Authors Signing at the Irish American Heritage Center’s iBAM!, October 13th and 14th.

Irish in Chicago stickeriBAM! 2012: October 12, 13 & 14, “A Journey towards Understanding through the Arts” an annual festival at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago.  This year the festivities will be held in honor of Derry, City of Culture 2013.

We will be meeting attendees and presenters, signing our books and exhibiting vintage photos this year, in honor the Irish immigrants who were responsible for Bridgeport’s rapid residential and industrial development.

As early as 1833, thousands of Irish immigrants, who had just built the Erie Canal, moved to Bridgeport to work on the recently approved 96 mile I & M Canal.  These Irish lived and worked hard to build Bridgeport and Chicago.

These immigrants did not have an easy life,but slowly things did get better for them and their children. Because of their strong will, within one hundred years, the first of four Chicago mayors, of Irish heritage and Bridgeport born would take office.  Edward J. Kelly, Bridgeport born and raised, was the Mayor from 1933-1947. Mayor Kelly watched over  Chicago through the Great Depression and WWII. Some would argue that Mayor Kelly saved the world, because he was highly instrumental in the re-election of FDR.

After Mayor Kelly left office in 1947, Martin Kennelly also Bridgeport born was Mayor from 1947 until Richard J. Daley became mayor in 1955.  RJD. was Chicago’s mayor until his death in 1976.  His son, Richard M. Daley was Chicago’s mayor from 1989-2011, exactly one  year longer than his father. This meant that Chicago had a mayor named Daley for 43 years.

Because of all of this and much more, we feel that it is important for our Bridgeport book to be shared with Chicago Irish and those traveling in for the festival from all over the world.   The Irish have a lot to be proud of and the development of Chicago is at the top of that list!

Lipson Store Building, 3501 S. Halsted

Much more beautiful than the new Chase bldg

The Lipson Store Building was built in the 20s and was lovely little Art Deco curved storefront that complimented the SE corner of 35th and Halsted.  Now gone and replaced with the nondescript Chase branch, the corner looks sterile compared to when the Lipson Store Building was on this location.  The Lipson’s architect was famous Chicago architect, Alfred Alschuler, a graduate of the Armour Institute of Technology (now IIT).  His designs included warehouses, department stores, industrial buildings, synagogues and offices. He was responsible for designing numerous famous buildings during Chicago’s architecture boom of the 1920s.  Alschuler was most notably the architect who designed the now demolished Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Goldblatt’s Department Store at 47th and Ashland, the Brach Candy Factory, the Florsheim Shoe Factory and a few Wieboldt’s buildings.

Class of 1937, Nativity of Our Lord Grammar School

Nativity of Our Lord Grammar School, Class of 1937

My friend Rose Sullivan just sent me this great photo of her Aunt Pat’s graduation from Nativity of Our Lord grammar school in 1937.  This photo was taken on the Nativity church steps, on 37th St. just east of Union Avenue.  Take a look at those doors and the molding.  I graduated from here too and don’t remember the church doors ever looking like this, do you?   Maureen-

Matt Danaher For Alderman

Matt Danaher was known for his long friendship with Mayor Richard J. Daley and as Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Many of us know Matt Danaher as our neighbor and mainstay of the streets of Bridgeport.

So, how many of you remember that he ran for Alderman?  Take a look a this great photo from his campaign.

What a Snazzy Car!

Gas Distribution Service Station @ 31st Just West Of Halsted

Gas Distribution Station, 31st Just West Of Halsted, Dismantled 1936

This one is for Steve Badauskas of Bernice’s Tavern on Halsted.  This is a gas storage tank on 31st St at the gas distribution site that was originally on the site of the CHA Bridgeport Homes. This station was dismantled in 1936. The Bridgeport Homes were begun in the early 1940s, to provide housing for the service men & women when they returned from WWII.  These large tanks were scattered around the neighborhood.  We found a photo of one at Loomis and Lock and on 32nd and Green, too.    Any details, please add them.

What Was At 3047 S. Halsted In 1955?

Sinclair Service Station In Bridgeport Circa 1955

Photo courtesy of Al Pheiffer or Al’s Service Station

3047 S. Halsted has been the home of a few different stores in my lifetime.  First it was “The Jewels”, now it’s Cermak Produce.  In 1955, that location was the home of Al’s Sinclair Service Station.  Can you believe it?  How many of you even remember the Sinclair dinosaur?

 

Filbert’s Pop Tasting At Our Launch Party

 

Some Filbert's Pop Flavors

26 Flavors, Made In Bridgeport!

Filbert’s has been serving Chicagoland from the Bridgeport community for 85 years.  They are known for their famous root beer, but did you realize that Filbert’s makes 26 flavors of pop?

The lucky people who attend our launch party will be able to sample many of the Filbert’s flavors.  Come out to taste a freshly bottled pop and support one of Bridgeport’s own.  Of course, you will find pictures of the Filbert’s family operation in our book, too.

Bridgeport’s, The Hardscrabbler published a great piece about Filbert’s last year, check it out here.

Check out this video of the production and bottling operation at their factory