North Lawndale


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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: April 12, 2010 07:01PM

Well I took my google street view tour and I must say Millard Ave is beautiful. It is amazing how well it has been preserved compared to the rest of the neighborhood.
There is a missing building here and there, but largely intact. The rest of the area looks like a bombed out war zone!

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 12, 2010 08:12PM

I just drove through there yesterday on my way to Pilsen. Millard Ave. has held up well but it is still run down looking. Even more run down looking since the last time I was there. Like I mentioned before, the street is long and goes north until it ends where you can turn east or west on 16th Street. 16th Street is truly a war zone and was scary driving east. There were what seemed like hundreds of people all over the streets and everything is so dirty messed up. Just tons and tons of vacant land and huge buildings that are all boarded up. Man, it truly makes me sad to see a place like that. Imagine how it must be for the people living there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2010 08:14PM by Berwyn Frank.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: April 13, 2010 10:49AM

Well it looked nice in Google street view, but that may have been several years ago
when that footage was taken. It's hard to see all the little details, Of course I'm sure it's different seeing it live, but in the old photo you posted it's definitely beautiful.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 13, 2010 01:14PM

I believe the google maps were taken in the summer of 2007. The modern pictures I took and posted were from the summer of 2008. Yes, google maps does make it look good. Take a drive there and see for yourself. I will post more old and new pics soon.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: April 13, 2010 03:32PM

I wish I could, but that would be a long drive. I'm in Louisiana, but I am keeping a list of places I must visit next time I'm in Chicago and this place just got added.
So for now I have to rely on google and you guys, keep those pictures coming.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: daveg (130.36.62.---)
Date: April 26, 2010 02:09PM

The Trib this morning had a page 1 article on the census. North Lawndale's return rate was 46%, which if it holds at that number, further drags that community down.

This morning I read a story about a shooting on 25th and Christiana yesterday. A 13 year old boy was shot in the foot and a man in the thigh.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: April 26, 2010 07:13PM

I was watching WGN and saw the story of the lady that got murdered in her own apartment on S Sacramento a few weeks ago, so sad. We used to pass right in front of her building back in the 80's on our way to Brighton Park to visit my aunt and uncle.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 26, 2010 07:40PM

Yeah guys, the neighborhoods sure are rough places now of days. For those that don't live in Chicago anymore there is even talk of bringing in the national guard to patrol our deadly streets.

boy oh boy, read the comments following the article....

[url=http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2199050,national-guard-gun-violence-chicago-042510.article]National Guard in Chicago[/url]

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: jclillig (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: April 27, 2010 06:46PM

One other historic feature of this area is Shedd Park, with the fieldhouse designed by Prairie School architect William Drummond. Apparently the park, while small, used to be extensively landscaped.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 27, 2010 07:18PM

Actually, Shedd Park is in what is now known as Little Village, formerly SOUTH Lawndale. For more info on that area see my other thread on the book I just released on the area called Chicago's Little Village Lawndale-Crawford. I cover Shedd Park in that book.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 27, 2010 11:27PM

More on North Lawndale.......



I went out today and took pictures of some stuff I wanted to talk about. First, here is a couple of cool ghost signs that survive on Ogden Ave. The first one is on a building at 4366 W. Ogden. One sign is on one side of the building and the other is on the opposite side of the building.





This next one is very cool to me. The building is located at 4017 W. Ogden. The ghost sign is hard to make out, but says Pilsen Br'g Co. Beers. This location off of Ogden & Pulaski was once populated with Czech's. The Pilsen Brewing Company was located on 26th St. & Albany Ave. in what is now Little Village. I have photo's and info about the brewery in my book Chicago's Little Village Lawndale-Crawford.



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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: shekaago (---.49.171.244.swcp.com)
Date: April 28, 2010 12:00AM

Thanks so much for the information on this once-wonderful, neighborhood, Berwyn Frank. I did not know much about "block busting" except for what my mother had told me about her experience living in, and then being scared and moving out of, her old neighborhood near Chicago and Crawford (now Pulaski) back in the 50s. All the historic pics you've posted are great and I love the then-and-now photos. I hope that the architectural treasures that still exist there will continue to survive.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: April 28, 2010 10:40AM

Thanks for the ghost sign pictures, when we were kids my sister, brother and I would look for them while riding around in the back seat of my dad's car. It was like a game we would see who found the most.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: daveg (130.36.62.---)
Date: April 28, 2010 11:29AM

I recall an Oldsmobile dealer on Ogden. It was on the north side of the street, I forget the intersection, but I think it might have been east of Central Park. It had a rather tall rocket ship sign that flashed in a sequence making the rocket appear to be taking off.

