Armitage and Larrabee


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Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: ChiTownJim ()
Date: August 02, 2011 08:40PM

Does anyone remember the name of the appliance store on the corner of Armitage and Larabee? A
fire station is in its place now.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: captain54 ()
Date: August 02, 2011 09:16PM

Not that this is related to your query, but I found some interesting info about another business located at one time at the intersection of Armitage and Larabee.

This from an Electrical trade magazine in 1920:
[i]
THE ABSOLUTE CON-TAC TOR COMPANY Chicago has moved its factory from 2003 2005 Larrabee Street to larger quarters at 4056 4058 Armitage Avenue The offices of the company remain at 127 North Dearborn Street[/i]

A little more about the Absolute Con-tac-tor Company and it's founder. L.A.M Phelan:

[i]In 1920 he created the Absolute Con-tac-Tor Corporation for the production and sale of the mercury switch. This company grew from its original location in Chicago, to Beloit, Wisconsin, and finally to Elkhart, Indiana. Also to his credit is the fact that he conceived and built the first automatic gasoline pump, the first automatic toilet, the first automatic commercial refrigerator, and first and only automatic continuous ice cream freezer. In addition, he was the first employer to use music during working hours to increase the happiness and productivity of workers.

In 1928 Phelan disposed of the Absolute Con-tac-Tor Corporation, and after an extended period of world travel, returned to take over the Taylor Freezer Corporation in Beloit in which he had previously invested. Under his direction Taylor became a recognized leader in the ice cream freezer industry. At that time, there were more Taylor freezers in use around the world than all other freezers combined

The crowning achievement of his career came when he invented "Broasting" in 1954, a revolutionary method of preparing chicken, fish, and other foods by combining pressure cooking and deep frying concepts.[/i]

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: ChiTownJim ()
Date: September 04, 2011 11:28AM

Thank you Captain 54 for that article. I found it very interesting. I am researching my family and from what I have gathered,someone from my family lived on Armitage from the 1860s, when it was called Center St until the 1960s when their building was grabbed by the city to build the fire station. So I am very interested in what was around there.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: jsk1983 ()
Date: September 12, 2011 02:30AM

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5172200960/" title="2054-50 N Larrabee by mister_scantastic, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4154/5172200960_2820bd6b03_o.jpg" width="2003" height="1618" alt="2054-50 N Larrabee"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5172201078/" title="N Larrabee Street by mister_scantastic, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4125/5172201078_d73bc35a6c_o.jpg" width="2017" height="1618" alt="N Larrabee Street"></a>

Thought you might like seeing these photos.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: captain54 ()
Date: September 12, 2011 04:59AM

Interesting photos....Probably the corner of Dickens and Larrabee. The top photo is on the Cushman site listed as 1960, but judging from the autos I'd say late 1967-68.. I would also say that these building were just about ready to come down for the construction of the townhomes and OZ Park in the early 70's. You can sorta see some already cleared on the corner of NW Corner of Dickens and Larrabee, in the 2nd photo.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: zorchvalve ()
Date: October 30, 2011 09:19PM

jsk1983, Do you have any photos of dickens and orchard? I'm trying to identify some of the old photos that I have and I think that they are from that corner.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: zorchvalve ()
Date: October 31, 2011 08:45PM

There was a record store on the southwest corner of armitage and larabee. I got my first record album there. It was Bill Haley and the comets.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: oh4chia ()
Date: December 07, 2011 03:41AM

I had a good friend living on the NW corner of Armitage & Larrabee in the mid '60s.
I think she was above a laundromat. The stairs were very steep. I lived on Deming at the Art Circle in the early '60s, at Geneva Terrace & Fullerton and then on Dayton just north of Armitage in a coach house in the mid '60s, and on Sedgwick (2 locations) and on Mohawk in the early '70s. This was when the high school was still Waller. The city did its Urban Removal thing, destroying all the buildings along Larrabee. When I left Chicago in 1975, much of Larrabee was still vacant lots.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: ChiTownJim ()
Date: May 15, 2012 11:21AM

