A Tribune Reporter Discovers Jazz and Blues

Chapter 11 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 next three chapters are a bit of a detour, exploring the origins of jazz and blues (the musical genres as well as the words… Continue reading A Tribune Reporter Discovers Jazz and Blues

Miss Patricola, the Queen of the Cabaret

Chapter 10 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 Green Mill Gardens opened in 1914, the headline entertainer was “The Queen of the Cabaret, Miss Patricola.” At that point, Isabella Patricola had already… Continue reading Miss Patricola, the Queen of the Cabaret

Where Charlie Chaplin Slept, and Other Essanay Episodes

Chapter 9 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 Green Mill Gardens opened its doors in 1914, the surrounding neighborhood was a hub for the fledgling movie industry. “The astonishing reality is that Chicago… Continue reading Where Charlie Chaplin Slept, and Other Essanay Episodes

Grand Opening

Chapter 8 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown <— PREVIOUS CHAPTER / TABLE OF CONTENTS / NEXT CHAPTER —> If you stand near Lawrence and Magnolia Avenues, looking toward the northeast corner, you’ll see the giant Uptown Theatre, which was built in 1925. Try… Continue reading Grand Opening

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