Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures


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Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: PSMO (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 01, 2012 08:10PM

Hello I'm looking for any infomation anyone would have of Milwaukee Ave. In particular from 1958-1972. I worked at one of the outside fruit markets near Paulina & Milwaukee as a young kid for a short time.

The area from Division north to Damen, there was an ambudance of stores from bakeries, deli's. meat markets etc. This area was nothing but hustle & bustle on a Saturday >Non-stop Bop until everything closed at 9PM
Anybody remember the surplus store at Wood St. 3 floors of every imaginable thing you could think of.
Thank you in advance.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: Kchi (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 02, 2012 10:40AM

I believe the surplus store was called Great Chicago. It was a great place especially as a kid to look at all the unusual items. I also remember going to Advance Catalog and Gore & Kaye which among other things sold bingo, raffle and carnival type supplies. There was also a rundown show called the Royal that showed third rate movies. You've are jogging my memory, but as a kid I remember going to a old fashion butcher shop that still had saw dust on the floor with a seperate caged cashier. I also remember going to a pet shop and I believe a Heineman's bakery outlet. There also was at the corner of Damen North and Milwaukee a tobacco and magazine shop.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: Chipast (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: July 06, 2012 09:52PM

It WAS Great Chicago, And had several fires. Until the last one around 1975 which destroyed the whole building.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: mphansen (---.geneseo.net)
Date: July 12, 2012 06:26PM

I remember growing up in the Wicker Park area in the 1950s. We used to go to the Royal theatre. The manager's name was Alex. He used to frequent the C&L Grill on north Ave, right by Milwaukke, North & Damen. When we would go that show he used to give me and my brothers & sisters extra butter on our popcorn and buttered popcorn was only 25 cents. I remember sitting in the balcony many, many times, but mostly the teenagers were up there getting frisky! Lota great memories before the neighborhood changed. Playing at Wicker Park which Wicker Park Medical Center was across from. It later turned in Illinois Bell, maybe a day care center and after that I don't know what. But glad I still have the memories!

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: mphansen (---.geneseo.net)
Date: July 12, 2012 07:03PM

For Kchi: I too remember going into that same meat market. There was saw dust on the floor. I was with my baby sitter that particular day and Milwaukee Ave was sooo crowded that I got lost. I was only 5 but I started wandering down Damen Ave. Good old CPD saw me and took me to the North Avenue Police Station. I remember it as if it were yesterday. There was a big maghony bench and this lady came out with a big cardboard box of candy. That healed EVERYTHING! But hindsight is 20/20. Once I got outta that meat market, while I was on Damen Avenue, I should have just kept going south and within 3 blocks I would have been home. Needless to say, my mom fired the babysitter! I went to the old Wicker Park School on Evergreen & Damen. There was I think a Baptist church on 1 corner, Eddies Drugstore on another corner & Leaders Cleaners on a 3rd corner. Don't remember what was on the 4th corner. What was your address when you grew up there? I lived at 2020 West Evergreen, place is torn down now, just an empty lot. But surpringly a lot of the place has been restored and still a lot of mansions are still standing!

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: PKDickman (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 12, 2012 08:35PM

-------------------------------------------------------
> For Kchi: I too remember going into that same
> meat market. There was saw dust on the floor. I
> was with my baby sitter that particular day and
> Milwaukee Ave was sooo crowded that I got lost. I
> was only 5 but I started wandering down Damen Ave.
> Good old CPD saw me and took me to the North
> Avenue Police Station. I remember it as if it
> were yesterday. There was a big maghony bench and
> this lady came out with a big cardboard box of
> candy. That healed EVERYTHING! But hindsight is
> 20/20. Once I got outta that meat market, while I
> was on Damen Avenue, I should have just kept going
> south and within 3 blocks I would have been home.
> Needless to say, my mom fired the babysitter! I
> went to the old Wicker Park School on Evergreen &
> Damen. There was I think a Baptist church on 1
> corner, Eddies Drugstore on another corner &
> Leaders Cleaners on a 3rd corner. Don't remember
> what was on the 4th corner. What was your address
> when you grew up there? I lived at 2020 West
> Evergreen, place is torn down now, just an empty
> lot. But surpringly a lot of the place has been
> restored and still a lot of mansions are still
> standing!

2020 Evergreen is either a parking lot or part of the playground for Pritzker school

Here are some recent (2006) photos of the other places you mentioned.




Sorry to make you click on the links. flickr doesn't seem to give you a direct url anymore.

