Nothing new to report this month in terms of Garden Court Domes, Basement and Comcast. All projects are progressing and when we have more definitive dates we’ll send them along.
Upcoming Events of Interest
Sheridan Triangle Garden Dedication – Sunday, September 15, 4-7PM
Dedication by Ravenswood-Lakeview Historical Association and 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman
3800 Lake Shore Drive – Refreshments will be served.
$10 Raffle…Enter to win a 4K Smart TV!!!
Free CSO Concert – Tuesday, September 24, 7PM
Maestro Muti and the CSO return to Lane Tech College Prep High School, 2501 W. Addison for a FREE Community Concert. This year’s all Prokofiev’s concert features a suite from Romeo and Juliet and Symphony No. 3 which will also be performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall and in European Tour concerts in Cologne, Florence and Milan.
Free tickets are available on line at cso.org, by calling Patron Services at 312.294.3000 or at the Symphony Center Box Office.
A/B Tier Dinner Report
The A/B Tier celebrated a progressive dinner on Saturday, August 3. Virginia Miller and Adam Gehr kicked off the event by hosting cocktails and appetizers on their deck, followed by dinner for 21 participants hosted by Todd Cannon and David Narwich along with Alice and Steve Ginsburgh. Dinner menu included pork loin, beef tenderloin, poached salmon, turkey meatloaf and orzo pilaf style. Salads and homemade bread too!! The evening ended with a dessert table accompanied by liqueurs and port, hosted by Pat Casey.
All hosts/guests contributed food, drink and labor making it a successful and enjoyable event for all. The verdict is that they’re going to do it again.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Barbara and Dick Longworth – 12B
How long have you lived at 3750? We’ve been here 33 years. Barbara was on the Board for six years and president for four years.
Where were you born and raised?
Barbara: Born in Oak Park and raised in Chicago.
Dick: Boone, Iowa
What was your biggest life-expanding decision?
Barbara: To leave Chicago for Europe, a two year move that ended up lasting 20 years.
Dick: To become a journalist.
What was your favorite vacation?
Barbara: Newfoundland and the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria.
Dick: A eight-day camel trek through the Sahara Desert, and several vacations in the Dordogne Valley of France.
Where would you like to go that you have never been?
Barbara: Domaine Forget in Canada.
Dick: Isfahan, in Iran.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Barbara: To sing opera beautifully.
Dick: Banjo virtuosity.
What is your most treasured possession?
Barbara: My Russian samovar.
Dick: The books in my Library.
What city would you like to live in if you didn’t live in Chicago?
Barbara: Lindon, back in the Thameside warehouse loft where we lived in the 1990’s.
Dick: In Sofia, Bulgaria.
Where have you lived:
In London, Moscow, Brussels and Vienna and, before 3750, Evanston.
What was your most memorable journey?
A four-day drive from West Germany to Moscow with our six month old son in back.
Who is the most famous person, either living or dead, that you’d most like to meet?
Barbara: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Dick: Rachel Carlson, to tell her that she got it right.
Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Barbara: James Lovell, Prince Charles, Daniel Barenboim
Dick: Quite a few – Dwight Eisenhower, Nikita Khrushchev, Margaret Thatcher, Gypsy Rose Lee, Henry Kissinger, Neil Armstrong, Barack Obama.
What was your favorite concert?
Barbara: The first time I heard “Eugene Onegin” at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow.
Dick: A private piano recital by Arthur Rubenstein in his Paris home.
If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that be?
Barbara: Ice cream.
Dick: None for me, thanks – too boring.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to Barbara and Dick for expanding our questionnaire. When you’re asked to participate please feel free to do the same.
3750 (1922-1930) – The Real Estate That We Now Recognize
By Todd Cannon (4B)
Shortly after the end of the post war depression in 1921, Emil W. Carlson acquired the remaining southern 100 feet of the Sheridan road footage of the 3750 lots in 1922. Mr. Carlson waited four years before starting construction of his 16-story luxury apartment building in 1926.
