Category Archives: My Photography Street

Street Photography II. (26 Photos).

Photographs ©John P. Walsh

The Logan Theatre, Chicago, illinois, February 2013.

Lakefront, East Chicago, Indiana, July 2016.

Chicago (The Loop), November 2017.

Downers Grove, Illinois, July 2018.

Chicago (Michigan Avenue), August 2015.

Chicago (Michigan Avenue), May 2014.

Chicago, July 2016.

Chicago, July 2016.

Chicago, July 2016.

Chicago, September 2015.

Chicago (Navy Pier), September 2016.

Chicago (West Loop/East Garfield Park), October 2016.

Chicago, August 2015.

Chicago, Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, 4600 S. King Drive, October 2016. Originally a synagogue founded by German Jewish immigrants in 1861, the Neo-Classical building was home to Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1912 until the 1940s. In 1961, Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church moved into the building. The church brought a strong commitment to social justice and played an instrumental role in bringing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference to Chicago. Since the late 1960’s the church has provided a neighborhood food bank.

Boarding up storefronts during the COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd protests, June 2020.

June 2020.

Chicago (Navy Pier), September 2015.

Spring shower, May 2019.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 2018.

Chicago (Edgewater), 2014.

Oakbrook, Illinois, summer 2019.

Summer 2019.

Summer 2019.

Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago (1975) in late 2017. The 28-story building is a right triangle shape. Architect Harry Weese (1915-1998) designed each cell with a floor-to-ceiling slit window, 7 feet (2.1 m) long by 5 inches (130 mm) wide. The windows were narrow enough that they did not require bars and beveled out to allow natural light to pass inside.

Chicago, August 2017.

Magnificent Mile, Chicago, May 2016.

Motorcycles & Trains. (20 Photos).

Photographs and Text ©John P. Walsh

1932 Model G Servi-Car Side-Valve V-Twin. The model ran for 41 years and offered high crown fenders and a cargo hold that could pack 500 pounds. The Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

West Loop, 2017.

“L”, Chicago, 2017.

The Ride with Pride Motorcycle Run, sponsored by Pridefest and the Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 2018.

BSNF Railway Line, April 2020.

Contemporary “Fat Bob” fuel tank with paint color scheme “Anniversary Yellow, ” 1954. The Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2002 XL883C Sportster Custom OHV-V Twin. Loaded with factory-installed additions. The Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Union Pacific West Line, 2018.

Former trainman, Union Pacific Railroad. Along BNSF Railway, May 2020.

Amtrak Midwest, July 2020.

Signs. (28 Photos).

Photographs ©John P. Walsh

Villa Park, Illinois, May 2018.

Lisle, Illinois, 2018.

Chicago, 2018.

April 2020.

April 2020.

April 2020.

Chicago, 2015.

April 2020.

The Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., in downtown Wilmette, Illinois, 2016. The theater was built in 1914, and originally called the Central Theatre. Owned by Encyclopedia Britannica Films since 1950, the vintage movie house had been shuttered when Richard S. Stern bought and re-opened it in 1966. Stern came from a family of movie theater owners. His father, Henry Stern, opened what is credited as the first art film theater house in Chicago–the Cinema Theater at Michigan and Chicago Avenues opened in 1929. After it was demolished in 1981, a skyscraper and high-end retail store were built on the site. In 1966, Richard Stern asked his father for a loan, and bought the property. Decades later, after renovating the Wilmette Theater into a two-screen operation, Richard Stern decided to sell it. In 2006, Stern sold the Wilmette Theatre to a small group of community investors interested in the movie theatre’s unique history and continuing to operate it showing top-quality first run and art films. The lobby portion of the building retains much of its vintage charm.

Sources: https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/wilmette/ct-wml-richard-stern-obit-story-tl-1029-20151027-story.html; http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/980;http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/7675

The Tivoli Theatre (1928), Downers Grove, Illinois, 2016. 1,000+-seat movie theater designed by Van Gurten & Van Gurten architects. Opened Christmas Day, 1928. It is the second in the U.S. fitted for sound movies. The first was the 1200-seat Brooklyn Paramount Theater in New York City that opened in November 1928 and closed in the early 1960’s.

Chicago, 2014.

