Thursday, October 31, 2013

Three Chicago Ghost Stories From ChiTownView

We here at MindsiMedia like Halloween when our YouTube station was operating we had a large number of clips in the spirit of the holiday. We have a few on ChiTownView / YouTube and will be sharing them here throughout the day. First up we have three ghost stories about haunted places in the Chicago area.

Resurrection Mary
Uploaded on Sep 10, 2011
A young couple out for an evening of fun at the The Oh Henry Ballroom in the 1930's. They argue and Mary runs off to hitch a ride home only to be killed by a hit and run driver. Since that time she has been picked up several times always trying to get to the same place Resurrection Cemetery where she is buried!

Melody Millie
Published on Aug 18, 2012
A few months ago we brought you the story of Resurrection Mary a ghost hitchhiker operating along Archer Ave. between the Willow Springs Ballroom and Resurrection cemetery. Today we present similar tale of a ghostly goings on. Once again it is the story of a female hitchhiking haunting a popular Chicago nightspot. Her real name is unknown so we'll call her Melody Millie. She operated between North Riverside's Melody Mill Ballroom and a mile or so north at Waldheim's cemetery

Ghost Of Chicago's 1st Murder Victim Haunts Chicago River North Nightclub?
Published on Jul 13, 2013
The river north area of Chicago is host to a lot of popular spots;Harry Carey's, the Hard Rock, Rain Forest Cafe, the "rock & roll" McDonald's and this stone edifice at 632 north Dearborn. For the past thirty years it has been a series of trendy nightclubs like Limelight, Excalibur and now The Castle. It was built in the 1890's to house the Chicago Historical Society. A fireproof replacement for the original which burned down in the great Chicago fire October 8-10 in 1871.It's a cold, dark imposing structure that is not surprisingly reputed to be haunted.

Perhaps for good reason because among it's displays were the bones of Chicago's first murder victim. Jean Lalime who was one of Chicago's first settlers. He at one time lived in the home of the cities first resident, Haitian Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable. John Kinzie, another early Chicagoan, bought the house and land du Sable owned. Lalime stayed around to work at Fort Dearborn as a translator, and spy investigating corruption.. It is not known if Kinzie killed him because of a dispute over du Sable's house or Lalime's undercover work.

Now the building only housed the historical society until the 1930's before they moved further north to Lincoln Park. It then spent the next fifty years as a church, stores and offices. During that time a young lawyer committed suicide and it has been said that his spirit also walks the building.

It wasn't until after the building was redeveloped as a nightclub that it was discovered there were nocturnal spirits in residence. Cold spots, strange noises, ghostly lights and mysterious people wandering around. Other then the customers and workers were talking ghostly manifestations. I worked there during the 80's when it was Limelight and while I didn't see or hear anything "supernatural" there were some mighty odd cold spots.

The background sound "deep under" by Poot was found at

This work is licensed under the Attribution License.

Produced for ChiTownView by MindsiMedia visit our web portal at

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chicago’s West Side; A Wright, A Sullivan and A Golden Dome

To be honest with you Chicago’s west side hasn’t been known for much of anything for the past hundred years or so. Poverty, despair and crime dominate the landscape not the spectacular type of crime that attracts attention but the run of the mill crimes that grind the life out of a community. But like any community it’s not a monolith there are places of beauty from another era.

Last week I took a ride around and found three ChiTownView's to share with you. First in the Austin neighborhood at 42N.  Central Ave is the JJ Walsner Jr. home designed by prairie school architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The home was built in 1903 for Mr. Walsner who was a printing executive.

Austin boarders the suburb of Oak Park which was home to Frank Lloyd Wright for many years. It is also home to more Wright designed homes than anywhere else. There are more than two dozen in Oak Park and neighboring River Forest. On ChiTownView we have a playlist of Wright designs.

After that you drive down Madison Ave. which was where the riots of 1967 destroyed a lot of the commercial and industry that existed at the time. And never replaced. Take a left at Independence and drive into Garfield Park and as you head north you will see a large stone building with a golden dome. Pull into the parking lot and get out and take a look at Garfield Park field house with it’s dome and ornate Spainish Baroque Revival facade.

This building was designed by the firm of Michaelsen and Rognstad to serve as the west side district headquarters. They did a number of other park district structures as well as other Chicago area buildings like the ornate On Leong Merchants Association Building. That  remarkable Chinese-style structure is located  in Chinatown and  has been designated Chicago Landmark. We have a video posted of it on ChiTownView.

