Before IHOP there was a ballroom; now high rises are planned

Great 1917 postcard of The Marigold, a ballroom at what was once known as the Bismarck Gardens, Broadway and Grace. This is where the IHOP now stands at Halsted, Broadway and Grace in Boystown.

The Bismarck Gardens was opened in 1895 by Emil and Karl Eitel for the North Side’s German community. Beer was constantly on tap, becoming one of the most popular beer gardens in Chicago. It featured gorgeously manicured flowers and trees, outdoor stage and dance floor.

Anti-German sentiments during World War I created a need to rename The Bismarck Gardens. In 1915 it became The Marigold. In the 1930s, it was called Vanity Fair.

Moving from the past to the future: Plans to redevelop the area have been placed on the Chicago Plan Commission’s desk. JDL Development hopes to build 15-story and 12-story high rise buildings next to the IHOP, a plan backed by 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman, despite some neighborhood resident opposition. There are others who like the plan.

Ald. Cappleman told Crain’s Chicago Business, “We know it’s going to have a profound impact on the ward. If you look just north of that area, in the 3800 block of N. Halsted, it’s starving for a shot in the arm. I think this is going to connect the retail on the southern end of the ward with the northern end.”

Estimated price tag? $73.4 million for 269 apartments or condos.

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Wang’s No Tang Policy

Men only after 11.

Photo from HuffPo.

Coming from a marketing perspective, the Wang’s mysoginist sign was a risky (there’s a state investigation and I don’t believe they’re dumb enough to believe that was not gonna happen), but calculated, marketing stunt.

Like it or not, the sexist stunt was a shrewd move.

The result: if Chelsea Handler (click link to view video) and HuffPo are talking about it, the bar is now a known destination—nationwide—to head for along Boystown’s Broadway corridor.

Remember: controversy sells. And whose fault is that? Ours. American pop culture is driven on it.

We stopped there last night. There were as many tangs as there were wangs. The girls are still coming.

And by the way, HuffPo: using reviews as a source for your story—as a foundation for a claim—is NOT journalism.

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Edgewater Library to start construction March 5

Construction on the new Edgewater Library at Broadway and Elmdale will start the week of March 5, according to Alderman Harry Osterman and his 48th Ward Office.

Illustration of the new Edgewater Library. It will be one of the largest branch libraries on the North Side. While it is primarily for Edgewater residents, it will also serve residents of neighboring Andersonville, Uptown and Rogers Park.

Phase 1 of construction will include site mobilization and caisson installation. The contractor hired, Burling Builders, will be locating to an office at 1138 W. Thorndale. In the next few weeks, the 48th Ward Office will have information on local hiring opportunities for the construction project.

"The new Edgewater Library will be a fantastic asset in our community, and I am excited to see this project get underway," Alderman Osterman said.

Asked earlier this year about the teardown of the predecessor libary, Alderman Patrick J. O’Connor, of the neighboring 40th Ward, issued a statement. He said, “This new library will be one of the largest branch libraries in the city, containing more than 60 new computers for public use, free wireless-internet connection, a green roof, and over $500,000 in new books and other reading material.”

The 40th Ward Office said that the new construction is necessary for long-term cost-effectiveness for the city in reduced payments for energy and maintenance.

This construction project was approved and budgeted by the 2009 City Council, passing an ordinance to acquire extra property for the project. The new library will be completed by 2013.

A bookmobile is stationed at the Broadway Armory for the neighborhood to use. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are 10 am to 1 pm, 2pm to 6 pm. On Friday and Saturday, the hours are 9 am to 12 pm, 1 pm to 5 pm. Closed on Mondays. Photo by Gerald Farinas.

During construction, residents are encouraged to use a bookmobile, parked at Broadway and Thorndale. Neighborhood patrons are also invited to use nearby libraries in Andersonville, Uptown and Rogers Park.

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