Other Cool Things

Stories to Tell: 5724 West Race Avenue, Chicago

I buy vintage magazines about architecture and decoration. It is fascinating having a window into the past.

While today we look at, say, a 1924 issue of House & Garden and think: I love all these antique appliances/curtains/furnishings, in 1924 all this stuff was new! I try and imagine:

  • It it 1924
  • I am sitting in a chair, with the sun streaming in through an adjacent window
  • With the latest issue of House & Garden, all fresh and crispy
  • As I savor the articles and ads for cool new stuff.

If I come across a structure which has an address, I invariably run to my computer to find it. Recently I came across a fine old home in Chicago, and shown in a 1928 issue of American Builder.

Then my heart jumped a bit. The address was listed! Whoee!

Immediately I thought: Does the house still exist?

 

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1928. Austin, Illinois, is now part of Chicago.

 

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5724 West Race Avenue, Chicago, in 1928. The house must have seemed terribly old-fashion in 1928.

 

So, does this fine old house, with it new Winthrop Tapered Asphalt shingles, still exist?

Scroll way down…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sigh.
Sigh.

 

The above is particularly sad as most of the immediate neighborhood is intact. Just not 5724.

I cannot help but wonder: what happened?

An empty lot…with stories to tell.

2 Responses to Stories to Tell: 5724 West Race Avenue, Chicago

  1. I totally understand this! So far I have not gone looking for houses in old magazines, but rather went looking for houses that my family has lived in in the past. I am lucky that my maternal family had a love of photography. I came across one picture of a house that my mom and grandparents lived in for a few years in Weymouth, Mass. A road trip via Google Earth shows that it not only still exists, but it looks almost original! Someday I will find myself, pictures in hand, knocking on that door.
    I have many other pictures of houses, farms, school houses, sugar shacks, hospital, factories, etc that were all important to some member of my family.

  2. That is so sweet Melody! I am sorting my parents thousands of slides and find photos of houses where my Mother grew up, where my grandparents and great grandparents lived. One of my favorites is a little house in Wakeeney Kansas where my Great Grandfather built an innovative “Round House” which was a small room on the back of their small square wood frame house. It was made of brick with an internal circular system of water pipes through which he pumped water. It was a cooling system for the round pantry. The last time I saw it the Round House looked in tact, but I doubt if it has operated as designed for decades. I would love to show up on their porch with a hand full of photos and tell them what that little room is really for. Better yet, I would love to buy it and restore it if I could afford it.

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