3750 NEWSLETTER — September-October 2020
2020 ANNUAL MEETING
The Annual Meeting, on October 27, will, of course, be “virtual” this year. All shareholders are asked to make a special effort to submit votes in a timely fashion. It is imperative that at least 50% of shareholders participate in order to achieve the necessary quorum.
The Basement Containment project is currently focused on electrical (lighting) work as well as the acquisition and installation of required doors. A progress report will be issued soon.
The POOL and FITNESS AREAS are once again open and available — with special guidelines, rules and regulations as set forth in the informational email sent to all shareholders on August 31.
Improvements in the fitness areas are underway. Briefly, two pieces of existing equipment need attention. The purchase of a new elliptical machine is in process. Also, repairs to a treadmill are scheduled to occur soon.
SHAREHOLDER QUESTIONS REGARDING POOL AND CHILDREN’S PLAYROOM
A few shareholders asked the Board at the September Board meeting about the possibility of allowing visiting grandchildren to use the pool (with their grandparents) and whether or not the Children’s Playroom could be reopened.
So far 3750 has remained safe because our rules are consistent with State of Illinois and CDC guidelines including the masks we’ve been asked to wear in our public areas, social distancing guidelines we’ve been asked to follow, and limiting access to the common areas to those who live in the building. As fall and winter approach, we need to maintain our vigilance as flu season and an anticipated increase in COVID cases is expected.
The Board has discussed these issues several times before and after opening the exercise area and the pool and will continue to review the situation periodically. Input from shareholders is welcomed, but for now, existing rules, regulations and protocols remain in effect. Public rooms remain closed and guests are not allowed to use our facilities.
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS
Phyllis Mandler and Gary Elden, 14E
How long have you lived at 3750?
Since 1987, 33 years
Where were your born and where did you grow up?
P: I was born in New York City at Polyclinic Hospital. Weight: 7.3lbs. I was told I had a misshapen head (owing to the use of forceps during delivery). My grandfather, Sam, was quoted as saying, “We’ll love her anyway.” I grew up in Queens, NY, walking distance and halfway between Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein; necessitating the move to Chicago.
G: When born, my parents lived on Grace St., just east of Broadway and I attended school across the street. We subsequently moved north, but remained within city limits. Reportedly, I was a beautiful baby and continue to be beautiful to this day.
What was your favorite vacation?
P: Central Asia; the Silk Road, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan,
G: Hiking through S.E. France
Where would you like to go that you have never been?
P: Republic of Georgia
G: Des Moines
Which talent would you most like to have?
P: Fiction writing
G: Now, the ability to sing, or, at least, to carry a tune. Before, athletic prowess
What is your most treasured possession?
P: Miniature Ming Dynasty mechanized waving cat — once owned by Madame Chiang Kai-shek
Both: Our family photo albums
What city would you like to live in if you didn’t live in Chicago?
P and G: Paris or New York
Who is the most famous person, either living or dead, that you’d most like to meet?
P: Golda Meir
G: Robert Caro, author of biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson
Who is the most famous person that you have ever met?
G: Barack Obama, who I supported back when he was running fourth in the primary for senate. He would even phone his small group of supporters from time to time to make sure we hadn’t given up.
What was your favorite concert?
P: “Beautiful: the Carole King Musical”
What was your favorite book? Your favorite fictional character?
P:”Adequate Yearly Progress” by Roxanna Elden
Sydney Carton, “Tale of Two Cities”
G: Robert Caro’s 3-volume biography of Lyndon B. Johnson
Hamlet, but I have trouble deciding.
Who are your favorite authors?
P: Tom Wolfe, Scott Turow, Roald Dahl
G: Robert Caro, Tom Wolfe, Ron Chernow
What is your favorite Chicago theater, if any? (Goodman, Steppenwolf, Steep, etc.)
G: Shakespeare at Navy Pier
What is your favorite restaurant in Chicago? Anywhere?
P: Les Nomades, Taxím, Hai Yen, Trattoria Riccardo, North Pond
G: North Pond
What is your most memorable meal – anytime, anyplace?
P: 3 days, straight, of crab right off the boat while camping in Nova Scotia; my first trip with Gary.
G: A Paris extravaganza, at a place whose name I can’t recall
If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would that be?