The building was closed that day so we didn’t get a look at the stauteary inside. But we’ll stop back another time because we also didn’t get in to see the conservatory at the north end of the park. After that go north to Division hang a right and head east just past Western to Leavitt and turn right. As you drive south you will soon see an ornate church bell tower piercing the sky. It is one of the surviving works of Louis Sullivan one of Chicago’s early architecture sky.
In the 20th century the Chicago architecture giant  only worked sporadically. The Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral located at 1121 North Leavitt in Chicago's north side Ukrainian Village neighborhood is one of those later commissions. Built in 1903 it is currently in need of extensive repairs. If you are interested in helping here is a site for more info.

We have collected a number of Sullivan videos of his surviving designs. You can view the playlist here

While the west side is still home to a lot of poverty there is development a lot of the area between Western and Ashland is a lot better off than twenty years ago. And just driving around I saw a lot more small scale redevlopment projects under way.

Produced for ChiTownView by MindsiMedia visit our web portal at

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lou Reed Of The Velvet Underground Dead at 71 & Velvets Live

Sorry to hear of the passing of Lou Reed due to kidney related problems. He was a founding member of the Velvet Underground the avant garde 1960's rock band that helped pave the way for punk. We have a couple of video clips  posted on Vimeo from their collaboration with artist Andy Warhol as part of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.

For more on Lou's death click here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tiffany Designed Glass Mosaic Panels In Chicago's Marquette Building

Published on ChiTownView Oct 20, 2013

I'd just read about these Tiffany glass mosaics that decorated the lobby of the 19th century Marquette Building in downtown Chicago. They looked gorgeous so I'd planned to go downtown and check them out. As it turned out this past weekend this National landmark and another 100+ architecturally significant sites were part of an open house so here was my chance.

They were magnificent and I took videos of each panel and am uploading them here. They are the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany and J.A.Holzer... Holzer was chief designer for the Tiffany glass Company. These mosaics are composed solely of mother of pearl and Favrile glass. They depict moments in the life and death of Father Jacques Marquette. Who was the Chicago areas first non native resident when in 1674-75, he wintered in the area.

There are six clips with a link at the end of each taking you to the next one.

Presented by ChiTownView and produced by MindsiMedia

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Studebaker John Solo Acoustic Blues, Live at Val's Halla 10/19/2013

I started the day someone who never had much use for the harmonica and by the time the sun went down I had found new respect for this humble instrument. This transformation was facilitated by Chicago bluesman Studebaker John’s solo acoustic set he played at Val’s Halla in Oak Park IL. on the afternoon of Oct. 19th.  This was kind of a warm-up for his record release party later that night at nearby Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn.

John played for about a half hour singing, playing guitar and harmonica while keeping a rock steady beat on his amplified Pepsi crate. In a word fantastic. Besides the outstanding performance I was treated to a before and after show seminars on John’s unique harmonica stand and the general development of the blues harp. This in the form of a conversation between John, store owner Val Cameletti and “Blues Before Sunrise” radio host Steve Cushing who was also in attendance.

We have posted a total of five clips from this show you can see them all at Val's Halla records on YouTube.

With their new CD release “Studebaker John & the Maxwell St. Kings Old School Rockin” John and the band will be on the road across the country for the next couple of months. Check him out and pick up his new release. For more information follow the link.

Val’s Halla is going to be featuring a great deal of  live music in November. On each Saturday she is opening her stage to three local artists for short sets. For more information check out the Val’s Halla web site.

Produced for Val's Halla by MindsiMedia visit our web site.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hoffman Dam Project Before and After, Riverside Il.

Last year a surprise “hit” for ChiTownView was a clip that showed some excavators working in the water on a dam project on the DesPlaines river where Riverside and Lyons meet. I was in the area thIs week and stopped by to see what changes a year makes.Quite a bit by the looks of this video that shows what the project looks like fifteen months apart.

it turns out this area has been the site of a dam for almost two hundred years. The first dam was  built in 1827 to power a saw mill but it only lasted for a few years. In 1866 another one was built this time to support a milling operation.

