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Theatorium: 1907

Theatorium: 1907

Chicago, 1907. "State Street south from Lake Street." At left, the Masonic Temple and Marshall Field department store. Photo by Hans Behm. View full size.


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Gene Siskel Film Center

is not where the Theatorium is. That is where the local ABC-TV affiliate broadcasts. The Film Center is past that alleyway, right in the middle of that half-block. It would be directly across the street from the Masonic Temple. Speaking of theaters, across the street from the Theatorium is where the Chicago Theater stands.

Chicago 2012 State Street south from Lake Street

For this photo, the 1907 photographer and I both stood on the elevated "L" train platform which was built in the 1890s.

Some of the old (to us) features of State street don't yet exist in the 1907 photo.

The Chicago Theatre dates from 1921. The subway entrances in the foreground lead to the 1943 subway.

Big Perk

Barely visable on the right, above the sign that says "lunch", is an overgrown coffee pot. I just love these giant sign tokens. I've seen molars, eyes and glasses, mortars and pestles, hats, hands, etc, etc. As someone wondered in a previous post, what happened to these and do any still exist? As an ex-antique store owner I would love to start a collection, but I know I would first have to win the gazillion dollar lottery.

Aching tooth?

This is the place to fix that problem. I spy at least 3 separate dentist offices (including McFatrick).

Re: the first comment

Actually Fitz a commenter on a previous pic many weeks ago implied that streetcar guages were predicated on the standard width of the wagon wheels, supposedly. And from that, many other things were extrapolated. The story has its detractors and originally actually corresponds to chariots and the standard 4'8" railroad track but you get the idea. What is known is that even if the width is coincident or seredipitous, wagon drivers liked to travel in the streetcar ruts for obvious reasons. The internet "lore" can be found at:

Ornamental Street Light

There have been many interesting street lights in Shorpy city views, but this one of an arc light is one of the best. A number of cities have replicated original standards, albeit with modern light sources. Metal halide and LED light sources are similar to arc lights, and a vast improvement over orange sodium vapour.

The old slot

Electric trolley (tram) cars replaced the Chicago City Railway cable cars on the left hand track a year age, but the slot to reach the underground cable remains.

When in doubt- -

use Latin in your signage, also what is LUNGH ? ?

[It's what you have when you're hunchry. - tterrace]

Upper left side of picture

I wonder if Dr. McFatrick was a weight loss specialist. I am also thankful that I don't have that last name as I surely would have been the butt of jokes from the time I was born.

View from Chicago

1) Beautiful picture.

2) Happily, quite a bit of this real estate is still standing--Marshall Field's (third building on the left); Carson Pirie Scott (fifth on the left); Reliance Building (the white building of which a sliver is visible on the right side of the street)

3) This photo shows what a tragedy it was that they tore down the Masonic Temple--second building on the left--in 1939 to build a two-story "taxpayer."

4) Interestingly, today the site of the Theatorium is the Gene Siskel Film Center, the cinematheque of the Art Institute of Chicago. I like the sound of "Gene Siskel Theatorium" much better.

5) How this scene looked as a tinted postcard:

Odd Name..

Up in the corner, by the "Shorpy" mark is the name Dr. McFatrick or McFatrich. It is difficult to make out the last letter of the name as it is partially obscured by the corner of the building.

Also, since it is 11 (eleven) floors up, can anyone at street level actually see that?

Oh I do like the Wells Bros. Sign ( Wells 20 Century Molasses Candy) I Just wish I could read the whole thing.

[The more you eat, the more you want! - tterrace]

Don't Jump!

Does the man washing the windows on the second floor work his way up, or has he worked his way down?

Trolley Car Drafting

Couldn't help noticing how the horse drawn wagons neatly fit onto the trolley tracks. Almost looks like they are 'drafting' the trolley cars. Early NASCAR training?

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