Three years earlier, in 1923, plans were announced for the construction of a “$3,200,000 ($48, 013,286 in 2019 dollars) Co-Op 18 –story flats on Sheridan Road” (Chicago Tribune, 15 February 1923, p. 18). Architect Walter Ahlschlager drew up the plans for the 3730 and 3740 buildings which were to have had 60 co-op apartments with a combination of 5-room-2 baths and 6-room-3-bath units. The Tribune reported on 1 April 1923, p. 33, that construction was expected to be completed by 1 May 1924 with apartments selling for $30,000 up to $50,000 ($450,000 to $750,000) in today’s dollars). At the time the first of the two buildings was completed, its main entrance was to be on the south overlooking a lawn with a playground and tennis courts in the rear as well as a private parking garage for 100 cars. By early 1927, eleven tenant owners of the “twin skyscraping co-operative apartment building announced plans to convert to a 100 per cent proposition.” (Chicago Tribune, 6 March 1927, p. 43).
The first advertisements for the 3730 and 3740 Sheridan Lake Apartments by Harold Bradley & Company, referred to them as “A DIVIDEND PAYING HOME, Co-operative Ownership Will Make You Money. The demand for apartments in co-operatively owned buildings has grown so rapidly in the past three years that we have been compelled to establish a department to care for this business exclusively.” The promotional material continued to read: “A building you will be proud to own, and a home second to none. 6 and 7 rooms, overlooking the new park improvements and Lake Michigan. Fifteen minutes to the Loop by car.” (Chicago Tribune, 20 August 1923, p. 23)
In his book, “Chicago Apartments, A Century of Lakefront Luxury” (Acanthus Press, New York, 2004, p. 304), author Neil Harris states that Emil W. Carlson at first planned to use the 3730-3740 architect, Walter Ahlschlager to design his new building at 3750. Instead, Carlson chose Robert S. De Golyer & Co. as architects. Mr. Harris was incorrect, however, in adding that “3750 was built as a cooperative and is one today.”
A Chicago Tribune headline on 23 May 1926, p. 48, read as follows:
“CITY’S ‘FINEST’ APPARTMENT FOR SHERIDAN ROAD
To Tower 16 Stories; Cost $4,500,000”
($65,229,415 in 2019 dollar equivalent)
The article continues to report that “Emil W. Carlson, who has lived a block west of Sheridan, at the southwest corner of Pine Grove and Grace, for fifteen years, has owned the southwest corner of Sheridan and Grace for more than a decade…. Excavation on the site has already begun. Mr. De Golyer promises the building will be ready for tenants by May 1, 1927.
“It will be known as the ‘3750 Sheridan road’ apartments, and will contain 120 apartments, divided into thirty nine –room suites, fifteen seven room, forty-five six room, and thirty suites of five rooms each.
“The building will have an unusual amount of outside exposure, its unusual shape giving it 475 feet. The general plan is a ‘U’ shaped building, the court opening to the west. The eight foot court will have an interesting feature under it—a large swimming pool, recreation room, children’s playroom, besides shower baths, dressing rooms, etc.
“The shower baths will be connected with an entrance so that lake bathers may enter the building directly from the rear and use service elevators to their apartments. The swimming pool will be lighted by windows directly over it….
“Mr. De Golyer’s plans call for the elimination of the usual conglomeration of penthouses on the roof by adding a 17th story, set back fifteen feet from the top of the 16th floor, in which will be housed all the necessary roof paraphernalia, and in addition give considerable storage space. This 17th floor will be treated architecturally as part of the building.
“A fifteen year $2,000,000 ($28,991.073 in today’s dollars)) loan at 6 per cent for the first five years and at 5 ½ per cent for the last ten years, was negotiated with the Metropolitan Life Insurance company through Arthur B. Cody, vice president of the Chicago Trust company and in charge of the real estate loan department of that bank.”
