I'm intrigued by the old funeral home at the corner of Grand and Marshfield...1624 W Grand...erected in 1873, which means it was erected shortly after the fire.
old timers in the area claim the apartments on the upper floors were very elegant.
I've been in the funeral home structure and it's a very old old building with some remnants of its funeral home legacy still visible
I know that it is used by Esperanza Community Services, a school for the disabled and handicapped. Esperanza also occupies the one story @ 1620 W Grand, and the old school down the block @ 520 N Marshfield.
I was wondering if anyone had any info on this area and some history surrounding the old school and funeral home.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4576152357/" title="1873 Funeral Home, Grand and Marshfield, Chicago by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3415/4576152357_0f8683e5ce_o.jpg" width="1017" height="428" alt="1873 Funeral Home, Grand and Marshfield, Chicago" /></a>
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2010 10:11PM by captain54.
Berwyn Frank Wrote:
> In 1930 the building at 1624 W. Grand was listed
> as being occupied by John Conley for "teaming."
> Don't know what that means.
> The building at 1618 was listed as being occupied
> by W.J. O'Neil, undertaker.
> Perhaps O'Neil moved to the corner location in an
'Teaming' refers to a cartage or hauling service; the term 'teamster' originally refered to someone who drove a wagon and a team of horses, mules, etc.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4576486257/" title="Grand and Marshfield, Chicago by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4039/4576486257_88bd9e06fd_o.jpg" width="1024" height="452" alt="Grand and Marshfield, Chicago" /></a>
the corner building is indeed 1624 W Grand, and is the Esperanza Community Services gift shop...Esperanza also occupies the 1620-1618 structure for offices, which is listed as a one story erected in 1968
Here's some info on O'Neil...
Wm J O'Neil
In 1899 he erected a building at 1618 West Grand avenue with a frontage of seventy-five feet. A part of this he rents, his undertaking parlors having a frontage of twenty-five feet. The building is two stories in height and the chapel has a seating capacity of fifty.
O'Neil also held funerals for some of the victims of the Eastland disaster in 1906
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2010 12:32AM by captain54.
Berwyn Frank Wrote:
> Thanks for the info Wardell.
> Captain, the Eastland Disaster was actually in
> July 1915. I cover it in my book Chicago's Little
> Village Lawndale-Crawford.
Correct, my bad...
as far as the 1624 W Grand structure, the garage-like area all the way to the rear looks like it may have been used for cartage and what not, so maybe that's the "teaming" part. Maybe it was converted to a funeral home after 1930.
> Berwyn Frank Wrote:
> > Thanks for the info Wardell.
> > Captain, the Eastland Disaster was actually in
> > July 1915. I cover it in my book Chicago's
> > Village Lawndale-Crawford.
> Correct, my bad...
> as far as the 1624 W Grand structure, the
> garage-like area all the way to the rear looks
> like it may have been used for cartage and what
> not, so maybe that's the "teaming" part. Maybe it
> was converted to a funeral home after 1930.
That is a handsome building. Just a thought...maybe Conley drove and/or owned the hearse wagon and team for the funeral home.
> That is a handsome building. Just a
> thought...maybe Conley drove and/or owned the
> hearse wagon and team for the funeral home.
To walk thru this building gave me chills. The main lobby off of Grand was once an art studio and is now a gift shop. The main chapel where the bodies were laid out is now a kitchen and bake shop. The small alcove where the casket was laid out for viewing is now a large sink. The arched entrance off of Marshfield about the middle of the building with the two lantern fixtures on each side was probably where the casket was brought out to the hearse. You can see a driveway which is now bricked up with a curb
The structure all the way to the back is now a workshop but was obviously a garage at one point. I often wondered if embalming was done there because there's a small narrow hallway leading to the chapel, or else where the bodies were first brought in to be embalmed in the basement.
There's an entrance to the right of the "garage" and also on Grand leading up to the apartments upstairs. The apartments themselves are now workshops. What was probably the living rooms and dining rooms are enveloped by huge floor to ceiling windows letting in massive light.
I've often thought that if they were going to do a film version of "The Devil in White City"..they could use this building because it eerily reminds me of some of the photos I've seen of the Holmes Castle.
> I've often thought that if they were going to do a
> film version of "The Devil in White City"..they
> could use this building because it eerily reminds
> me of some of the photos I've seen of the Holmes
You know Captain, I thought the exact same thing when I saw your first picture!
As WayOutWardell said that is a cool looking building, back in it's hay day it looks like it was very elegant.
Berwyn Frank Wrote:
> By the way, that building does not seem
> reminiscent of an 1873 building. Late
> 1880's-1890ish maybe?
I re-checked my info and it said the building date was 1873, with the building currently being tax exempt, which would make sense because its occupied by a non-profit organization.
I believe there have been many modifications. All of the windows have been replaced. Looks to me as if every window on the ground floor was at one time stained glass. The enclosed porch to the rear is an add-on and at the foot of the stairs is one of those old style intercom tube intercom systems, which was obviously an add-on because originally the rear stairs were probably out in the open. More than likely the only entrance to the apartments upstairs, originally, was via Grand Ave. The garage like structure in the back looks like an add-on as well.
It would be awesome if the Holmes Castle was still around, I'd would have loved to have seen that crazy floor plan that was rumored that building had on the upper floors!
Artista, I never knew that a movie was planed. that would make a good horror flick.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20205384@N03/4578819159/" title="Holmes Castle, 63rd and Wallace, Chicago by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4049/4578819159_76e841618e_o.gif" width="300" height="208" alt="Holmes Castle, 63rd and Wallace, Chicago" /></a>
I'm also interested in finding more info on the school @520 N Marshfield..another very old structure. I'm told it was a Catholic school, and if it was...where's the church? Strange, because funeral homes were mostly erected within close proximity of a church.
there has to be a Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago record of churches and schools from the 20's and 30's, but I can't seem to locate it.
