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Old 07-03-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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Every now and then, I see comments on different message boards, where people will mention the "old" pipers alley. We all know what it is today (home of Second City, as well as XSport gym), but what was located there before?
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:03 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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There was a bunch of hippie and tourist stuff in there; head shops, poster stores and the like. And at the end of the alley a great Uno's clone pizza joint called LaPiazza, it was my favorite deep-dish joint.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:15 PM
 
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Ok cool, thanks for the info. Was it an actual 'alley', and, if so, where was it located in comparison to North and Wells?
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:19 PM
 
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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.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:04 PM
 
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Smile My personal concern about OLD Town back in the Hippy years.

My concern !!!! If lots of people talk highly about Pipers Alley, and different places in OLD Town {The Hippy years} Then why the hell didn`t someone ever take photos of OLD Town back in the Hippy Years and display them on the internet??? I would love to have a poster of OLD Town back then. I personally miss those special days. I wish I could build a Time Machine and go back to that area and simply stay there. I was happiest back then. Great music also. Hendrix, Joplin, The Doors, etc, etc. Glenn S.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:44 PM
Status: "And just like that, Covid was gone." (set 3 days ago)
 
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For a feel of how things were - Google: The Chicago Seed

That was the underground newspaper when I was in high school in 1972-1973. Wish i would have saved them for prosperity.

Every once in a while I see a bit of what it looked like - if you walk down Wells, on the east side of the street, there is a tiny street that reminds me of old time Wells Street - I believe it is 1456 N Wells (Google map it)..

also 1410 n wells right next to the Jerusalem Restaurant, there is a tiny little patio area that reminds me of old time Old Town.

also i rmemeber walking down Schiller toward lasalle from Wells, and that street has a few buildings that remind me of old time Old town.

i remember me and my bff walking down Wells barefoot and going into the stores, it was acceptable to do that.. haha, now not so much.

Cool black light posters, cool black lights we all wanted to have in our bedrooms, it was cool, groovy man. we walked from fullerton to past North Ave, and then the neighborhood by the Bijou theatre (rated xxx) we felt the neighborhood change.. i am not sure if thats still there now. also south of there the neighborhood was slummy, haha nowadays its prime real estate.

the Tiffany Light store was cool, seeing all the cool tiffany lamps.

could get these buttons you wear that said cool things like "peace, not war" .. since we were anti-Vietnam war - why because we were scared of going to some kind of jungle way far far away, and that scared us, we women were glad we didn't get drafted and scared of our best friends getting drafted.



was fun to people watch. it was our Haight Ashbury!
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
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Not in Pipers Alley but right down the street was Bizarre Bazaar, I loved that place.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:26 PM
 
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Yes it was a cool little passageway "alley" back in the day with head shops and little stores selling cool stuff that you did not see in you everyday mundane existence. And yes the pizza place in the back had deep dish. This was my first deep dish pizza I ever tasted and I loved it. It was in a cavernous space not really like an everyday restaurant and they has cool music playing. Its sad that Pipers Alley as it was, is no more.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:25 PM
Status: "And just like that, Covid was gone." (set 3 days ago)
 
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You might find some things to view at the library, over on Dearborn and State St. and over at the library on Montrose and Lincoln. A while back i was looking for early pics of Chicago and they had them there. You might find some of Old Town or at least that area at those libraries, and possibly the library downtown on State and Van Buren. Thats the 3 places I would target first.

also Jeffrey Behr who makes those video documenaries about Chicago, on the one where its the Boomer Years (Remembering Chicago)... in that video he includes Old Town, and also other hippie things, that would also give you a feel for the place. Especially if you watch the part about the Psychodelic Playground, which was I think on Lawrence and Broadway (the Aragon area); and this might give you what you are looking for.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:58 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoMeO View Post
Especially if you watch the part about the Psychodelic Playground, which was I think on Lawrence and Broadway (the Aragon area); and this might give you what you are looking for.
Kinetic Playground, originally the Electric Theater. I saw Led Zeppelin open for the Vanilla Fudge there. Also saw a show with Joe Cocker and the Grease Band, Buddy Rich and The Who.

The Aragon was a psychedelic joint for awhile, called the Cheetah. I saw the Moby Grape there, undoubtedly the tightest and hardest rocking of the hippie bands.
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