets, mens clothing
> shops and bakeries. Some stores selling the same
> things were across the street from each other,
> some were right next door. They all seem to be
> separate, distinct businesses, too.
> My question: back in the day when small stores
> were the norm, were they so specialized that you'd
> patronize more than, say, one butcher shop?
I lived at 62nd Drexel in the late 1940s to early 1950s. There were 7 motion picture theaters between Cottage Grove & Stony Island namely: Tivoli...Maryland...Ark...Lex...Kimbark...Woodlawn...Tower. four dimestores, multiple clothing & jewelry stores, really anything you desired could usually be found on our great 63rd street. Occasionally we ventured to 63rd & Halstead for Christmas shopping or such. Just one streetcar ride several miles West. I attended John Fiske Grammar school & Hyde Park High at 63rd & Stony Island. There was a very lively Bar & lounge called Crown lounge right on the corner of 63rd & Drexel which was lite with neon lights. I never ventured inside as I was too young. But read that many famous jazz singers played there. Someone asked about the Esquire restsurant which was on 63rd St. & close to EllisAve. Alexander's restaurant was further East close to Dorchester. My aunt was a waitress there during World War II& it may have been the only restaurant that served cocktails there. Wimpys had the best burgers ever & was close to Dorchester...before Burger King or McDonalds were ever heard of. I know I this street so well & love to bring these memories back.
FYI Hotel Strand is being prepared for demolition. After sitting vacant for many years and the subject of many redevelopment plans it wil be bulldozed. What a waste, isnt there somebody who couldve done something with it?