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

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

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 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

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