In 1907 the dam and surrounding area was bought by by a brewer named George Hoffman who turned it into a recreation area called Niagra Park featuring a beer garden, boat slips, picnicing and other outdoor entertainments. The castle like tower and smaller building on the other side of the street were part of the package. Unfortunatly a combination of pollution of the river caused by an exploding population and the advent of prohibition put the an end to this lovely spot. These two building are all that remains.

Just across the river is  one of the nations first planned communities of Riverside designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Olmstead who also worked on Central Park and the 1893 Columbian Exposition among other projects. Riverside is also home two three designs by Frank Lloyd Wright whose work we explore extensively on ChiTownView..

The original clip takes a look at the decorative buildings that date back to the time it was a recreation park. It can be found on ChiTownView.

ChiTownView is a production of MindsiMedia. Please stop and visit our web portal.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Anniversary To The Chicago Cubs 105 Years Ago They Won Their Last World Series

In 1908 when the Cubs last won the World Series the team known now as the northsiders played on the west side not beloved Wrigley. In honor of this auspicious occasion we present this clip from ChiTownView that shows where the team played.

Published on ChiTownView Nov 20, 2012
Well they weren't called the Cubs and they didn't play at Wrigley field but the team that went on to become the Cubs were major league baseball's first dynasty. I'm a tried and true Chicago White Sox fan and would normally be the last person to be aware of this fact let alone be talking about it. But in my recent research into the history of the Taylor street area on Chicago's near west side I came across a couple of sites that used to house Chicago's national League team. Then I read about some of the heights achieved by this team and thought I would share some of this story. Let's just say it's a Christmas present to all my Cub fan friends.

The Chicago White Stockings were one of the eight original National League teams that began play in 1876.They would be league champs that year rolling up a record of 52-14. In the first ten years they would lead the league five times. Then in the first decade of the twentieth century it would set records that have never been equaled. During this time their name would change to the Colts then the Orphans It wasn't until 1901 that they became the Cubs. They would also change addresses four times this is video takes a look at two different locations not even a mile apart.

Their first west side home was near Halsted and Congress on Chicago's near west side from 1885 to 1891. They were led by player / manager Cap Anson and players like Billy Sunday and Marty Sullivan. They were National League champs the first two years at the new park. Including 1885 where they were winners of an early version of the World Series.

The place had it's problems it only held 10,000 people and the park was shaped like a bathtub with the foul lines only 215'. It also shared the space with a bicycle racing track that encircled the already crowded field. One additional note on September 21 1888 three White Stockings players were arrested flirting with Mrs. Seth Blood, the proprietor of a "house" just beyond the wall at old West Side Park. What kind of "house" it was was never clarified but in Chicago at that time vice was king.

Then they have no real home for a couple of years, earning the name orphans, before settling back to the west side in 1893 near Ashland and Congress not far from the old park. Here is where they would develop some exciting new players including the famed combo of Tinkers, Chance & Evans. The Chicago Daily News decides to nickname this young team the Cubs. Than name sticks and in 1903 it becomes official.

By the middle of the decade they were a dynasty at one point winning 538 games out of a possible 765 games. No team has ever done something like that. They were National Leauge champs in 1906,07,08 & 1910 and World Series Champs in 07' and '08. In 1906 they won a record 116 games but would end up being beaten by by crosstown rivals the Chicago White Sox. Known as the hitless wonders.The Cubs would continue to play here without much success until 1915 when they moved. Perhaps they felt they were to close to their upstart rivals the White Sox who were playing not far away.

One more little nugget about the old ball park is that it is where the term "out of left field" came from. As in; the idea was from out of left field meaning it's not a normal or "traditional" idea. The saying began here because beyond the left field wall was an insane asylum and people in the park could hear the moans and babbling of the patients.

They ended up on the north side at Weegham park which became Wrigley field in 1925. And although there have been some World Series games played here no World Series winning team have called Wrigley home.

Research resources;

This is presented by ChiTownView where we offer little slices of Chicago's past, present and future.

The video was produced by MindsiMedia check out our web portal.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The JFK Assassination and the Evolution Of The Corporate Security State 1933-2013

As we approach the 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder it is important we look back and see how much the world has changed. President Eisenhower tried to warn America and Kennedy tried to stop it but the government has become a national security apparatus for the corpoate elite. And as we enter the second decade of the 21st centurycorporate facisim  has become a global empire. We present this video as an educational resource with hopes it will make viewers pay closer attention to these issues.

