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Old 12-05-2017, 07:39 AM
 
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is the Bijou Theater gone? When I was a teen, around 1972-1973ish, me and my friend walked down Wells street, and Bijour was the southernmost edge of what looked good to walk to, no farther.. I think farther south was kinda dangerous or perceived dangerous at that time.. I don't know, it was maybe before they regentrified it.. it just looked dark and decrepid.. now that area is all built up, prolly one of the most expensive neighborhoods, if anyone had bought property there, they'd be rich by now.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:52 AM
 
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Sadly it closed several years ago. So much lost in Chicago, every city really.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Land of Ill Noise
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Originally Posted by TBideon View Post
Sadly it closed several years ago. So much lost in Chicago, every city really.
Thought that place was still open, but guess not. And yep, the south edge of Wells St. closer to Division used to feel more sketchy than it does now. It's probably the demolition of Cabrini Green(except for a very limited number of the non-high rise buildings), that led to that area feeling less sketchy today than it used to feel. Though I still notice the sketchiness of Division, when I walk west of like Clark Street.

I used to go to Newberry Academy for 6th to 8th grade, and yep I very well remember how sketchy the area south of North Ave. and west of Sedgwick used to be even into the mid-90s. I'm amazed that area has changed as much as it has, in 20 years!
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:19 PM
 
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I used to go to Piper's Alley with my parents (yes, I had the cool parents) and then with friends in the 60's and early 70's. There was a guy who dressed up like Abe Lincoln - he was almost always there. Whenever I went with my parents as soon as he saw my Mo he would follow us until we left. Anyone remember him?
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:43 PM
 
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I lived between Dickens and Webster. My mom liked to go to Piper's Alley, and there were times my family would go to the Paul Bunyan's restaurant on Wells. I think Crate and Barrel was in that area as well. I used to consider Old Town to be the the strip on Wells just south of North Ave. Everything north was Lincoln Park. The area was OK during the day but at night it was a bad idea to park more than a few feet west of Wells Street. There were some go-go theatres and I would try to peek through the front door when the bus I was riding went by. By that time, Sandburg Village had been built and it seemed safe to be on LaSalle St, but yes everything did change south of Division. Chicago Latin school was also in that area probably closer to North and Dearborn, and the Moody Bible Institute was on Clark just north of North (great planning).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Older'nDirt View Post
Spent MANY a night at "The Theater." It was at 4812 N. Clark, next to a Roller Rink that I don't remember the name of. Remember seeing Led Zeppelin there, the lights went off while they were playing, strobes came on and they started throwing candy wrapped in foil! Drove many of us to near insanity! All those great bands and it only cost us, if I remember correctly, $5.00 - $7.00 to get in.

I have an original Theater Poster hanging on my wall for a Friday and Saturday July 18 -19 show with Led Zeppelin, Savoy Brown, The Litter and special guest Jethro Tull.

The 60s, if you remember them you really weren't there!
The roller rink was Rainbo arena, and at that time it had ice until May or June when they could no longer keep it refrigerated. Someone else mentioned the cemetery across the street. It is St. Bonifiace. Riding the Clark St bus to Rainbo, there was Graceland Cemetery, and St. Boniface across the street from the arena.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoMeO View Post
Yes, that happened outside of Pipers Alley, and for some people in the city, we were sheltered from all that, as it didn't touch my neighborhood, school, environment, etc. even though my high school was integrated, it was so normal, no problems. We only saw that what you speak of on TV.

And since we are talking about Pipers Alley, that made it that much more magical, our little magical world that was not touched by all the crises on tv. Isn't it nice to have such a place? Just think if all that war zone would have been more like Pipers Alley of 1968. The flower children back then had a good plan, well until the drugs screwed it up. But still, some of it was good, very good.
The crises on TV were playing out in the immediate vicinity. The hippies camped out in Lincoln Park and there was a major conflict on the athletic fields since the city did not tolerate the overnight camping in the park. Some of the injured were taken to Augustana Hospital at Dickens and Sedgwick.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:25 PM
 
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The Dominick's store in Pipers Alley closed about 1990. The store was converted into a Sears Home Store. This store carried only kitchen, bath, and bed items ( glassware, dinnerware, silverware, gadgets, towels, sheets, pillows, etc.) I don't recall when the Sears store closed. It was another failed attempt by Sears to update its image and become more relevant in the retail arena.
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Old 05-15-2021, 06:37 PM
 
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I spent many Friday and Saturday nights in Old Town from 1964 to 1972. On the west side of Wells south of North Ave was MarkIV Antiquary, a great shop for oddities. They had a mummified hand with a ring on it. There was a framed cartoon (by Shel Silverstein I think) captioned “How much for just the ring”? My youthful brain thought it was hysterical.
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Old 05-23-2021, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Land of Ill Noise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
From the Tribune, December 3, 1967:
There is Piper’s alley, a section of stores just north of North avenue. Visitors enter under a gigantic lamp suspended over the sidewalk, walk east along a brick alley lined with carriage lamps and more of those funny signs, and past an array of shops and saloons from Charlie’s General Store to The Sweet Tooth, for a 15-cent pretzel and 20-cent chocolate chip cooky.

