Cabarets, Gardens, the Dance Craze, and That Paris Thing

Chapter 7 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER—> Around 1913, as Tom Chamales began making plans to transform the old Morse’s roadhouse into the larger and more lavish Green Mill Gardens, some people wanted… Continue reading Cabarets, Gardens, the Dance Craze, and That Paris Thing

The Battle Over Beach Rowdies, B-Girls, and Disorderly Women

Chapter 6 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> In September 1910, Tom Chamales began leasing the saloon formerly known as Pop Morse’s roadhouse.1 Less than four years later, he would build the larger… Continue reading The Battle Over Beach Rowdies, B-Girls, and Disorderly Women

The Early Years of Green Mill Founder Tom Chamales

Chapter 5 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER—> The man who created Green Mill Gardens—the forerunner of the Green Mill jazz club—was Greek immigrant Tom Chamales. More than anyone else, he was the guiding… Continue reading The Early Years of Green Mill Founder Tom Chamales

The Sunnyside, Cemetery Saloons, and the Rise of Ravenswood

Chapter 4 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> When I moved to Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, one of the local legends I heard involved Abraham Lincoln. Supposedly, he’d stopped at a local saloon called… Continue reading The Sunnyside, Cemetery Saloons, and the Rise of Ravenswood

Topography, Tombs, and Tolls

Chapter 3 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> The land in Chicago looks flat. There are no mountains on the horizon. And when you go around the city, you might not notice any… Continue reading Topography, Tombs, and Tolls

Piecing Together the Green Mill Puzzle

Chapter 2 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> Before delving deeper into the various stories about the Green Mill, let’s try piecing together same basic facts about the place: Where exactly was it… Continue reading Piecing Together the Green Mill Puzzle

Addendum: The “L” Arrives at Wilson

An Addendum to Chapter 1 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— CHAPTER 1 / TABLE OF CONTENTS / CHAPTER 2—> May 31, 1900, was one of the most momentous days in the development of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. This was when the first elevated trains… Continue reading Addendum: The “L” Arrives at Wilson

Pop Morse’s Roadhouse and the Myth of 1907

Chapter 1 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— INTRODUCTION / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER (coming soon) —> The Green Mill did not open in 1907. Maybe you’ve heard that it did. Many articles say 1907 was the original founding date for… Continue reading Pop Morse’s Roadhouse and the Myth of 1907

The Coolest Spot in Chicago

A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown By ROBERT LOERZEL Photographs by Robert Loerzel (except historic images) (Jump ahead to the TABLE OF CONTENTS) INTRODUCTION When Green Mill Gardens opened in June 1914, an advertisement called it “the coolest spot in Chicago.” That was surely just a reference to the temperature… Continue reading The Coolest Spot in Chicago

Favorite Movies of 2022

1. Aftersun I loved this marvelous debut by director Charlotte Wells the first time I saw it (at the Chicago International Film Festival in October), but I didn’t quite put together all of Aftersun’s pieces until seeing it for a second time, when it felt even more devastating. Paul Mescal rightfully earned praise for his… Continue reading Favorite Movies of 2022

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