"When Oliver Stones movie JFK opened in December 1991 a huge PR campaign was mobilized against the film. Even progressives spoke out. Noam Chomsky wrote in support of the Warren Commission's findings in contrast Michael Parenti gave one of his highly acclaimed talks criticizing the lone assassin theory. The bitter questions that haunted defenders and critics alike was whether government agencies of a democratic country would do such a thing as assassinate an elected President. (TUC lecture description)"

Producer: Michael Parenti

Creative Commons license: CC0 1.0 Universal


And here is Eisenhowers "farewell" speech where he warns the country about the dangers of the military industrial state.

This is an interesting clip from the Real News that traces the path we've been on since Ike's warning.

This is not a new story in 1933 there was corporate plot to overthrow Roosevelt that was exposed when they tried to get Smeadly Butler Marine Corp Commandant and two time CMH winner.

Where Would You?

This video is a quick introduction to some of what ChiTownView has to offer. A dozen different videos are highlighted here.

Produced for ChiTownView by MindsiMedia. Visit our web portal at

The blues guitar work is "G_blues_riff_120bpm.wav" by UncleSigmund. It is from and is public domain more info at the link.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Curious Death of Marshall Field

Marshall Field was a retail revolutionary and while the  company is no more the old flagship building with it’s iconic clock still bears his name. He took an early 19th-century consumer environment that was based the principle of  "buyer beware", and changed  it into a grand  shopping experience fit for the Gilded Age. Innovations like unconditional refunds, consistent pricing and international imports began with Mr.  Field and went on to become standards for high end  retailing. The employees weren’t trained to push products on uninterested customers. Instead phrases like;  "Give the lady what she wants" and "The customer is always right" were watchwords of the store.

His son like the sons of many a self made man was  another story. Marshall Field, Jr., heir to the department store fortune was a depressed playboy and gambler who lived in a mansion located on Prairie street. Just south of downtown where the wealthy elite built their mansions after the Chicago Fire.

And in this luxurious home he died of a gunshot wound on night of November 22, 1905. How he got the wound and even where he was shot is another Chicago mystery.. There are three stories. The official version is he shot himself on accident while cleaning the gun. The “ most likely” story is that he was despondent and killed himself. But from a number of independent witnesses there came a more lurid version.

One that takes place here at the epicenter of sin and vice in Chicago in the Levee. This story goes that young Mr. Field was at the notorious Everliegh Club. Where he was drinking, and whoreing with a friend when he got in a dispute that ended with him being shot. Gravely wounded he was taken home where he died a short time later.

Everyone that was involved was paid handsomly for their silence. And with the advertising power the Field could wield no paper looked into the matter too deeply. Tragically the senior Mr. Field would  die himself less than six months later from  pneumonia he contracted while playing golf on New Years Day.

ChiTownView is a production of MindsiMedia.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Solar Power Plant In Chicago's West Side, Welcome To The 21st CenturyChicago

I took my sister over to get her drivers licence renewed at the Secretary of States office on Lexington Ave.  It's an oddly located facility at the end of a dead end street tucked between the highway and an industrial area. I had some time, and my camera, on my hands so I started walking around and checking out the area.

As it turns out the road is blocked by a new solar power plant. Chicago being located on the western shore of Lake Michigan has  large water treatment facilities and sells cleaned lake water to outlying towns and counties. This plant provides backup to the pumping system that sends the water out to Du Page county.

     Slowly all across the globe solar and other renewable energy sources are being tapped and old ways of energy are being replaced by new ones. In some countries like Germany, Spain and Japan wind and solar are making significant contributions.In the US progress is more difficult to gauge because the issue is not widely covered by the media. This plant is a good case in point I Google search turned up two stories both from before the plant was built.

Produced for ChiTownView by MindsiMedia. 
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Ghost Train Route On Chicago's C.T.A. Blue Line.

Two days later and I can still hear the news helicopters hovering overhead every now and then. I live about three blocks from where the unmanned CTA train somehow got moving and took a half mile ride until it ran into another train injuring dozens of people. Li.ving that close I've ridden that train a number of times and it's quite a ride as you start out above the ground and as the trip starts you cross a six lane highway and then desent until your running alongside that highway.

This clip shows the route in reverse starting from the level of the highway and climbing up and into the station where the ghost train started from. So you'll be taking the route of the runaway train only backwards.

For more Chicago area videos check out ChiTownView.