For details about the architecture of 3750 and about its architect, Robert De Golyer, please refer to the very excellent article by Sally A. Kitt Chappell, PhD, entitled “3750 North Lake Shore Drive: Robert De Golyer’s Light-Filled Lake Front Clcassic” (3750 on-line article under “Events”).
During the construction of the luxury apartment building, only one serious accident was reported by the Chicago Tribune (8 June 1927, p. 3): “KIILLED BY ELEVATOR BLOW. Olie Benson, 34, of 2149 West Van Buren was killed yesterday by a descending elevator as he leaned into the shaft in a building under construction at 3750 Sheridan Road.”
Shortly before the rental of the 3750 apartments began, the owner, Emil W. Carlson, formed a new company with Chester H. Greene,, known as Carlson & Greene, Inc., “with offices at 3750 Sheridan road, at the corner of Grace street., to do a general real estate business, specializing in the Lake View district along the gold coast. Mr. Carlson has long been identified with building in the district and Mr. Greene has been a leading figure in the realty world among others. The firm will manage and rent the seventeen story de luxe apartment building nearing completion at the southwest corner of Grace street and the road.” (Chicago Tribune, 6 March 1927, p.47).
What appear to be pages from the marketing brochure designed by Carlson & Greene for 3750 have been found in the Chicagoland Building Brochures Collection at the Ryerson & Burnham Library, Chicago Art Institute (Collection 2008.5, Box 8.14). Followed by a floor plan of the entire building , the first page contains a photograph of the building with the accompanying text: “THIRTY-SEVEN FIFTY Sheridan Road is most delightfully located across the extension of Lincoln Park, a short drive from Chicago’s downtown, close to transportation, amusements and shopping.
“The building is seventeen stories in height and contains one hundred twenty-eight apartments. Thirty of the apartments consist of nine rom and three baths. fifteen have seven rooms and three baths, forty-five have six rooms and three baths, while there are thirty-five five-room apartments, fifteen with one bath and fifteen with two baths.
“This building contains such features as a swimming pool, gymnasium, dressing and shower rooms in the basement for bathers, mechanical refrigeration and ventilation, sound deadener in floors and walls, filtered water and the like. The building from its various exposures affords most charming views of park and drive, and shoreline. Being on Sheridan Road and immediately opposite the extension on Lincoln Park insures the permanence of these views. Emil W. Carlson, Owner. Robert S. DeGolyer & Co. architects.”
The first advertisement for 3750 rentals appeared in the Chicago Tribune, 13 April 1927, p 42 with rents from $225 to $640 ($3,317 to $9,437 in today’s dollars). Occupancy in the new fireproof building was to begin May 1st. Features touted were “unobstructed light and air on four sides; ample closets, specious rooms and convenient arrangements; Pompeian swimming pool, gymnasium, and party room; walnut panel library, colored tile baths with figured rubber silk curtains; careful sound deadening, marble fireplaces, concealed radiation, filtered water; children’s play yard, and highly restricted tenancy.”
When the 1930 US Federal census was taken for 3750 Sheridan road on 5 and 6 April, 91 of the 128 units advertised in 1927 were rented. Rents paid were from a low of $150 to $325 ($2,304 to $4,993 in today’s dollars). There were 16 foreign born heads of household: Germany (6); English speaking Canada (2); England (2); and one each from Sweden, Northern Ireland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, and Czechoslovakia. Of the 91 units occupied, 43 units employed one servant; 4 units employed 2 servants, and 1 unit employed 3 servants. Of these 54 servants, all but one was female and 27 were foreign born: Sweden (10); Germany (6); Northern Ireland (6); and one each from England, Norway, Ireland, Finland, and Austria. The occupations of the heads of household varied widely from attorney and those in finance, advertising, real estate and insurance, transportation, utilities, oil and gas; civil engineers, physicians, proprietors of jewelry, costume, furniture, and clothing establishments to steel, meat packing, and the district manager of 100 Kresge stores.
Next time: the 1930’s, the 1940 census, rent controls, default on the Metropolitan Life Insurance loan, and conversion to the current cooperative status.