March 2, 1971 (after a fire)
Piper’s Alley was opened in Nov. 1965 by Rudolph Schwartz and Jack Solomon, owners of the five buildings that once made up Piper’s Bakery and stables. The 15 shops in the development include men’s and women’s apparel specialty stores, candy, candle, book, trinket, record, glass and wig shops, the Second City theater, Aardvark Cinematique, and an art gallery.

In 1975, Schwartz and associates bought urban renewal land to build a highrise and expansion of the shopping complex. Neighbors raised hell about a highrise at North & Wells, and eventually the current retail complex (designed by Stanley Tigerman) was built with the Dominick’s and Arby’s on the west side of Wells and the Walgreen’s on the east side. Indoor malls, then as now, are difficult properties to lease and Old Town had an image problem in that post-hippie era, so dozens of businesses came and went quickly.

The Dominick’s gave way to Office Depot in the 80s, and Arby’s became Starbucks. In the 90s, the entire complex was given a postmodern refacing. Until that time, I think the original outdoor alley remained between Starbucks and That Steak Joynt.
Wow, I never knew the (I think it now closed?) Office Depot used to be a Dominick's grocery store! I remember Arby's being in that space as well, before it became Starbucks. Not sure if that Starbucks is still 24/7, but I remember for a little while in the 2010s that it was.

I REALLY wish that hadn't been before my time, when I could've walked through that 'alley' in Piper's Alley before it was enclosed. Since for sure, I bet it had a more interesting look years ago!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nearwest View Post
The Dominick's store in Pipers Alley closed about 1990. The store was converted into a Sears Home Store. This store carried only kitchen, bath, and bed items ( glassware, dinnerware, silverware, gadgets, towels, sheets, pillows, etc.) I don't recall when the Sears store closed. It was another failed attempt by Sears to update its image and become more relevant in the retail arena.
So wait, the Dominick's space very briefly became a Sears Home Store, then went on to become Office Depot? Interesting, I never knew that. And yep for sure, Sears has tried so many things to supposedly update their image, that didn't work out. I.e. open a smaller size store at Oak Brook Center after their full size Oak Brook store closed(only for the smaller store to eventually close soon after), opening Sears Grand stores that the company didn't invest enough in to find a way for those stores to succeed, the list goes on and on and on.
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Old 05-24-2021, 02:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SonySegaTendo617 View Post

I REALLY wish that hadn't been before my time, when I could've walked through that 'alley' in Piper's Alley before it was enclosed. Since for sure, I bet it had a more interesting look years ago!
I too wish they would have preserved it. There was nothing like it! However, if you really want to get a taste of it, i've accidentally seen some similarities -

On Wells, about 1500 N, on Sandburg, on the east side of the street, there is a little yard that looks like it came straight out of 1969-1973 Old Town. it has cobblestone walkway and i think wrought iron gates.

Some of the buildings on Wells still have the old fashioned window frames.

Over in Oak Park, IL, on that main area, (on Marion Street) where all the cute little stores are, there is one store area that resembles the old Old Town. just walk down there and see. Again I remember cobblestone walkways right there. its just a few feet south of Lake Street, Maybe you could Google map it in the meantime.

Thats all, i forever have Old Town in my heart of sentimentality and it almost aches for it being gone and turned into a sanitized suburban strip mall kinda place.
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Old 05-24-2021, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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Originally Posted by ChicagoMeO View Post
I too wish they would have preserved it. There was nothing like it! However, if you really want to get a taste of it, i've accidentally seen some similarities -

On Wells, about 1500 N, on Sandburg, on the east side of the street, there is a little yard that looks like it came straight out of 1969-1973 Old Town. it has cobblestone walkway and i think wrought iron gates.

Some of the buildings on Wells still have the old fashioned window frames.

Over in Oak Park, IL, on that main area, (on Marion Street) where all the cute little stores are, there is one store area that resembles the old Old Town. just walk down there and see. Again I remember cobblestone walkways right there. its just a few feet south of Lake Street, Maybe you could Google map it in the meantime.

Thats all, i forever have Old Town in my heart of sentimentality and it almost aches for it being gone and turned into a sanitized suburban strip mall kinda place.
Old Town is a nice area, but it doesn't resemble what a typical "old town" area looks like in most cities (cobblestone, etc). I would have loved to have seen that.

At least you can always keep the memories.
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