P: Lobster, wonderful bread
G: Peanut Butter
What is your guilty TV pleasure?
P: “Project Runway”, “Great British Baking Show”, “Tiny House Nation”
G: Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert (and, I don’t even feel guilty.) Randy Rainbow videos, if that counts as TV
What have you binge watched, if anything?
P: “The West Wing”
G: 10 straight Randy Rainbow videos when I found they were available on YouTube. I’m not sure that that counts.
What is your classic film favorite?
P: “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House”
G: “Brokeback Mountain”
Do you have a contrarian position about something that almost everybody likes? (movie, play, book, etc.)
P: I like the much-maligned renovation of Soldier Field
G: “War and Peace” seem interminable and insufficiently edited
What characteristic or attribute in others do you most admire?
G: Critical thinking
What profession other than your own would you like to try?
P: Architecture, medical research
G: Stand-up comedian
Thick or thin? 🙂
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
We’re still spending more of our time at home than we’re accustomed to do and as a consequence, we still have more time to explore what’s available to us in home entertainment. Some recent suggestions:
Linda Stern has been enjoying “Wisting”, a 10-part Norwegian noir available (subtitled, of course) on Amazon Prime. Also on Amazon Prime, Linda suggests “Bosch”, based on Michael Connelly’s novels. There are six 10-part seasons available.
Linda and Ann Harrison both liked “Unforgotten”, on Amazon Prime. It is an outside-the-box British police procedural comprised of are three, 6-episode seasons, each unraveling a single cold case.
Ann also loved “Unorthodox” on Netflix, a 4-part drama inspired by Deborah Feldman’s memoir of her flight from the repressions of her life in the Satmar Hasidic sect. Ann says that though it’s not great art, “A Place to Call Home” IS insanely addictive and bingeable; think “Downton Abbey” set in the fifties and transported (see what we did there?) to Australia. The initial impression it makes is of a bodice-ripper with suspect acting, then all of the sudden…hooked. Be warned: it’s the video equivalent of crack.
David Narwich has been time-traveling back to the sixties and enjoying the various iterations of Alfred Hitchcock’s television programs, available of MeTV (channel 357) and Peacock.
A recent New York Times article described the trove of video treasures from the early Golden Age of Television — now available on YouTube. As live theatre is not an option for us at the moment, it is useful to recall that there was a time when live performance of first-rate drama written, directed and performed by the greatest talents of the day were staples of daily programming. These productions were the equivalent of live theatre available to anyone who owned a set, wherever they lived. Before they were films, “Twelve Angry Men”, “Marty”, “Requiem for a Heavyweight” and “Bang the Drum Slowly” among many others, were broadcast live on television and recorded. The picture quality is that of early television, to wit, poor, but the performances are evergreen, captured live and available to us now.
***The late’60s – the Garden Court is in full bloom!!***
By Todd Cannon, 4B
Enjoying the new Garden court at 3750 Lake Shore Drive which was opened with cocktails and a fashion show yesterday are, from left, three residents of the newly modernized building: Mrs. Benjamin Elman, Mrs. Gerald Crane, and Mrs. Robert E. Halperin. (Chicago Tribune, Saturday, 30 September 1967, p. 18)
GARDEN IN THE CITY UNVEILED
“When residents of 3750 Lake Shore drive return home these days, they don’t always go straight to their apartments. Rather, they are apt to saunter in in the new basement and courtyard, called the Garden Court and Spa, to see who’s there and what’s going on.
The area is part of a sweeping program for the 41-year old building, which includes everything from basement ventilation to improved penthouse water pressure to closed television security control. It was executed by the late architect, G. Scott Hodgkins, whose untimely death at 32, residents feel, is a loss to the city. He envisioned a plastic covered garden in what formerly was the building’s central court.
Plastic Bubble Above
The basement swimming pool was opened to the sky (now protected by a plastic bubble) to provide an interesting new social and recreational center on two levels for apartment owners and their guests.
This winter garden is invitingly furnished, guests discovered at the opening cocktail celebration yesterday, with many potted plants to provide greenery amongst the marble and masonry construction.
There are adjoining rooms for private parties, a splendid new kitchen in what formerly was chauffeurs’ quarters (times do change), a gymnasium, locker rooms, a powder room, rooms for massage, saunas for men and women, and a new air conditioned laundry room all in yellow with piped in music. Throw your things in the washing machine and go for a swim!
