The building on the southwest corner of 63rd and Woodlawn is the sole remnant of Woodlawn's heyday along the stretch of 63rd from Stony Island to Cottage Grove; the land holds either relatively new construction or sits vacant.
Here's a view of the northwest corner of 63rd and Woodlawn before the pre-Fair building boom:
CTA "L" station ...1930.....view north on Cottage Grove near 63rd st
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4625701201/" title="63rd and Cottage Grove CTA station 1930 by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4047/4625701201_54fdee81c5_o.jpg" width="900" height="576" alt="63rd and Cottage Grove CTA station 1930" /></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4625704615/" title="63rd and Cottage Grove CTA station present by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4061/4625704615_c2dfb2d1c8_b.jpg" width="791" height="1024" alt="63rd and Cottage Grove CTA station present" /></a>
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2010 03:22PM by captain54.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/29821940@N00/4629580000/]63rd & Cottage Grove, Looking South[/url]
Notice Tauber Bros. Furniture Store, whose name can be seen painted on the water tank in the photo posted above by the good Captain:
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/29821940@N00/4629579904/]63rd & Cottage Grove, Looking North[/url]
The building in the photo posted by Frank can be seen here to the right of the columned bank building:
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/29821940@N00/4629580070/]63rd & Woodlawn, Looking North[/url]
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/29821940@N00/4629580110/]University Stop - Jackson Park El[/url]
By the way, does anyone remember or even know the name of this dance hall on 63rd & Drexel? I've seen passing mention of a hall where local musicians would rehearse before going into the studio (and it was obviously popular enough to hold dances hosted by DJ Lucky Cordell), but not much else.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/29821940@N00/4629058075/]Unknown Dance Hall - 63rd & Drexel[/url]
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/29821940@N00/4629058169/]Dance Hall Entrance[/url]
postcard of the Woodlawn bank building in Wayout's 63rd and Woodlawn looking north view
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4631313136/" title="Old Woodlawn Bank Chicago,,63rd and Woodlawn by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3346/4631313136_714d04ec4d_o.jpg" width="818" height="523" alt="Old Woodlawn Bank Chicago,,63rd and Woodlawn" /></a>
Woodlawn Bank later became South East National Bank...from the fantastic Cushman collection
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4630709183/" title="CHICAGO - BUSINESS - SOUTH EAST NATIONAL BANK - 63RD AND WOODLAWN - MATCHBOOK by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4065/4630709183_1bd76168ca_o.jpg" width="136" height="400" alt="CHICAGO - BUSINESS - SOUTH EAST NATIONAL BANK - 63RD AND WOODLAWN - MATCHBOOK" /></a>
screen grab from "Monkey Hustle" (1975-76)..the guy on the phone is looking across at the South East National Bank Building..he and the other two women are in a building on the NE corner...from Lee Bey's blog
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4631309926/" title="Monkey Hustle 63rd and Woodlawn 1975 by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3363/4631309926_28c0dcfd6b_o.jpg" width="240" height="203" alt="Monkey Hustle 63rd and Woodlawn 1975" /></a>
the 1909 photo from Berwyn Frank is a building on the SE corner, the bank was on the NW corner, and the guy on the phone in 1975 "Monkey Hustle" is in a building on the NE corner.
As far as the 63rd and Drexel Dance Hall, I'd bet my boots that building was on the NW corner of 63rd and Drexel.
A video of a trip on the Jackson Park line just before its demolition can be seen here:
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHlO_acu1uA]Jackson Park El Film[/url]
The trip starts at the University stop, which was the end of the line for a while. At the beginning of the film, you can see the South East National Bank on the extreme left; the building in the middle of the shot has been converted to lofts
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2010 05:20PM by WayOutWardell.
> if you'd got a quick trigger finger on the pause
> button, and if you've got the time, you can catch
> screen grabs of a midnight ride on the "el"
> through Woodlawn circa 1963-64 in the film
I'll have to pick up a copy.
It's unfortunate that most photos of the buildings along 63rd in Woodlawn only show the ground level before the el structure blocks the view. When there actually are upper-level views, the focus is generally on the el rolling stock, with the buildings in the background.
It's almost as if the designers of the various buildings never actually went to see the site where they'd be built. I've heard that the marquee of the Tower Theater (63rd, east of the ICRR tracks) was mere inches from the el structure.
