Snail's Postcard Post

Jazz Age Chicago


IMG_9032Circa 1920. Note the importance of “Fireproof.” 

Built in 1916, The Seville originally catered to young professionals. It is rumored to have been a gangster hideout during Prohibition. Some even believe Al Capone ran a speakeasy in what is now the garage. There is a suspicious double walled steel door off the lobby. At the end of WWII, the apartments were subdivided, becoming a transient hotel. From there, The Seville fell into complete disrepair. Renovated in the 1980’s, it’s now a condo complex.  

IMG_90381926. Established 1920.

IMG_9039In the 1930’s and early ’40s, mobster Frank Nitti controlled the Chicago Outfit from a suite at the Drake.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio’s initials remain carved into the wooden bar in the Cape Cod Room, the country’s first themed restaurant.

The Drake is currently doing something really cool. As explained on  the hotel website:

“In the last century countless items from the Historic Landmark Property have gone missing. Understanding that our history is part of your history The Drake Hotel is giving guests the opportunity to Go Back in Time and Give Back the Crime with an official pardon. The stories, the memories and the items returned will all be on display – your story will live on within The Drake walls. For the next two months, items will be accepted by mail or in person and without guilt or suspicion—no questions asked. This amnesty program is in preparation for The Drake’s official history tour which will launch this spring.” 


Dear Elizabeth–
I am waiting for Auntie Caitie (?) to go to breakfast,  so will write you as not {?) 8.30. Ira was here last evening + Auntie C. + Aunt Kathryn. Ira + I ate dinner together. He left early + at 9.30 all ready for bed. I have a room just across the hall from theirs. We may fo to Plano tomorrow + may stay (?) until Monday.IMG_90161924, the year the church was completed, making it the first skyscraper church in the United States. Chicago Temple was founded by an English minister, Reverend John Thompson, who was out to save all the no-goodniks flocking to Chicago in the Prohibition era.

Opened in 1916 and popular for business lunches, the Men’s Grill in the men’s department (aka The Store for Men) was the only place in Marshall Field’s that served liquor for many years after Prohibition. Interestingly, the Men’s Grill was founded and run by a woman, Beatrice Hudson. Hudson instituted the popular corned beef hash, which remained on the menu for over fifty years. Hudson went on to own several restaurants in Los Angeles, and came out of retirement at age 76 to manage the Brown Derby (the Hollywood one, of course). Thanks for the info Restaurant-ing Through History! According to The Restaurant Project, in 1931–about the time of this postcard, 1933–luncheon cost 75¢-$1.50. IMG_9010IMG_8989IMG_8990IMG_8991IMG_8992

Next will be Chicago in the 1940s and early ’50s. Don’t miss the final post on the Windy City!

This entry was published on January 7, 2015 at 1:52 pm. It’s filed under U.S.A. and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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