Re: more cool "Call Northside 777" screen shots
Date: May 06, 2012 07:25PM
> 12) Wanda’s apartment – As documented here, it
> can’t be 725 N. Honore. But in the book
> “Hollywood on Lake Michigan” the author said
> "One of the film's most gripping scenes was
> actually filmed at Walush's (Wanda Skutnik in the
> movie) apartment at 725 S. Honore Street." 725 S.
> Honore Street today would be just North of Polk
> Street in the parking lot for the medical center.
> But when I look at www.historicaerials.com, the
> 725 S. Honore location looks like it is still part
> of medical center buildings back in '38 and '52.
> So that address doesn't seem to be good either.
> Honore doesn't seem to start again until south of
> 35th street. I emailed the author with the hope
> of getting more info.
When this first came up, I looked at the screencap with the street sign and thought, “Wait a minute, the only place N. Honore crosses squarely under tracks is at Bloomingdale”. It is not far away so I walked up there and looked.
Superficially, it was very similar to the shot. An overpass perpendicular to the street, with a vertical embankment, concrete retaining wall and a narrow street running right along the retaining wall. This would have Stewart starting on the southwest corner and heading north along the west side of Honore. That puts him on the wrong side of the street for 725, but more importantly, when he crosses the side street, he passes a low picket fence. That indicated that the corner building was set back from both streets. There is a 1920’s corner entrance storefront on that corner (it was a camera shop for decades) that is built right to both property lines. So I shrugged, said “This ain’t it” and went on with my life.
When it came up again, I started thinking again.
The Polk Dir shows no such address as 725 north or south Honore in ’29, so the Honore part is hooey.
I watched the film again, and although the Wanda’s apartment sequence is three camera shots, the shots track together well enough to imply a single location.
In a single boom shot, Stewart stands under the viaduct crosses the narrow street walks to the second house and up to the front door. The second shot with “725” is of Stewart leaning over in the doorway and reading the name. The door trim and glazing look be the same as the first shot.
So I scanned 725 E,W,N & S on google maps looking for a perpendicular railroad overpass, with a vertical concrete retaining wall and narrow side street adjacent to the embankment and I came up with bupkes.
Sometimes the crossing was angled, of the embankment sloped, or the wall made of stone or the street had a 12ft parkway between it and the embankment. I decided the “725” was all hooey as well.
However the map search impressed me with exactly how rare the confluence of streets, bridge, embankment, and wall was in Chicago and Bloomingdale must have a couple of dozen near matches between Marshfield and Kimball.
So I took another walk.
One block East of Honore at the northwest corner of Wood and Bloomingdale is a small house setback from both streets. If Stewart was here, he walked to 1802 N. Wood.
There is a big McMansion there right now. I used to live live on the 1600 block of Wood back in the ‘80s and before that we used to visit my uncle Virgil at 1810 or 12 Wood til he moved to Carpenterville in the ‘70s. My best recollection is that 1802 was always a vacant sideyard for a brick 2 ½ story building at 1806.
So I looked further. The Polk directory has people living there in ’29 The historic aerials show a building there into the ‘50s.
The Historic aerials also put the last piece into the puzzle.
The third shot in the film sequence has the camera inside the building showing Stewart as he looks through the front door glass. Behind him a train thunders by on the tracks.
Both the Mullions of the window and the angle of the trains approach match the first shot, but the trains approach is quite long. To get this shot the property across the street would have to be vacant (or very short). This property is the south end of St Mary of the Angels Parish and there is a brick building there.
The aerials show that that building was built in the ‘60s.
In the ‘40s when the made the film it was a clear view of the Bloomingdale tracks for a city block.
So there it is, I postulate that Wanda’s Apartment was actually filmed at 1802 N. Wood St.
Paul K. Dickman