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Old 06-25-2008, 02:53 PM
 
14 posts, read 53,169 times
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My father and I stayed for a while in a Chicago YMCA in the late 1950's. It was located on Michigan or State and was a couple of blocks from the Hilton. I wonder if anyone can remember the building, its' address, and what it contains now (if it even exists). I can then use the miracle of Google Street View and give it a look.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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There's a big old YMCA building downtown on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Dearborn Avenue... But this doesn't sound like the one you are looking for.
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:45 PM
 
Location: South Side
4,832 posts, read 10,180,456 times
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I think the poster could mean the Lawson Y on Chicago Ave. Its sorta near State and Michigan and its still there. However, the YMCA hotel was near the Hilton but I don't know if they'd let a man and a child stay there. It has been torn down.

http://www.darrinsphotos.biz/B49753.jpg (broken link)

Last edited by jessiegirl_98; 06-26-2008 at 07:15 AM.. Reason: copyright
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 25,507,648 times
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Why assume the poster was a child in the 50's?
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:39 PM
 
14 posts, read 53,169 times
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Default Ymca

Actually, I was about twelve. My Dad and I went bust in Houston when my mother died after a long bout with cancer. No health insurance as far as I know back then.

We came to Chicago so he could look for work as an engineer. I remember that it was winter, and there was a big steel strike on. People were begging in the street and I recall that I thought things must be pretty bad if people were begging in front of the Y. He would look for work and I spent the day walking around the city. The two things I remember about that time were looking at the billboards on the burlesque clubs (not much of that in Houston) and a section of State St. with a buch of quick steak joints. They all charged $1.19 for a steak, baked potato and drink. I thought it was great - the day he got a job we celebrated and went in one. The guy at the counter just said "rare, medium, or well?"

He got that job the day we ran out of money. I remember going to our room in the Y and finding it locked. I had to wait in the lobby until he got back.

We ended up in Kenosha converting a Simmons matress factory to make American Motors cars. Remember Ramblers and Metropolitans?

Sorry for the nostalgia. That building looks like it could very well be the place.

Mark
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:38 PM
 
Location: South Side
4,832 posts, read 10,180,456 times
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I think the steel strike was in '58. The steak joint you went to was probably 'Ronnie's'; which had service like you described. The hotel was in an area of several topless dancing joints on Wabash and around the Pacific Garden mission on State. So you may have experienced some Chicago scenes which were not the same throughout the city.

All I remember from the YMCA hotel in the seventies is that if you were not a resident you could not go upstairs. Also, a couple in a room had to be married. All in all, he place gave off an air of seediness.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:00 PM
 
11,973 posts, read 29,884,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitzthecat View Post
Actually, I was about twelve. My Dad and I went bust in Houston when my mother died after a long bout with cancer. No health insurance as far as I know back then.

We came to Chicago so he could look for work as an engineer. I remember that it was winter, and there was a big steel strike on. People were begging in the street and I recall that I thought things must be pretty bad if people were begging in front of the Y. He would look for work and I spent the day walking around the city. The two things I remember about that time were looking at the billboards on the burlesque clubs (not much of that in Houston) and a section of State St. with a buch of quick steak joints. They all charged $1.19 for a steak, baked potato and drink. I thought it was great - the day he got a job we celebrated and went in one. The guy at the counter just said "rare, medium, or well?"

He got that job the day we ran out of money. I remember going to our room in the Y and finding it locked. I had to wait in the lobby until he got back.

We ended up in Kenosha converting a Simmons matress factory to make American Motors cars. Remember Ramblers and Metropolitans?

Sorry for the nostalgia. That building looks like it could very well be the place.

Mark
Great story! Chicago has changed so dramatically since then... I love to hear these kinds of stories. The old Red Light District in the South Loop has completely vanished along with the 1.19 steaks. Now the area is filled with college students who live in the new dormitories in the area. There are still a couple of large homeless shelters nearby, but the area has dramatically cleaned up in the last 25 years.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:39 PM
 
107 posts, read 124,636 times
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theres STILL a lot of people begging around the YMCA (the one on chicago in the picture above).
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Downtown Miami
74 posts, read 75,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manigault View Post
I think the poster could mean the Lawson Y on Chicago Ave. Its sorta near State and Michigan and its still there. However, the YMCA hotel was near the Hilton but I don't know if they'd let a man and a child stay there. It has been torn down.

http://www.darrinsphotos.biz/B49753.jpg (broken link)
That's such a beautiful building. Makes me want to sit in front of
it 50 years ago, take the elevator, have a cup of coffee downstairs...
Times were better before the 60's when everythingwent to hell. And I'm 22.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 25,507,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDoe2008 View Post
theres STILL a lot of people begging around the YMCA (the one on chicago in the picture above).
That is not the one on Chicago.

This is:

Lawson YMCA : 30 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60610 United States
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