I looked in the 1928 criss cross directory and found a 'Leles and Sons' store on that corner. Would that have been the same store in the 50s and 60s? It didn't say what kind of store it was. I was talking to my mom and she said she remembers an National Guard (or Army Reserve) armory on Wisconsin and Larrabee. She also said there was a bar called Marty's in that area also.I guess my grandfather knew the owner's family well. I guess it was frequented by police officers(off duty i hope):)

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: zorchvalve ()
Date: May 15, 2012 01:22PM

chitownjim,that may have been my uncles tavern. His name was Rollie Martin.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: Moana ()
Date: July 03, 2012 11:58AM

Members of my family (including my great-great grandparents) and I lived in this general area from the 1850's until 1975 when I moved to Boston. With the third generation, they all move to the west and northwest side of the city.My great grand parents lived at Larabe and North where my grandfather was born. Originally they lived at 6 Town St, which I think was in what is now Lincoln Park.

I shocked the family when right after college I moved to the intersection of Sedgewick/Armitage/Lincoln. Then Cleveland and Armitage and lastly bought a house at Dayton and Diversey. In the 60's - 70's when I lived in "New Town", Larabe was quite desolate. Does anyone remember Cafe Ole!, La Hacienda del Sol, Twin Anchors, or the old German brewry on Sedgwick near North Ave.?

I've been back to Chicago twice. It's sad to see the Urban Renewal of what was a bit scruffy but always wonderful. There is no excuse for the mess they have made of the neighbordhoods, the houses and shops are gone replace by yuppie materialism and real estate pirates. It could have been saved, if you don't believe that look at London, Paris, Amsterdam.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: Chipast ()
Date: July 06, 2012 10:00PM

I agree with you on the hyperdevelopment. Much of the even greater buildings have been replaced with oversized/bland obscene looking eyesores. With a few exceptions. But MOST of the new ones are pathetic looking.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2012 10:03PM by Chipast.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: ChiTownJim ()
Date: August 05, 2012 09:19PM

zorchvalve Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> chitownjim,that may have been my uncles tavern.
> His name was Rollie Martin.


According to my mom and Aunt, the tavern I was thinking of was owned by a Guy named Marty Schneider.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: September 03, 2012 07:52PM

When I was a kid, in the mid 40s, while walking with my parents down Larrabee street at night; I saw what I think was the outside of a brightly lighted dance hall. It was located on the west side of Larrabee, about halfway between Willow and Menomonee streets. I wonder if anyone reading this forum can remember it, so far back in the 40s.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: Rustymuscle ()
Date: September 05, 2012 05:10PM

Nordsider, I checked some old directories, found no dance halls or ballrooms in that area.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: shekaago ()
Date: September 05, 2012 07:27PM

Nordsider, I checked the Sanborn Fire Maps from 1906 and from 1935 and found a dance hall located at 1764 N. Larrabee. However, that address is right at Menomonee and not half-way between Willow and Menomonee so I'm not sure if that is the place you remember. In the 60's there was a place called the Tap Root Pub located at 1762 Larrabee which used the then vacant lot at 1764 Larrabee as its beer garden. Below is an article on the Tap Root.


[url=http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/harleys-place/Content?oid=876130]Chicago Reader Article from 1990 - Tap Root Pub[/url]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2012 07:36PM by shekaago.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: Rustymuscle ()
Date: September 05, 2012 07:49PM

With the information Shekaago has offered, I went back and did some more checking.

--1929 Polk directory (on line) -- 1762 N Larrabee, appears to be a paint shop. 1764 N. is shown as Kosh Hall.

--Subsequent directory searches found no Kosh Hall. Could have changed names, but I didn't find a "Ballroom" (listing head for dance halls) listing at those addresses.

--1957 Reverse directory -- 1762 N. is listed as a residence, 1764 is listed as J&L sales.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2012 08:00PM by Rustymuscle.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: September 05, 2012 09:23PM

Rustymuscle,

Thank you for the reply. Despite the lack of an address for a dance hall or ballroom, I still have the image of a brightly lighted building. What made it remarkable to me, that back in the mid or late 40s, it was the utterly dark and quiet in that area. Walking at night one would hear only the loud, hourly chiming, of nearby of St. Michael's church clock.