Cocktails and Fashions
The tenant owners of the building, whose board chairman is Manuel Donchin, undertook financial responsibility for the updating program. Adding to the pleasure of the cocktail opening yesterday was a parade of fashions around their newly popular pool. Complained one teen-ager: ‘I used to have it all to myself!’
But teens were not forgotten. There’s a ping-pong and music room for them.
Sun lamps are available. And if anyone craves real sunshine, he can always go up to the roof garden on top of the building.
But not until next summer.” (Article written by Eleanor Page)
The architect who designed the Garden Court and who is mentioned in the above article, G(eorge) Scott Hodgkins, was a graduate of Yale University and Yale Architectural school. His firm, Hodgkins & Associates, had offices at 22 West Monroe street. He lived with his wife Constance and daughter Pamela Louise in Lake Forest where he died at age 32, 30 June 1967. (Chicago Tribune, Saturday, 1 July 1967, p. 4B)
Newspaper listings for 3750 apartments for sale were quick to take advantage of the new building features and advertised “Gracious Living in Chicago’s finest year round outdoor living in-doors, complete with Garden Court, swimming pool, saunas, recreation rooms, sun deck, roof garden, massage rooms, gymnasium, and air conditioned laundry room.”
A Chicago Tribune article from 7 August 1967 featured the roof top gardens of three Lake Shore Drive apartment buildings: 1500, 3240, and 3750. Entitled “Gardening atop a roof represents the best of metropolitan worlds—ten minutes from the heart of the city yet as peaceful, quiet, and colorful as a suburban backyard,” the article included aerial views of the buildings’ garden terraces. The 3750 picture (too dark to reproduce here) was captioned: “Penthouse apartments at 3750 Lake Shore drive have not one but several roof gardens. The first three from left belong to James Day. The next is part of Dr. Julius Glasser’s outdoors. Many new buildings have large gardens for all tenants.” (Chicago Tribune, feminique section, Monday, 7 August 1967, p. 36)
A fall 1970 article in the Entertaining Section of the Chicago Tribune featured a new catering service, “A crew-cut Gaper’s or a portable Butch McGuire’s…which was making its impact on the Chicago party scene…promising to cater to your whims and serve your needs, whether it’s a beer blast of an elegant penthouse soiree.”
“The most elegant party so far was on terraces atop the 3750 Lake Shore Drive Building. The caterers supplied two bars, a dessert table, two carver chefs cutting hero sandwiches and a steamed round of roast beef and the serving personnel: (Chicago Tribune, Friday, 6 November 1970, p. 59)
The Garden Court appears to have been frequently used in the late 1960’s and 1970’s for parties, dinners, fashion shows, and a variety of celebrations:
SPRINGLIKE SUPPER HONORS JUDGE MAROVITZ
By Irene Powers
“To paraphrase the seasonal ditty, it might as well have been spring. In the gathering dusk of a chilly gray day, the garden court of the 3750 Lake Shore Drive apartments was a sunny island of green palms and vines, white daisies and yellow daffodils where last night, Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Halperin entertained 180 guests at a buffet supper honoring Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz of federal district court.
A professional model, Mrs. Halperin is coaching a selected group of amateurs in runway techniques for the Israeli Fashion Festival. Her mannequins and their husbands were among the guests enjoying the Halperins’ hospitality last night, as were the committee members from the women’s division of the Israel government bonds organization managing the show. The traveling collection of new creations of Israeli designers which is to be shown in 60 cities, will be presented here on April 1 in the new Carnegie theater in Rush street.
Welcoming her guests in the garden court setting last night, the party hostess was a stunning fashion plate herself in long high-belted gown of sea green crepe, its jeweled lapels and cuffs glinting in candlelight as she moved among the yellow-covered tables.
Among the Guests
Judge Marovitz, Marshall Korshak, and Erwin Weiner, who is bond chairman, all spoke on aspects of investment in Israel’s future. The John Docurros entertained the guests with duets from operas.