1910 view of SW Corner of 63rd and Cottage Grove...the scene of a bomb explosion at "Kavanaugh's"....a man stands in front of 6304 Cottage Grove "The Woodlawn Family Liquor Store"...the "family" place for all your liquor needs
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4644105012/" title="63rd and Cottage Grove 1910 SW corner by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4027/4644105012_5f20298161_o.jpg" width="640" height="457" alt="63rd and Cottage Grove 1910 SW corner" /></a>
1910 view from the "L" platform of where the explosion at "Kavanaugh's" occured
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4644107288/" title="63rd and Cottage Grove SW corner 1910 L platform by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4017/4644107288_98398ce53f_o.jpg" width="457" height="640" alt="63rd and Cottage Grove SW corner 1910 L platform" /></a>
What I don't get is whether the building on the SW corner from the 1910 view is the same one as in the 1930 CTA view I posted earlier...CityNews listed the 6300-08 building currently standing as erected in 1924, yet the 1930 view shows the turret, while the views beyond 30's show a clean facing along the top surface.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/27/2010 04:42PM by captain54.
The 1930 photograph is actually a view looking north (the photograper most likely standing in front of the Strand Hotel), so the turret building is on the NE corner. You can see the same building in the photo that looks south on Cottage Grove (the turret is on the left side of the photo).
The building on the SW corner is the former Washington Park National Bank building which probably replaced Kavanaugh's.
> The 1930 photograph is actually a view looking
> north (the photograper most likely standing in
> front of the Strand Hotel), so the turret building
> is on the NE corner. You can see the same
> building in the photo that looks south on Cottage
> Grove (the turret is on the left side of the
Got it...took that info from the 1930 photo straight from the CTA website and never questioned it. Lesson learned. thanks for clearing that up.
I remember reading somewhere that White City was more popular than Riverview, back in the day, and some remants for White City remained up to the 1950's.
> I remember reading somewhere that White City was
> more popular than Riverview, back in the day, and
> some remants for White City remained up to the
It looks like there are a few structures left if you look at the 1951 photo at Historic Aerials. The housing development that's being built in that photo was planned in the early '40s; as early as the 1930s, City Hall and the U of C were concerned with Woodlawn's downfall, and even before the war 63rd was deemed to be 'blighted'.
White City had a club called College Inn, which was directly related to the College Inn at the Sherman Hotel (the hotel version came first). Ernest and Joseph Beifield, the owners of the Sherman Hotel, were heavy investors in White City as well. Later, one of the sons, Ernie Jr., anglicized the last name to Byfield and is most famous for opening the Pump Room.
hard to really imagine, when you consider the current Woodlawn, that at the turn of the last century, you had White City (63rd and South Parkway), Sans Souci (at 60th and Cottage Grove), and Paul Boynton Water Chute park (63rd and Drexel), all obviously inspired by the 1893 Columbian Expostion and Worlds Fair.
another interesting factoid is that the original Goodyear Blimp was assembled and launched from White City.
Don't forget the racetrack at 61st and Cottage Grove - it actually came before the Fair building boom, but closed by 1905 after it garnered the wrath of the temperance movement. The stables still exist and are being renovated for use by the DuSable Museum.
If you string it all together, Woodlawn had about a 90-year stretch of being a big entertainment district. Even by the time 'Monkey Hustle' was filmed in '76, there were still two or three operating movie theaters on 63rd which isn't bad for a neighborhood by that time essentially left for dead. It really must have been something in its heyday.
The downfall of the neighborhood has been studied and written about, but one aspect I don't see covered is that Woodlawn was in part a victim of its own success. Even before the Fair, the residents who primarily lived in larger single-family estates were afraid of overcrowding and overbuilding. Particularly in the eastern part, big hotels and huge apartment buildings became prevalent, but those only stay hip and/or nice for so long, especially after years of deferred or no maintenance. The 81,000 people who lived there in 1960 had to cram in somewhere.
I think was is most shocking is the complete leveling of entire blocks, seeing huge blocks of vacant land where once stood vibrant theatres, shops, restaurants, etc.. You'd be hard pressed to find any neighborhood in the city with that type of complete devastation.
Woodlawn may have survived if it wasn't for the fact that Chicago was deeply segregated city for the majority of the 20th Century. Blacks arriving from the South had no where to go but into illegally subdivided cramped apartments, further
aggravating the cramping problem which caused the Dutch, Irish and Germans to flee in the 30's.