Building Chicago’s Riviera Theatre

Chapter 19 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 the midst of Chicago’s turmoil over late-night cabarets, Tom Chamales expanded his local entertainment empire beyond Green Mill Gardens. In March 1916, the Chicago… Continue reading Building Chicago’s Riviera Theatre

Chicago’s 1918 War Against Fun

Chapter 18 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 war against fun in Chicago reached a milestone in 1918. This was the year when the city’s aldermen voted to outlaw most live music… Continue reading Chicago’s 1918 War Against Fun

Concerts and Controversies of 1915

Chapter 14 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 1915—the same year when jazz music was written about for the first time—the biggest event at Green Mill Gardens may have been a charity… Continue reading Concerts and Controversies of 1915

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

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

Piecing Together the Green Mill Puzzle: Updated

UPDATED 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 UPDATED! This chapter now includes more pictures, maps, and historical documentation, which I’ve found since originally posting this in March 2023. (You can read an archived… Continue reading Piecing Together the Green Mill Puzzle: Updated

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