Through the 1920s Uptown experienced a building boom that had some speculating that the neighborhood might eclipse the Loop...—Lynn Becker, ArchitectureChicago Plus
Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads is a small, not-for-profit publisher with specialties in history, mythology, culinary lore, and the preservation of folk traditions.
We are pleased to announce that many of the historic postcard images from our collection are now available as enlargements, suitable for framing. All images are printed on 8 x 10 photo paper.
Due to the nature and size of the original postcards, the enlargements will not measure 8 x 10 exactly, but will have a white border. These are unretouched photos, with historic handwritten notes and cancellation stamps on some of the images.
You may order your images through the Web site, or by sending a check or money order to the address below, made payable to “Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads.” Please indicate which images you are interested in when sending payment by mail. All prices include postage and handling. As these are special-order items, be sure to allow two to three weeks for processing.
To see framed samples of the enlargements, visit Fat Cat Bar and Grill on Broadway Avenue, just north of the Uptown Theatre.
A 1930s image of the dancefloor of the Aragon Ballroom, looking toward the stage.
An interior view of the Aragon Ballroom at Lawrence and Winthrop, showing one of the lounges where couples could rest between dances.
Clarendon Municipal Beach was the largest bathing beach in the country, attracting 425,000 paying visitors the first summer it opened in 1916 and almost 2 million a year by 1929. It had two towers, separate locker areas for men and women, a playroom, and a laundry facility. It could accommodate more than 9,000 swimmers and had a promenade for thousands of spectators.
An image of Clarendon Municipal Beach looking southward, with hundreds of bathers.
A close up of the pavilion at Clarendon Municipal Beach. When Lincoln Park was expanded up to Foster Avenue, Clarendon lost its lake frontage. The city converted the building into a community center, and a major renovation in 1972 resulted in the removal of the elaborate towers and roof tiles. Today, it holds a gymnasium, boxing ring, fitness center, and meeting rooms. Programs include after school sports, aerobics, and preschool activities.
Image of Clarendon Beach, showing the extensive crowds that would visit on a hot summer’s day.
The Edgewater Beach Apartments is all that remains of the vast complex that was the Edgewater Beach Hotel. Its pink facade is a well-known local landmark.
Edgewater Beach Hotel, looking westward, with the Uptown/Edgewater neighborhood in the background. When the EBH lost its prime lakefront due to the extension of Lake Shore Drive, it was the beginning of the end for the hotel.
A beautiful black-and-white image of one of the many lounges that graced the Edgewater Beach Hotel. Like the Aragon Ballroom and the Uptown Theatre, the EBH had decorative painted beams in many of its public areas.
Back in the 1930s, Hawaiian-themed bars and nightclubs were all the rage. Honolulu Harry’s was located on Broadway near Wilson Avenue.
Does the old Kemper Insurance Building, located at Sheridan and Lawrence, look strange to you? That’s because it’s actually shorter in this image than it is now. Four more stories were added some time after its initial construction.
The New Lawrence Hotel was originally an upscale apartment hotel, designed by Ralph Huszagh and Boyd Hill, the architectural team responsible for the Aragon Ballroom.
An alternate view of the New Lawrence Hotel, located on Lawrence at Kenmore.
Once located at 4812 Clark near Lawrence, Fred Mann’s Rainbo Gardens was one of Chicago’s premier entertainment venues. Larry Fine of the Three Stooges was first discovered here!
The Sheridan Plaza Hotel, built in 1919, was one of Uptown’s first full-service, upscale apartment hotels.
The Sheridan Trust Bank was originally located in this building before it moved across the street to what is today the Bridgeview Bank Building. After the bank moved out, it became the Loren Miller Department Store, then Goldblatt’s, and was closed for many years before being restored as a branch for Borders Books.
The Uptown Station was conceived and designed by architect Arthur Gerber, who also designed the McJunkin Building across the street.
The Via Lago Restaurant, once located on Wilson Avenue, featured a glass dance floor.
Bathers at Wilson Avenue Bathing Beach.
Wilson Avenue, looking east toward the Sheridan Plaza Hotel and Lake Michigan.
Close up view of bathers enjoying the beach at Wilson Avenue.
A very early image of the Wilson Avenue train station.
A rare image of the Wilson Avenue Vaudeville Theatre. The building, one of the few remaining remnants of the era, today houses a bank.
The Yacht Club at the Edgewater Beach Hotel.