At the party were the Peter Volids, who will be giving a cocktail party at Mr. Kelly’s on the eve of the fashion festival. The Henry D. Pashens were there: Mrs. Paschen, the former prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief, was to have modeled in the April 1 show, but a speaking engagement in Puerto Rico will take her from home at that time….” (Chicago Tribune, Monday, 11 March 1968, p. 54)
The 3750 Hospitality Room was also featured in a Chicago Tribune article in 1969:
HOSPITALITY ROOM BOON TO APARTMENT ENTERTAINING
“Company coming? Apartment dwellers have been known to quake at the prospect of a crowd invading the cramped confines of their living quarters. Entertaining, in fact, can constitute one of the more difficult phases of transition from a sprawling home to a more compact residence.
Indeed, for a prospective host the choices may seem clear: trim the guest list, take the bunch out for lunch, or endure claustrophobia.
But numerous empathetic builders have provided a more viable alternative for the harried hostess. They have included club and hospitality rooms in their architectural plans.” The Tribune visited three residential buildings including 3750 Lake Shore. The managers of all three buildings visited “agreed that such a feature was a plus in their favor when interviewing prospective tenants.”
Two of the buildings including 3750 incorporated “areas specially designed for parties and informal gatherings. The co-op’s hospitality room and garden court, however, are converted maids’ and chauffeurs’ quarter. The 3750 space could accommodate up to 350 persons, adjoined catering kitchens, and doubled as lounges and centers for organized activities.”
“Parties in the 3750 Lake Shore building run the gamut of wedding receptions to children’s birthday celebrations. “
Pictured below is the 3750 Hospitality Room with the caption: “The lovely Siamese lady whispers the secret of this homey hospitality room on the ground floor of 3750 Lake Shore dr. and its adjoining garden court (also pictured in the article). In the living room part, pale yellow walls, complimented by pale green carpeting and furniture cushions, create a warm homelike atmosphere; but another world and mood lie beyond these double doors. Totally enclosed under a faceted transparent dome, the garden court provides out-of-door airiness, yet in a quiet, controlled environment that invites relaxation.” Chicago Tribune, Saturday, 18 October 1969, p. 45)
The Garden Court seems to have been a popular venue for fashion shows as noted in the following two Chicago Tribune articles:
Here and There
“Two gentlemen residents of the 3750 Lake Shore drive building took only the briefest of pre-dinner swims (two lengths each) in the building pool last night. They were scared off by the faces peering down at them from the garden area above, where the David Jay Bramsons’ cocktail party was in full swing. The cocktail gathering was given to preview the Charles Cooper fall fashion collection.” (Chicago Tribune, Wednesday, 13 August 1969, p. 48)
LET THE SUN SHINE IN
“The Chicago cast of ‘Hair’ and fashion designer Luis Estevez will be present for a party the David Bramsons will give from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 24 at 3750 Lake Shore dr.
That evening Mr. Estevez will show his fall collection which he designed around the ‘Hair’ song ‘Let the Sun Shine In.’ Mr. Estevez, a longtime friend of promoter Michael Butler, attended a similar party in Los Angeles with that city’s cast of ‘Hair.’ (Chicago Tribune, Saturday, 13 September 1969, p. 168)
On The Beat
“Dress designer Luis Estevez, due at the Ambassador East Sept. 23, will be guest of David Bramson at a cocktail party the next day in the garden court of their Lake Shore drive high rise. Other honored guests will include the cast of ‘Hair,’ surely the spiffiest dressers in town.” (Chicago Tribune, Wednesday, 10 September 1969, p. 22)
David Bramson was president and owner of six Bramson-Weathered Stores, women’s specialty shops including the Martha Weathered Store, a high fashion women’s speciality store at 942-54 North Michigan Avenue.
And as for the pool, it was used in the fall of 1972 for classes offered by WONDER WEIGHT LOSERS OF ILLINOIS which advertised weekly classes on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m in the 3750 Lake Shore Drive Gymnasium. First class was $5.00 and thereafter only $2.00 weekly (Chicago Tribune, Sunday, 12 November 1972, p. 395):
ARE YOU TIED OF BEING FAT?
JOIN WONDER WEIGHT LOSERS OF ILLINOIS
And eat your way to slimness and health with our new wonder weight losers eating program
New shareholders wishing to see a complete history of the building can find Todd Cannon’s essays collected in the archives of previous issues of the newsletter on the building’s website.