It occurred to me the other day…

…while walking to the grocer’s, that I hadn’t kept you informed of the progress in the renovation of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Emil Bach House here on Sheridan Road in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

The west and south facades

The west and south facades

Lots of building supplies clutter the front yard, and the scaffolding remains while the fascias are being strip-sanded and repainted, and the walls are being prepared for the application of a new layer of stucco.

The west facade

The west facade

A pile of rubble next to an already-full Dumpster is all that remains of the old roof–I don’t know if this was the original.

Mr. Wright did have a reputation for creating leaky roofs, such as those at the Johnson Wax Center in Racine, Wisconsin, and at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The front Tulip garden

The front Tulip Garden

I’m not certain if the fabulous Tulip Garden will be brought back, but the garden will be smaller with the addition of about six feet of sod laid as a buffer between bushes and the rich-looking soil.

The deck and rear entryway

The deck and rear entryway

The former sunroom walls have been removed to expose the original deck, which at the time of construction (1915) overlooked the shore of Lake Michigan.

Sadly, the lake was filled in, and the rear of the Bach House is now a half-block west of the shoreline.

The backyard

The backyard

This was a complete and beautiful surprise!

A curving hand-laid stone pathway now surrounds a short retaining wall and flower beds.

This area was originally several feet high and quite ‘wild-looking’.

The structure on the right (a guest house?) is not original to the property–it was built, if I correctly recall, in 2008 and is attached to the two-car garage, which I also think is not original.

The building permit

The building permit

It’s posted on the temporary cyclone fence at the alleyway, and gives you a pretty good idea of what is being added/renovated By Tawani Enterprises, Inc., which is headed by billionaire J. N. Pritzker.

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Tawani Enterprises also has bought the parking lot just north of my own building and the Shambhala Meditation Center just north of that.
Beginning October 1st, this building will be demolished--I don't look forward to the noise and dust right outside my living area window!

Beginning October 1st, this building will be demolished–I don’t look forward to the noise and dust right outside my living area window!

The corner will supposedly look something like this after construction of the Sheridan-Sherwin Parking Structure...except that this rendering is in very forced perspective--the length of the Sheridan Road footage is only about 160 feet +/-!

The corner will supposedly look something like this after construction of the four-story Sheridan-Sherwin Parking Structure…except that this rendering is in very forced perspective–the length of the Sheridan Road footage is only about 160 feet +/-!

That’s my building sticking up behind the structure–I hope I don’t lose my view !

A walk among the stones

As you saw in the previous post, Lake Michigan looked gorgeous on Easter Sunday afternoon…but a west wind prevailed, and it began to look as if rain might be on the way.

I had walked as far as Calvary Cemetery and figured, “Why not? I’m here and haven’t been for six years, so just stroll on through, take a few shots and return home the way you came!”

Not quite!

I ended up walking through from the Sheridan Road entrance to the arched Chicago Avenue, Evanston, entrance.

Here are some of the things I captured along the way:

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Within a few minutes, darker clouds moved in from the northwest, giving the cemetery a creepier feel.

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Looming over one of several obelisk monuments, I felt this cloud would surely bring rain.

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A notable monument to young Josie Lyon…

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…who passed long ago at age nine, sadly.

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One of the older monuments in Calvary Cemetery, ravaged by years of harsh weather.
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Older and newer monuments are interspersed here at Calvary, where it is said there is no more room–all the plots have been sold, though there are many open spaces.
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A rusted chain and lock secure the doors of a mausoleum dating from the late 19th century.
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A huge, flock of starlings were ‘practicing’ landing in the trees…it was at this point I met a ‘living’ couple, David and Lisa; we stood and talked in the cold wind for quite a time!
David Burnham (NOT related to Daniel Burnham!) is an architect with an office in Wilmette, just up the shore.  You might want to visit his new website, www.burnhamandvancleave.com, if you are interested in some very fine designs.
I think the man’s a genius and, though he has no moustache, looks an awful lot like Daniel Burnham!
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The inspiring archway of the Chicago Avenue entrance to Calvary Cemetery
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As I left to walk a number of lonely blocks down to Howard Street, I looked to the sky…quiet, amazing beauty in the late afternoon sun.
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Please Note:  These images were not processed in my usual ‘high contrast’ manner.  I reduced contrast significantly, in order to present a softness…in respect for all those who have passed before us.