Consider that the speakeasy that was in operation during the Prohibition Era, just around the corner at Larrabee and Willow, at the corner of Willow and Howe, surely didn't advertise their address in any city directories. ;-)

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: shekaago ()
Date: September 06, 2012 02:07AM

Rustymuscle,

And thank you for providing another clue to the puzzle...

There was, indeed, a Koch Hall at 1764 N. Larrabee. It was a dance/event hall in the back of Fritz Koch's tavern. Fritz Koch was the father of one time wrestler, turned wrestling promoter, Fred Kohler.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: chicagoista ()
Date: September 06, 2012 02:18AM

It's interesting to see others whose family lived in that area for generations. My family lived there from the 1850s til 1950s, then moved to the NW side. One side of my family owned Sedgwick between Menomonee and Willow and had a drug store, dress shop and gift shop, but lost everything but their house during the Depression.

A few years back I lived in Americana Towers on Wells, and found it a bit depressing. It's still a nice area, but has become very homogenized... like most of Chicago has.


Moana Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Members of my family (including my great-great
> grandparents) and I lived in this general area
> from the 1850's until 1975 when I moved to Boston.
> With the third generation, they all move to the
> west and northwest side of the city.My great grand
> parents lived at Larabe and North where my
> grandfather was born. Originally they lived at 6
> Town St, which I think was in what is now Lincoln
> Park.
>
> I shocked the family when right after college I
> moved to the intersection of
> Sedgewick/Armitage/Lincoln. Then Cleveland and
> Armitage and lastly bought a house at Dayton and
> Diversey. In the 60's - 70's when I lived in "New
> Town", Larabe was quite desolate. Does anyone
> remember Cafe Ole!, La Hacienda del Sol, Twin
> Anchors, or the old German brewry on Sedgwick near
> North Ave.?
>
> I've been back to Chicago twice. It's sad to see
> the Urban Renewal of what was a bit scruffy but
> always wonderful. There is no excuse for the mess
> they have made of the neighbordhoods, the houses
> and shops are gone replace by yuppie materialism
> and real estate pirates. It could have been saved,
> if you don't believe that look at London, Paris,
> Amsterdam.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2012 02:19AM by chicagoista.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: September 06, 2012 12:15PM

shekaago Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Rustymuscle,
>
> And thank you for providing another clue to the
> puzzle...
>
> There was, indeed, a Koch Hall at 1764 N.
> Larrabee. It was a dance/event hall in the back of
> Fritz Koch's tavern. Fritz Koch was the father of
> one time wrestler, turned wrestling promoter, Fred
> Kohler.

shekaago,

Thanks much for the information about Koch Hall and tavern. I saw the place when I was probably ten or less years old, so just exactly how I thought it was a dance hall, I'm not at all sure. It also, vaguely, brings to mind something that I've read, somewhere, about the place, possibly in a Chicago mystery. Fritz Koch sounds interesting, I wonder if he was a friend of the ward alderman Paddy Bauler.

By the way, my aunt's father was a baker, and I've heard that he owned a bakery on Larrabee. It must have been at or near his home, which was, according to the 1930 Census, located at 1949 N. Larrabee. The 1940 Census shows him at a new address, far west of Larrabee.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2012 12:17PM by nordsider.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: shekaago ()
Date: September 06, 2012 07:22PM

Nordsider,

I also find, by looking at Chicago Tribune articles from the 1930's, that 1764 Larrabee was also at one time called Schultz' Arena and wrestling matches were held there.

A search of Fritz Koch turns up some information on him owning several taverns in the area besides the one on Larrabee. One was at 643 W. North Avenue and another at 1329 N. Clybourn. And an article in the Chicago Tribune dated January 13, 1913 states that Koch, as you suspected, was friends with both aldermen V. J. Schaeffer and John H. Bauler.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: shekaago ()
Date: September 06, 2012 08:27PM

Nordsider,

The 1935 Sanborn Fire Map shows a bake shop in the rear of 1949 Larrabee. :-)

[url=http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/4565313/1949-n-larrabee-1935-sanborn-map-chicago-gif-46k?da=y]1949 N Larrabee[/url]

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: September 06, 2012 10:39PM

shekaago Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nordsider,
>
> The 1935 Sanborn Fire Map shows a bake shop in the
> rear of 1949 Larrabee. :-)
>
> 1949 N Larrabee

shekaago,

Thanks so much, I wouldn't have expected the shop to be in the back, but there it is. You are a veritable fountain of interesting information!

