Tour South Shore With Us

Photographs courtesy of photographer Eric Allix Rogers

Like much of the Chicago story, the story of South Shore was written on the railroad tracks
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Black United fund of Illinois  1809 East 71st St.
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Philanthropic organization, emphasizing education and empowerment for young African Americans. The exterior is glazed terra cotta, a fire-proof as well as decorative material.  This classic retail building, beginning the 71st St. corridor was designed in the 1920's for upper middle class members of the South Shore Country Club.

Annie B. Jones Community Services 1818 E. 71st
Annie B. Jones
This former Firestone building provides many social services and educational outreach for the South Shore community.  It is also the home of Ray of Hope,  which provides youth music and drama education and performances.  The tile murals were created by Nina Smoot Cane, with participation by young local artists.

Shore Bank 7054 S. Jeffery

Shore Bank
Now Urban Partnership Bank, the primary financial institution in South Shore, with a commendable history of community support.  Reorganized in 2010, per national bank restructuring.  The Jeffery Theater was purchased by the bank in 1998, incorporating it into the bank building.

The Hamilton Building 2150-2160  E. 71st St.
The Hamilton Building

The Hamilton Theater, a vaudeville venue, which was attached to this building  was demolished in 1990.  This  place housed the former offices of then Illinois Senator Barack Obama.  That office space is now occupied by the owner of the property, Robin Boyd-Clark, whose essential oils business, The Scentuary,  provides a venue for meditation classes and wellness practices.

The Allan Miller House  7121 S. Paxton
The Allan Miller House

The exceptionally maintained and preserved Prairie Style Home was designed by John Van Bergen, Frank Lloyd Wright's closest associate, who completed the commission when Wright departed for Japan.  Excellent example of the Prairie Style architecture, with its low horizontal lines in roof line and window placement, as well as the earth-tone exterior.  The interior of this home has been impeccably restored and is currently on the market.

The South Shore Cultural Center  7059 South Shore Drive
South Shore Cultural Center

The Club House for The South Shore Country Club was designed by Marshall and Fox in 1916, architects for The Drake Hotel and the Blackstone Hotel.  This is actually the second building created by Marshall and Fox for this site; the original was designed in 1909.  An exclusive club, the membership included many of the most prominent citizens of Chicago through the 1960's.  It was sold to the City of Chicago in 1972, becoming a property of the Chicago Park District with a nine-hole golf course, a pristine beach, nature trail and bird sanctuary.  The annual Jazz Festival plays here and the Paul Robeson Theater, part of this structure, is the home of The South Shore Opera Company of Chicago.  The South Shore Cultural Center is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Chicago Landmark.

The Windsor Beach Apartments  7321 S. South Shore Drive
Windsor Beach Apartments

This co-op apartment building on the lakefront was designed in 1926 by Robert DeGolyer, architect of many Gold Coast co-ops.  It is one of several well appointed co-op apartments built for members of the South Shore Country Club.  Designed in the shape of a Maltese Cross, the spacious vintage interiors have been well preserved.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lake Terrace Apartments 7337 South Shore Drive
Lake Terrace Apartments

Designed in 1952 by John Moutoussamy, African American architect of Dubin, Dubin, Black and Moutousammy.  Moutousammy was a disciple of Mies van Der Rohe, and he designed many of the fine mid-century apartment buildings in Chicago.

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Paideia Academy 7511 South Shore Drive
Powell School

State of the art in sustainability design and construction,  public elementary school, opened in 2011.  The architectural firm,  Interactive Design, is co-owned by Dina Griffin, an African American.  It is situated on the northwestern corner of Rainbow Beach Park and classrooms look out on Lake Michigan.   The building has a green roof.

Lawrence and Marguerite Heyworth Home  7651 South Shore Drive
Heyworth Home

Gothic design house built in the 1880's, the property of Marshall Field and George Pullman, was removed from the former site of the 1893 Exposition in Jackson Park and  barged to Rainbow Beach Park in 1911.  It was then purchased by Lawrence Heyworth, the founder of the South Shore Country Club.

Frank Ryzetsky Home  7839 South Shore Drive
Ryzetsky House
Built in 1891, this recently renovated landmark was the home of the developer of South Shore.  This house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Rainbow Beach Park  Between 75th and 79th Streets, on the Lakefront, east of South Shore Drive
Rainbow Beach ParkOne-half mile along the waterfront, Rainbow Beach Park consists of pristine beaches, rolling lawns, flower gardens and recreational facilities.  Victory Garden, the oldest community garden in the city, located off of 79th Street is another amenity in this beautiful park.

Chicago Lakeside/USX
USXThe largest urban development in the United States is the proposed development of this 600 acre site, once occupied by US Steel, which ceased operations in 1972.  Dan McCaffrey and Associates  will begin Stage One  in 2012.  The plan includes: 125 acres of public land, miles of lakefront access, over 13,000 new homes, 17 million square feet of retail space.  This is a 25-40 project to completion.
Dave MatthewsIn July, 2011, the vacant 600 acres was put to use for a three day music festival.  The Dave Matthews Caravan drew an estimated 600 thousand visitors to the site.