Paul K. Dickman

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: Kchi (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 13, 2012 02:17PM

I did some more research on Great Chicago Surplus store at 1395 Milwaukee. It did burn down on May 1,1973. There was also a fire there on 5/14/1959 where the article also mentions Star Sales at 1391 Milwaukee.

I also was surprised that at one time, Great Chicago had 5 other locations at:

212 Madison
1395 Milwaukee
3126 Lincoln
4129 Madison
6244 S Halsted
5625 Cermak
1115 Lake (Oak Park)

If you get a chance, look up some of the ads found in the Chicago Tribune archives:

as An example from Oct 1948:

Army double bunk beds with matresses for 22.88

Army blankets 4.99

Squad Tent 55.55

Pea Coat 9.99

T shirts 6 for 2.99

Watch Cap 88 cents

The Navy must have had better blankets than the army because Navy officer blankets were being sold. for 6.66 33% more expensive than a Army blanket. Probably due that the ad is for Navy "Officer" blankets.

100,000 pairs of Army Munson shoes at 2.99 a pair.

It is fun to look at the ads, but what I would be curious to know from somebody in the military maybe from the Quartermaster Corps, would be what was the original cost of these items to the taxpayer? The bigger question what politically connected people made money from the liquidation.

The fact that the ad I referenced was from 1948, the military had no idea that the Korean war was in the future, How many of these same items had to be purchased again in 1950. I would be curious to know how many of the same items the government sold for pennies on the dollar after WWII were resold back to the military for full price?

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: Kchi (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 14, 2012 03:20PM

I also remember waiting back in the 70s for the Damen Ave bus in front of Northwestern Pharmacy. The bus always seemed to take forever. One of the highlights or lowlights was watching for pickpockets. since the bus seemed to take forever, when a bus finally came, the people made a mad dash and huddled trying to get in the door. Across the street on the west side of damen Ave was a snack shop. I don't know whether the pickpockets looked out the window when they saw the people lining up, but they would wait for the bus to approach, cross the street and act like they were getting o the bus. At the last minute they would step back, the bus door would close and pull away,and some unsuspecting victim wouldn't realize what happened until they got home.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: PSMO (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: July 14, 2012 03:47PM

That area at Damen,Milwaukee & North Ave. was not for the weak hearted. As I recall the Meat market a few doors down from NW Pharmacy was named Novak's.
The intersection you speak of had two cigar stores one in the flat Iron Bldg the other across the street upstairs from the barber shop in the basement remember that one. There was also a rather large newspaper stand at Milwaukee & Damen, I had to pick up the Sunday papers on Saturday evening, 2 Tribs & 3 Suntimes, imagine lugging those back to Honore & North. That was a tough area back in the days.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: mphansen (---.geneseo.net)
Date: July 17, 2012 09:48PM

A typo on my part. My address was 2027 West Evergreen NOT 2020 West Evergreen. You will then see an empty lot with boards around the front I believe.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: PKDickman (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 17, 2012 10:36PM

mphansen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A typo on my part. My address was 2027 West
> Evergreen NOT 2020 West Evergreen. You will then
> see an empty lot with boards around the front I
> believe.

Ok, It is pretty much the sideyard for 2025.

I am surprised it hasn't been built on. It is actually a wide lot.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: mphansen (---.geneseo.net)
Date: July 18, 2012 03:00PM

The building to the right of it is fairly new compared to when I used to live there. If I remember correctly, it was a 3-story apartment. On the second floor lived a family named "Trigger" The elderly Mrs. Trigger played beautiful piano music. Her husband was a grouch but she was really sweet. They had one son named Belden who had a motorcycle and had a crush on my oldest sister. To the left of this empty low lived an old man. I think he lived there for a very long time. He used to come down the stairs and give my brothers, sisters & myself bread. Why? I don't know. He was just a nice old man. If you walk down Evergeen to the end of the block before you get to the old drugstore & soda shop you will see wrought iron fences with spokes that date back to at least the 1950s when I lived there. It is a very pictureque block and just hiking around that neighborhood every chance I get to show my grandchildren where I used to live is a hoot. Of course, the old Wicker Park School has been torn down for years now, but it was your usual old Chicago structure of red brick and loaded with asbestos! Just south of where when you come to the El where Penny's Noodle Shop is, used to be the Busy Bee Restaurant, but before that it was named Francis & Jeans. I know cuz my mom used to be a waitress there, pretty much on Damen & Pierce Aves. Maybe someone can share some memories of Wicker Park with me. Take care!