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: shekaago ()
Date: September 07, 2012 01:11AM

Nordsider,

You are most welcome! Thank you for sharing your memory of your walk down Larrabee. The history of this area of Chicago is fascinating.

I must also clarify, from my earlier post, that John H. Bauler was Mathias (Paddy) Bauler's brother. Paddy was the 3rd Bauler brother to sit on the City Council. Herman Bauler served 3 terms as alderman until his death. Then John ran for the office left vacant by Herman when he died. John won and went on to serve 4 consecutive terms. Then along came Paddy... All 3 Baulers were saloon owners.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: nordsider ()
Date: September 07, 2012 10:04AM

shekaago Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nordsider,
>
> You are most welcome! Thank you for sharing your
> memory of your walk down Larrabee. The history of
> this area of Chicago is fascinating.
>
> I must also clarify, from my earlier post, that
> John H. Bauler was Mathias (Paddy) Bauler's
> brother. Paddy was the 3rd Bauler brother to sit
> on the City Council. Herman Bauler served 3 terms
> as alderman until his death. Then John ran for the
> office left vacant by Herman when he died. John
> won and went on to serve 4 consecutive terms. Then
> along came Paddy... All 3 Baulers were saloon
> owners.

shekaago,

Back in the late 40s, my mother met our alderman Mathias J.(Paddy) Bauler at his office/tavern. My mother was a PTA member of my grammar/elementary school and she asked alderman Bauler's help in transforming a large empty lot across the street from the school into a much needed children's playground. She was successful, and the Bauler Playlot was built. I always gave silent thanks to my mother's efforts, because I was able to develop my skills at the playlot basketball court . . . and no doubt helped me stay out of trouble.

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: shekaago ()
Date: September 07, 2012 04:36PM

Nordsider,

That is really a wonderful example of how one person or a few concerned people can make a positive impact on the future of a neighborhood and on future generations. I wish there were more people in this world like your mother and am glad you are here to tell the story!

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: zorchvalve ()
Date: September 09, 2012 03:56PM

Nordsider and Shekaago, The tavern at 643 w. north avenue was named Loyds in the 1950s. It was across the street from northern home furniture. While I'm in that neighborhood,does anyone remember the Isana Paper Co. on vine street?

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: rjmachon ()
Date: October 01, 2012 07:27AM

Does anyone recall a bar on North Ave, just west of the river named the Pinewood? It was on the south side of the street. Could have it been at 1315 West North Avenue?

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Re: Armitage and Larrabee
Posted by: 423reed ()
Date: October 09, 2012 08:04PM

The store everyome has been writing abouwas Leis and Sons.My first job was working there cleaning up after school on weekdays. I remember it paid hardly anything and the owners, who were elderly, were never happy with the quality of my work and they were very crabby. The store sold records in the old fashioned way with individual sampling booths! Across the street a little south was a Marine Corp. recruiting center building. Further south was a very large truckimg company named Krema Trucking. They had a huge warehouse for their trucks. North of North Avenue was a small movie theater names the Ideal, then further up was Sieben's brewery and beer garden.

Sieben's was actually the cause of the St. Valentine's day Masacre. Dutch Schultz and Al Capone hated each other. During Prohibition, Dutch sold Sieben's to Al for I beieve a half million Dollars. And Dutch then dropped a dime on Al with the cops that Al was operating an illegal alcohol operation there and the cops raided and busted up Sieben's and shut it down, so Al was out all that money. Al then set up the Masacre to get even, but he missed out on Dutch. At the corner of Larrabee and Eugenie was an anchient drug store that still had the horse tie rings mounted in the sidewalk near the curb.

My mom's family had lived on Mayer court since the 1860's. In those days everybody's family lived in the area for generations and we knew everyone. Back then North Avenue was a big deal shopping area like Lincoln and Belmont. e has three dime stores, an old fashioned meat market with sawdust on the floor, old German bakery, a small A&P store, a brand new big bana second floor bowling alley, shoe store, big furniture and clothing stores, gas stations (3), etc. It was a great area to grow up in.
Jim Reed

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