Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There used to be this house along Sheridan just North of Thorndale Beach. I guess house would be an understatement and mansion would be a bit more appropro, harkening back to the days before the highrises when that whole stretch was filled with mansions. Since I never saw anyone around or any sign of life I assume it has been pretty much empty the last 10 years or so, most of the windows boarded, the lot unkempt, the windows dark. It was a beauty though, huge red brick with rounded bay windows on the upper corners. They finally tore it down over Christmas, and since it had snowed over the construction dirt, when I came back from Rockford, it was like it had simply vanished in the snow, no trace that a house had even been there, even though it had probably been standing there for a hundred years or more. They will probably build condos there eventually and I feel so much of this happens in Chicago. One day things just aren't there anymore and maybe some people notice, but things go on, get built over and eventually everyone forgets they were there. I will occasionaly wander through Lincoln Park, where I lived all those years ago, and each time, it seems something drastic has changed. Perhaps becuase it's a city constantly reinventing itself over and over. Still sometimes I wish they would consider keeping a bit of the old around before bulldozing to make room for the new.

When I lived in that studio down in LP, the building was even older than the one I live in now and apparently had once been a hotel. Along the wall, where they had situated the kitchen set-up in what looked to have been a closet at one time, there was a narrow mystery door in the hall about two feet away from the actual door which basically, had it not been plastered over, would have opened into the back of my refridgerator. I'm guessing maybe it had to do with hotel linen service at one time if that was the closet, but I was always intriqued by that slender door to nothing. There's a door in the conference room on the fifth floor here in the library like that, that once led out of what was an office, and since they decided to keep the wood panels and swanky stone fireplace intact, and basically redid the library outside and all around it. It's all very House of Leaves.

Perhaps this why the Fine Arts geeks me out so much. I haven't discovered any secret doors, but I do have a mail slot in the door an old school transom above the door(I don't usually open it since it creates a wind tunnel effect when the windows are open and blows the art off the walls.) And I've always loved my 30's apartment building with it's peeling paint and clanky, leaky radiators (okay, those parts less so) but the floors and high ceilings are absolutely lovely.

1 comment:

Kathleen Rooney said...

This is very pretty, Kristy. I love old buildings and traces (mail slots, transoms) of obsolete architecture, too. I haven't been by that way in a while and am sad to hear that mansion has been disappeared.