There is a directory - I've used it. Actually, if anyone ever goes to a LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Mormons) Library they have a directory with maps of Chicago during different time periods. If you know your address you can pinpoint it on the map and see what parishes were nearby. I've used it many times when doing family research and looking for my relatives. At least the branch library that I use (Palos Heights) has this. There were SO many churches back then and a number of them within each neighborhood. The different ethnic groups had their own parishes. Most of them covered much of the same ground. If one was Irish Catholic, they would go to one particular church that was near them. Their next door neighbor might be German and would go to a different Catholic Church in the same neighborhood. Not always of course,but that was the norm.
There is also another book that was done about the history of the parishes in the Chicago Archdiocese. If I get a chance today I will see if I can determine what church went with the school on Marshfield from that book. I haven't been to the LDS library in ages, so I won't promise to look at that one!
I took a look at the Historic Aerials site - there was a large church building on the corner of Grand and Paulina in all the photos up until 1988, when it shows up as a grassy field. There's now a Maryville facility located there now, I think.
Update: the Italian ancestry site lists it as St. Columbkille Church, which opened in 1859 and closed in 1975. Then I stumbled on these!
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/sistersofprovidence/4523523051/]Class of 1931 Photo[/url]
It is interesting that the Italian ancestry site lists St. Columbkille because when I looked up the building on Grand earlier in this thread, I found that there were a ton of Italian surnames in that area. Second highest represented ethnic group appears to be Irish as illustrated above with the O'Neil and Conley surnames.
Okay, here's the scoop from [i]A History of the parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago[i][/i][/i]v. 2 1980, p.1645-48:
St. Columbkille was established as a mission of St. Patrick Church at Adams and Desplaines; formally organized as a parish in 1859 with the original church built as a frame structure at Owen st. (later Indiana st and that became Grand av.); predominantly Irish congregation.
1868 - parish rectory built at Grand av, adjacent to the church and a brick school building at 527 N. Paulina.
1871 - new church - cornerstone laid at Grand and Paulina on the Northeast corner, designed by Augustus Bauer & Company & dedicated in 1877. Next a rectory built at 1648 W. Grand, which was destroyed by fire in 1972.
1883 - a permit was taken out for a 3 story school building 80 x 72 at 520 N. Marshfield. It had 12 classrooms and was completed in 1886.
1969 - the school building was rented by Esperanza School for Exceptional Children and subsequently sold to them
1975 - parish was consolidated with Holy Innocents at 743 N. Armour, the last Mass was said in the church in June and on Oct. 18 that year a fire destroyed the church building.
This set of books makes for really interesting reading even if you aren't Catholic. It gives a snapshot of the neighborhoods and other tidbits of local history along with the history of each parish, church and school building. It is also full of pictures of all the old churches.
So, thanks to wayoutwardell for making it that much easier to find the information. I kind of already knew that St. Columbkille was an Irish parish, but would have gotten that from the name too, as that is an Irish saint's name (kind of like Patrick, Bridget, Columba, Ita, to name a few)
Hope this answers a few questions anyway,
thank you all of some amazing, amazing information..the folks around these parts are incredible.
So, the school building @ 520 N Marshfield has been around since 1886, the church @ the corner of Grand and Paulina and the rectory @ the corner of Marshfield and Grand have been gone since the mid-70's
"In its early years St. Columbkille's was a parish of vast extent, taking in, as it did, Cicero, Cragin and the rolling-mill district of North Chicago and reaching down on the south to St. Patricks and the Holy Family."
It's interesting that the parish was founded by mostly Irish, and then later became heavily Italian..I know there are still vestiges of the Italian heritage along Grand east of Ashland.
> I dug into the Trib archives. The address shows
> up as a funeral home (chapel), being featured in
> numerous obituaries. In the 60's - 80's the name
> was the Zito Funeral Home.
wow...interesting....this came up as well
ITALIANS IN CHICAGO
so apparently the family continued the establishment until the 80's
a friend that has worked in that building after it was no longer a funeral home, said there is some evidence that the second floor may have been converted to a chapel at one point.
I think its also notable that two full blocks of the north side of Grand, between Ashland and Paulina, have pretty much vanished...except for the 1624 old funeral home building, old frame @ 1606 W Grand (owned by Betty I believe) and Betty's Blue Star Lounge (a brick two story built in the 30's) @ the NW corner of Grand and Ashland.
anything else, currently between Marshfield and Ashland, has been erected within the last 40 or so years...
the Maryville Academy has been at the old church and school location on Paulina since 2008, relocated from Margaret of Scotland Parish on the South Side. A small auditorium building, probably about 30 yrs old, is at the NW corner of Marshfield and Grand.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/07/2010 02:15AM by captain54.
The Church on the Corner of Grand and Pualina was St Columbkille (DEDICATED 1859 CLOSED AROUND 1975). The old school Building on the westside of Marshfield, north of Grand was the parish Catholic school. I have my Great Grand Father's death certificate showing he was buried in 1901 by Wm O'Neil Undertaker 493 Grand Ave (the 1909 Street numbering changed 493 to 1618. My Long family lived in St Columbkille Parish for about 50 Years until I think some time after 1910. The funeral parlor shows he died on April 10,1901 and was still living at 142 N.Ada.
This address was near the corner of Grand and Ada however Grand was called Indiana
at that time.
> I was looking at photos on a website dealing with
> old Chicago trolley-coaches and stumbled across
> Grand & Paulina, 1969
Amazing find....great job.
the old trolley site has quite few really interesting vintage views...literally hundreds....including a completely intact Hawthorne Works at 24th and Cicero from the 60's
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2010 01:45AM by captain54.