Under the white sky

The flag flies proudly above the Edgewater Beach Apartments at Sheridan Road and Bryn Mawr Avenue

The flag flies proudly above the Edgewater Beach Apartments at Sheridan Road and Bryn Mawr Avenue

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Reflection of a n apartment building to the north of the Park Tower Apartments on Sheridan Road

Reflection of an apartment building to the north of the Park Tower Apartments on Sheridan Road

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Looking south from the corner of Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street, these tall buildings are not quite obscured by fog

Looking south from the corner of Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street, these tall buildings are not quite obscured by fog

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Turning toward the north from the same corner, these skyscrapers are at least a third shrouded in fog. In the middle is the Aon Center, Chicago's third tallest building at 83 stories and 1,136 feet (346 meters)

Turning toward the north from the same corner, these skyscrapers are at least a third shrouded in fog.
In the middle is the Aon Center, Chicago’s third tallest building–at 83 stories and 1,136 feet (346 meters)

Though Spring is late…

…and yesterday’s weather was horrid, I did find some cheer as I headed to my doctor’s appointment!

DAFFODILS!!!

DAFFODILS!!!

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A small variety, but they certainly lifted my spirits on a very cold, rainy day!

A small variety, but they certainly lifted my spirits on a very cold, rainy day!

Yesterday’s walk…

…produced Springtime surprises!

At the Emil Bach House, the legendary array of Tulips had begun to sprout!

First Bach House-1

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First Bach House-2

Next door at the Cat’s Cradle Bed and Breakfast, more of the same!

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First Cats Cradle-1

Plus…the very first Crocus!

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At the corner of Sheridan Road and Fargo Avenue, the Daffodils are standing proudly…won’t be long until they bloom!

Fargo Daffs

Farther up Fargo Avenue, more Daffodils and Crocus!

Fargo Crocus and Daffs

But the best ‘gift’ of the day was my favorite early bloomer–the delicate, yet very hardy, Snowdrop!

Fargo Snowdrops

Officially, Spring begins with the vernal equinox at 6:02 A.M. (CDT) on March 20, 2013 in the Northern Hemisphere.

Hooray!!!

Some neighborhood oddities

Sure, every neighborhood has some odd things about it…I guess they go along with the odd people. For instance:

On Sunday, I left through the back door of my building to go for a walk, and this huge piece of ice was propped up against the neighbor's fence!  No idea where it came from, unless someone poured buckets of water out their window onto the covered Dumpster out back...but people will do strange things.  Yesterday, it was totally cracked, at the very bottom of our back steps!  Someone Wanted an accident to happen, that's for certain.

On Sunday, I left through the back door of my building to go for a walk, and this huge piece of ice was propped up against the neighbor’s fence! No idea where it came from, unless someone poured buckets of water out their window onto the covered Dumpster out back…but people will do strange things. Yesterday, it was totally cracked into pieces, at the very bottom of our back steps! Someone wanted an accident to happen, that’s for certain.

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This finely-constructed old house is several blocks up Sheridan Road, on a valuable 'corner lot', no less!  I call it 'The Mold House'--why?  Because in the six years I've lived here, nothing has been done by the owners to abate the heavy mold growth on the soffits.  It's even advancing down the outer walls!  Odd to me, because if I owned that property, I would have begun doing something about the mold long ago--it's unhealthy!

This finely-constructed old house is several blocks up Sheridan Road, on a valuable ‘corner lot’, no less! I call it ‘The Mold House’–why? Because in the six years I’ve lived here, nothing has been done by the owners to abate the heavy mold growth under the eaves. It’s even advancing down the outer walls! Odd to me, because if I owned that property, I would have begun doing something about the mold long ago–it’s unhealthy!

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This home is quite stately, with deep red brick and lots of black wrought iron over the Palladian windows.  It has a nicely kept yard and looks as is the owners truly care about their home, which looks as if it was built around the late 1920s.  I take exception with the 'flying gargoyle' hanging from the drainpipe--what were they thinking?

This home on Howard Street is quite large and stately, with deep red brick and lots of black wrought iron over the Palladian windows. It has a nicely kept yard and looks as is the owners truly care about their home, which looks as if it was built around the late 1920s. I take exception with the ‘flying gargoyle’ hanging from the drainpipe–WHAT were they thinking?

Along Sheridan Road in Rogers Park

If not for the cars way in the background, this image could have been taken over fifty years ago…

Vinery and Wrought Iron

Vinery and Wrought Iron

…but it’s from just the other day!

Too bad there was no SNOW!