Big stuff for a kid in the 50s.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2010 11:33AM by daveg.

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: adgorn (---.dsl.emhril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 28, 2010 01:27PM

Great thread. I drive Ogden regularly. Last year I made a note to "explore Ogden & Millard area" on my Chicago explorations to-do list. Time to do it!
Alan

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: shoreline (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: April 29, 2010 11:14AM

daveg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I recall an Oldsmobile dealer on Ogden. It was on
> the north side of the street, I forget the
> intersection, but I think it might have been east
> of Central Park. It had a rather tall rocket ship
> sign that flashed in a sequence making the rocket
> appear to be taking off.
>
> Big stuff for a kid in the 50s.


I'm not certain, but the dealership may have been Mars Oldsmobile.Does that ring a bell?

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: daveg (130.36.62.---)
Date: April 29, 2010 11:53AM

shoreline Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> daveg Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I recall an Oldsmobile dealer on Ogden. It was
> on
> > the north side of the street, I forget the
> > intersection, but I think it might have been
> east
> > of Central Park. It had a rather tall rocket
> ship
> > sign that flashed in a sequence making the
> rocket
> > appear to be taking off.
> >
> > Big stuff for a kid in the 50s.
>
>
> I'm not certain, but the dealership may have been
> Mars Oldsmobile.Does that ring a bell?


I don't remember the name of the dealership, but Mars and a rocket sounds like a good mix. :-)

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: Artista (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: April 30, 2010 12:12AM

My gosh ,,great pics! Ive been away too long

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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: Berwyn Frank (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 30, 2010 03:43AM

These next shots are of a small Chicago landmark district called the "Five Houses on Avers."

http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/LandmarksWeb/districtDetail.do?disID=10

I find these gray stone homes to be absolutely fascinating. They are located at 1942, 1950, 1952, 1958, and 2102 S. Avers Ave. on the west side of the street. The developer was a prominent Bohemian named Jan (John) Kralovec who immigrated from Domazlice, Bohemia in 1868. After the Chicago fire Kralovec developed many of the Bohemian areas of the city, including the area around 18th & Ashland in Pilsen. Kralovec was one of the founders of the Atlas Brewing Company on 21st & Blue Island Ave, and also served on Chicago's West Park Board for several years in the 1880s. In 1892-1894 Kralovec had these five homes built when Lawndale was still largely prairie. In all of my research on Czech Chicago, Kralovec's name comes up again and again. He was definitely one of the most well known and influential Bohemians in Chicago during his time. John Kralovec lived in the home he built at 2102 S. Avers until his death in February 1931 at 82 years old. John Kralovec had at least three children that I know of. One was a wealthy Oak Parker named Otto John Kralovec who lived in a mansion at 1001 N. Oak Park Ave., and another was Emil Kralovec who amazingly still resided in the home at 2102 S. Avers upon his death in October 1964. It amazes me that the Kralovec mansion stayed in the family for over 70 years in a neighborhood that changed ethnically over and over. The area went from Bohemian to heavily Jewish to African American in the 70 years the Kralovec's lived in the home, and all the while they stayed loyal to the neighborhood and home that had served them for generations.

Of the five landmarked homes on Avers, the Kralovec home and coach house 2102 S. Avers, which is the most elaborate, has remained in remarkably preserved condition. The others have also been well preserved. 2102 S. Avers currently belongs to Illinois State Representative Art Turner who has his offices across the street on Ogden Ave. Turner is a native of North Lawndale who grew up a block away from his home on Avers.

Five Houses on Avers.



2102 S. Avers, former home of John Kralovec.



1952 & 1958 S. Avers



1950 S. Avers



Non-operational fountain in the front yard of 1950 S. Avers.



Jewish Menorah in the top window of 1950 S. Avers. I find this particularly interesting because of the neighborhood's once large Jewish population.



1942 S. Avers

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Neat street scene looking N. on Avers of the el going past the street.



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Re: North Lawndale
Posted by: daveg (130.36.62.---)
Date: April 30, 2010 03:24PM

Wonderful pictures and descriptions (again) Frank.

Houses looks good as new. The stretch of mowed lawns, very nice.

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