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Chicago Beach: 1900

Chicago Beach: 1900

The Windy City circa 1900. "Chicago Beach Hotel, Hyde Park Boulevard." On the Lake Michigan Riviera. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative. View full size.


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Other Crooked Goings On

I guess there was no tree too crooked to become a utility pole, back in the day.

Fire escape

I recognized the fire escape right away. We had one added to our elementary school in 1958 or 1959, after that awful school fire in Chicago at Our Lady of the Angels. It made two on the second floor of our 1888 brick and wood school. The other was a straight slide. We thought the new spiral one was really cool.

Right the First Time

It is indeed an enclosed circular fire escape staircase—or rather, slide—which could be used for nefarious purposes, as this article from the May 5, 1908 issue of The Chicago Daily Tribune attests:

Hyde in Plain Sight

What is the rocket-shaped item running the vertical length of the building, on the left side of the image, just "behind" the rounded corner of the building? Each floor has a "connection" to it.

Enclosed circular staircase fire escape?

Garbage chute?

Laundry chute?

Construction chute?

Robert Goddard secret testing device?

Open windows?

The bare trees and warm coats on the lads out front suggest it's a cold day - yet there are many open windows. I'm old enough to have stayed in old hotels with steam heat; I've also spent time Russia, staying in apartment buldings heated wtth steam. Theoretically, you could turn a valve on the radiators and shut off the steam, but frequently the valves were frozen from disuse. The only practical method of controlling the temperature in such situations is to open the windows. That's my guess as to what is going on here.


Herman Webster Mudgett?

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