Brewster Apartments : Bad Luck, Coincidence, Poor Maintenance, or Something Else?

Brewster Apartments : Bad Luck, Coincidence, Poor Maintenance, or Something Else?
Sketch of the Brewster Apartments when it was called the Lincoln Park Palace

I have always loved the Brewster Apartments (or Lincoln Park Palace as it was originally referred to when it was eventually finished in 1896).  A couple of good friends had lived there when they attended DePaul University and when they told me that they had moved in, I had to go with to take photos of some of the beautiful architecture.   I love the way that the atrium of the building is open all the way to the roof and the original woodwork, ironwork, hand operated elevator and glass flooring just adds historic beauty to the place.

As I was taking photographs and made it to the top floor of the building I had an overwhelming, nauseating feeling of dread.  I have never been one to consider myself sensitive to these types of things but I just knew I had to research the history of the building.  My hair stood on end as I was pouring over old records and discovered that the original builder, Bjoerne Edwards, had fallen from the roof while inspecting fireproofing and fell past where I was standing, through the open atrium and eventually to his death eight stories below.

The light shining through the glass floors of the Brewster Apartments is breathtaking.

The light shining through the glass floors of the Brewster Apartments is breathtaking.

That is exactly why I was so surprised when today, years after I had conducted the research, a friend of mine mentioned to me that the Brewster Apartments had made the news because a wooden water tank had collapsed and fallen off of the roof injuring three persons below.  They also mentioned that the reporter had referenced an article that I had written about the building on my website, HauntDetective.com.

The really odd thing was that Bjoerne Edwards had fallen to his death from the roof of the same building on July 31, 1895, 118 years to the day of today's accident.  His wife, Mary C.C. Edwards eventually oversaw the finishing of her husband's dream and the building officially opened in September of 1896.  I had just finished a more detailed history of the building for my upcoming book, "Chicago History - The Stranger Side" and may be able to contact my publisher to see if I might be able to add this "coincidence" before its release date of February, 2014.

Original research on HauntDetective.com

NBC news coverage of the tragic accident today!

 

 

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