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: [email protected] (166.181.3.---)
Date: September 16, 2012 12:26AM

Who could forget the BUSY BEE RESTAURANT? located under the L tracks on damen ave just south of milwaukee & North ave?
they sure had great food there I was just a kid but used to go in there on rare occasion. Just south of there was a clinic on the west side of the street that was my mothers doctor friends dr. Lucian Witkowski and his wife Wanda was his nurse. And lets go further south past Wicker Park down to Division and damen. There was the D&D RESTAURANT on the corner and a corned beef place to die for i cant remember the name of it. I used to run west on Division all the way to California where there was RICKIES restaurant and JOE PEIERCES mre corned beef joints. NATES BARBER SHOP on one side and WEBERS POOL HALL on the other side. All the political deals were done ahead of time at rickys in the morning before court.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: PSMO (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: September 16, 2012 01:09PM

Wow, Joe Peirces, the famous Corn beef place, that my friend was a special treat as they say (Once in a Blue Moon) Hugh pickles, hot Corn beef and you could even get the rye bread there or pick it up at Imperial Bakery. Every Sunday kaiser rolls, rye bread, apple slices & a coffee cake, those were the days. My favorite was a small bakery on Wabansia between Wolcott & Honore, for .26 you could get a chocolate eclair & pint of Chocolate milk

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: mphansen (---.geneseo.net)
Date: September 20, 2012 02:24PM

The clinic on the west side of the street across from Wicker Park was called Wicker Park Medical Center. Our family doctor, Dr. James Boland, practiced there. He was a World War II vet in the field and I distinctly rememeber being in his office where he had his pictures displayed during the war in the actual field. He was a very kind man and always gave my mother a break on the cost of us kids going to see him because of our finances. This building later turned into Illinois Bell and after that was a daycare center. I don't know what it is now. I sure would like to go into the building one day and see how it looks. On the doctors' offices in that building they used to have frosted glass on the windows of the doors. I kinda think it was a plastic-type glass. If you grew up there, what address did you live at? I was at 2027 West Evergreen, building is now torn down. Very safe and fun neighborhood back in the day. All of us kids throughout the neighborhood went in packs for trick-or-treating and actually stayed out past dark because it was so safe. The old school was still standing at the time. Tons of kids were outside playing, most moms stayed home and every mother was every kids' mother. Didn't get by with much cuz all mothers seemed to report to each other about their kids. Try that nowadays, huh? Hope to here more comments from you and others on Wicker Park. Maybe we can drop a few names here and there and share more memories. I love this site.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: fleurblue (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: October 14, 2012 06:17PM

My grandmother and grandfather owned a 3-flat on Elk Grove Ave. just off of Damen. It had the vaulted sidewalk which rendered the first floor below street level. The property was well cared for with a large backyard.

I heard that the bathrooms were once located in the outside hallways. My mom's family completely remodeled the building which they bought for $3,000. My mom as a teen, pursuaded her folks to buy the place as a home for their old age. It was just that. Prior to that they had always rented.

I remember getting ice cream at a store on Damen and Elk Grove (one of the few places open on Sundays). The scoop was square so your ice cream was a cube.

I worked at Fairfield Savings during college in the late '60s to '70s. I loved that place. Many college kids were hired to work part time.

There was an Andes Candies across the street. We went to The Busy Bee for lunch.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: rjmachon (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: October 20, 2012 11:51AM

@fleurblue, I can't picture where Damen and Elk Grove meet. Can it be at Damen and North Avenue? I remember Cock Robins Ice Cream shops having the square scoops. I use to hang out at the Burger King on Milwaukee and Honore in the 70's. Then I use to go to the Holiday Club in the late 90's.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: fleurblue (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: October 20, 2012 03:27PM

rjmachon, my childhood memory was way off. Elk Grove is about 2 blocks long starting on Wood St. at the south and slanting to North Ave. on the north.

My grandparents' home was just at the bend in the street near the North Ave. end.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: the_mogra (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: April 10, 2015 05:46PM

there was a popular milwaukee ave discount store, around the stoplight @ evergreen, i remember had a most curious sign overhanging the street 'THIS IS IT!"

who else remembers the pet shop called Active Pets @ 1551 n. milwaukee, a very old store of its type and one of the first I bought tropical fish at. I recall in the shelves of their store 'library' they had the old Robert Stroud authored books on bird diseases (he of birdman of alcatraz notoriety) for reference



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2015 02:14PM by the_mogra.

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Re: Milwaukee Ave Shops & pictures
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner (---.sub-70-194-97.myvzw.com)
Date: February 11, 2016 04:14AM

Btt.

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