Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Old Post Card Wednesday--Night in Chicago

I know little about Chicago and have only seen it from the air, so can't fully appreciate these scenes. There are nine postcards in a sepia-colored envelope indicating that two cents postage was then required to mail the group. The backs of the cards are stamped V.O. Hammon Publishing Co., Chicago. The company was in business from 1904-1923 according to the information I found online, so that dates these postcards to that time. When I Googled the company to see if I could find out more about it I came across a postcard at Digital Past : Item Viewer titled Michigan Ave South from Art Institute that appears to be from the same series I own. Except mine includes a card featuring Michigan Ave North from Art Institute. Hmmm. Since my group consists of nine cards I wonder if the one I found online might be a lost card from a set of ten. I'll never know.

A bit of history from the Art Institute of Chicago website:
The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 as both a museum and school, first stood on the southwest corner of State and Monroe Streets. It opened on its present site at Michigan Avenue and Adams Street in 1893. Built on rubble from the 1871 Chicago fire, the museum housed a collection of plaster casts and had a visionary purpose: to acquire and exhibit art of all kinds and to conduct programs of education. The collection now encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression from cultures around the world, and the school's graduate program is continually ranked as one of the best in the country. Within the next decade, a new complex will continue this process of growth.

The Hotel Congress website really thrilled me! The hotel was built in 1893 and, according to the website, "was once known as The Home of Presidents among Chicago hotels." It concludes:
Viewing the property from a historical perspective will enhance any time spent at the Congress Hotel. From famous architects to Presidential speeches, it has a colorful past. Having existed for more than a century, the hotel is considered by many to be a “Landmark of Chicago Hospitality.”

Rather than spreading these Night in Chicago scenes into additional Wednesdays I am going to finish out the set by publishing three more on Thursday and the final three on Friday. Afterward, we'll be flying to Chicago for the weekend. Just kidding! -- but these postcards and the research they generate have definitely piqued my interest in a visit there sometime.


francessa said...

Hi lydia, I followed your links - very interesting! And imagine the stories behind those cards! Maybe you should collect cards from European cities and then come over and visit them ;-).

I'm off for the long weekend (details in my blog's last post comments) and already at the airport! Hope I can blog a little in Germany about the exhibit I hope to see! Till soon!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Those are awesome postcards! Don't you just love the internet......a quick search can tell you anything and everything!!

seniorwriter said...

By all means, plan a trip to Chicago. It's still a fascinating place. I wouldn't live anywhere else!

Lydia said...

Francessa, you happy traveler! I know we're in for a treat when you describe the exhibit in your blog.

I certainly do love the internet. In ways both large and small it's making the world a better place by increasing understanding and appreciation of this awesome place.

You've convinced me; Chicago looks wonderful. BTW, your new book sounds terrific (I love your poems) and everyone should follow your seniorwriter link to read more about it.

seniorwriter said...

Thanks, Lydia. I don't expect my new poetry book to be a best seller (nor my earlier books either), but it was certainly fun to write. You can see a preview on Most of the joy is in the writing, not the recognition or financial success.

And Chicago is especially great in the summer and fall!


francessa said...

Thanks for your vote of confidence, Lydia :-)!

Blogging on the road is not easy, I can tell you that ;-), but I've tried! Gonna read your new postcard posts on Sunday,

.. on the road again .. like Willie Nelson!



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