The Ringer Building 7915 South Exchange
The Ringer BuildingThis handsome structure, literally built like a bank in 1928, is currently on the market.  The builder, Charles Ringer, is credited with creating "the Bungalow Belt" in south-east Chicago.  He started a real estate business in 1905 at 79th and Exchange, when South Shore was mostly a muddy, swampy area.  A realtor who fought for paved streets, public lighting and public sanitation, he is a very important figure in South shore development.  Ringer managed many of the fine co-op apartment buildings.

We Mean Green Neighborhood Garden, 75th and Coles
We Mean Green Neighborhood GardenThis garden was started in 2010 on a trash-filled city lot by several residents of the neighborhood who envision a park-like renaissance of the old 75th Street retail corridor.
The American Four-Square Street  2600 Block of E. 74th Place
American 4 squareThis block features facing rows of the prototypical Midwestern house- ordered from the Sears and Roebuck catalog.  Delivered by railroad, the American 4-squares were a significant  Chicago industry. Prairie style influenced this design: in the absence of Victorian asymetric ornamentation. These spacious homes accommodated the rising middle class.  The front porches invite a community feeling.

The South Shore Library
S S LibraryDesigned in 1922 by Chicago architect Paul Gebhardt, this charming Tudor style Library was completed in 1928, costing somewhat less than $100,000., including the purchase of the books.

Chicago Bungalow Historic District From 75th  to 78th Streets; From Crandon to Clyde Avenues
Bungalow Historic DistrictThe only single family residential style exclusively Chicago and nearly 1/3 of the city's housing stock.  These 1 1/2 story homes feature detailed masonry, horizontal aspect in window rows, wide roof overhang, sheltering the main entrance situated  to the side are Prairie style influences.  Neat front lawns, room off the alley for a garage and  the cozy interiors with natural wood trim: the bungalows in this area are part of the Historic Bungalow Initiative, started by former mayor Richard M. Daley, who grew up in one.

The Three South Shore High Schools: The New One
New S S HighNew High front entrance

Designed by Architect John Ronan as a prototype  for a Chicago High School that con be constructed on a single city block for 1200 students.  This building consists of three rectangles: Body-athletics, Mind-classrooms and library, and Spirit-art, music and drama studios.  This school opened in September, 2011 as a college preparatory school.

Mid-Century High School 1969
Brutalist school"Brutalist" architecture, considered very modern: designed with octagonal classrooms, movable walls,closed-circuit T.V. among other special amenities.  Intended to stem "white flight" from the neighborhood.  At 9 million dollars, due to costly improvements and construction delays, the school was a "white elephant" from the start.  Razed in 2011, the site will be added to Rosenblum Park.

Original South Shore High School 1942
First S S HighThis traditionally designed high school building has some Art Deco elements in the exterior facia.  It is still a functional building and will continue to be used as part of the South Shore school system.

 The New Regal Theater  1641 E. 79th Street
The New RegalThis exotic "Movie Palace" was designed by John Eberson in 1927 in a mid-eastern "Arabian Nights" motif inspired by a Persian incense burner.  Richly embellished with intricate terra cotta tiling and Arabic calligraphy, this building, like several extravagantly decorated theaters in the city was planned to lure patrons away from the old vaudeville theaters to a more romantic site.  The "New" Regal was originally The Avalon, renamed in 1985 as homage to the "old" Regal on Martin Luther King and 47th, a great African American live performance theater.

Mosque Maryam  7351 S. Stony Island
Mosque MaryamDesigned in 1952 by Architect Christopher Chamales as the St. Constantine Greek Orthodox Church, inspired by St. Sophia In Constantinople.  The dome is 70 feet high, 60 feet in diameter. The dome interior is now inscribed in Arabic "There is no God but Allah".  The building was acquired in 1972 by the Nation of Islam.  In 1988, it was purchased by Louis Farrakhan when the Nation of Islam decentralized.

The Jackson Park Highlands From 71st to 67th Streets; From Creiger to Euclid Avenues
Jackson Park HighlandsA National Historic District, these residences  were built from 1905 through the 1920's.  The grand houses in varied architectural styles were designed by several prominent architects as homes for prominent Chicagoans on property overlooking Jackson Park, site of the Exposition of 1893.

The Quadrangle Condos 6700 South Shore Drive
The QuadrangleDesigned in 1968 by mid-century architect, John Moutousammy, as a very modern high rise with expansive views of Lake Michigan,  Jackson Park and the Jackson Park Golf Course.

The Villa Apartments 6830 South Shore Drive
Villa ApartmentsDesigned in 1923 by the great Chicago architect Alfred Alschuler, this three-story gracefully curved   building is made of white brick embellished with glazed terra cotta.  Alschuler's daughter, Marian, lived here for many years with her husband, noted attorney and alderman, Leon Despres.  She was a founder of the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Builders of the Cultural Present  71st and Jeffery
MuralThis mural, created in 1981  by Calvin Jones and Michael Caton represents the connection between traditional African art and modern African American aesthetic expression.  Employing Adrinkan Symbols, the three panels depict cultural leaders from Southeast Chicago, including Dr. Margaret Burroughs and poet, Gwendolyn Brooks.