Macy’s on State Street, Chicago, 2018.

Chicago Loop Synagogue (1958), 2015.

The Nutcracker by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, December 2017. The 3,900-seat Auditorium Theatre (1889) in Chicago was designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan.

April 2020.

Chicago, 2015.

April 2020.

The Braddock Road, PA, March 2010.

The Braddock Road was a military road built in 1755 in what was then British America and is now the United States. It was the first improved road to cross the barrier of the ridge lines of the Appalachians. It was constructed by about 2,500 troops of the Virginia militia and British regulars commanded by General Edward Braddock (1695-1755), part of the expedition to conquer the Ohio Country from the French at the beginning of the French and Indian War (1756-63). George Washington, who was aide-de-camp to Braddock, had pioneered this route a year earlier when he traveled into the Ohio Country and met Native American leader, Tanacharison (1700-1754).  The expedition gave Washington his first field military experience as well as other American military officers whose numbers profited from this military outing later during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).

Braddock’s men had to cut a road wide enough to accommodate the wagons and draft animals that accompanied them, as well as the siege artillery that they brought along to use against the new Fort Duquesne established by the French in 1754 at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers.  Progress was painstakingly slow until Braddock split the force into a lead column of about 1,500 men and the rest as a support column to drag artillery and supplies. The flying column made rapid progress, and with each day, the distance between it and the support column increased. This marker is on the (later) National Pike (Route 40) between Elk Park and Farmington, Pennsylvania.

April 2020.

April 2020. Postponed to 2021.

CTA stop, Oak Park, Illinois, January 2018.

June 2020.

Forest Park, Illinois. July 2016.

Chicago, September 2015.

Chicago, July 2015.

Chicago, August 2015.

Chicago, September 2015.

Chicago, June 2018.

Sea of Flags (2004), a street mural by Gamaliel Ramirez in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Photograph and Text ©John P. Walsh

SEA OF FLAGS, 2004, 2500 West Division Street, Chicago (Humboldt Park) by Gamaliel Ramirez (b. 1949) with the assistance of community members.  

The mural entitled Sea of Flags depicts Fiesta Boricua (De Bandera a Bandera), an annual 3-day music and cultural event in the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago. Attracting tens of thousands of visitors, the fiesta is held starting in late August or early September. In 2018 the Fiesta Boricua celebrated its 25th anniversary and offered 3 stages booked back to back with scores of musical and cultural performers specializing in the pulsating rhythms of Puerto Rican salsa, reggaeton, bomba, plena, and merengue music, and more.

Some of the famous people depicted in the mural Sea of Flags include Puerto Rican nationalist Lolita Lebrón (1919-2010), Nuyorican (“New York City/Puerto Rican”) poet and playwright Pedro Pietri (1944-2004) and, depicted as a bronze statue on the image’s left side, Don Pedro Albizu Campos (1891-1965), the leading figure in the Puerto Rican independence movement.

An abundance of Puerto Rican flags in the mural is intentional by the artist and his assistants. Since Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States in 1898 following the Spanish-American War — and ceded the Philippines and the island of Guam at the same time — Puerto Rico and the U.S. have had a complicated political relationship that is yet to be completely mutually resolved today.

Gamaliel Ramirez was born in the Bronx in New York in 1949. He spent most of his career in Chicago teaching and as a working artist. After 35 years in Chicago he retired to Santa Rita, San Juan, Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria in September 2017, Mr. Ramirez was hospitalized for many months and passed away on May 21, 2018. The artist of this colorful mural has left behind for us a legacy of paintings, other murals, photography and poetry.

Street Photography I. (43 Photos).

Photographs ©John P. Walsh

Chicago, June 12, 2018.

Chicago, 2018.

Chicago, June 2018.

Chicago, 2018.

Chicago (Bucktown), 2015.

Chinatown (Chicago), 2018.

Chicago, 2018.

Double Vision.

Chicago, 2017.

All the World's a Stage (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), June 9, 2018.

Milwaukee, 2018.

Pritzker Park, Chicago, July 2015.

Congress & Wabash, Chicago, 2015.

Parking attendant, Chicago, 2015.

Chicago, 2015.

Wabash and Adams, Chicago, 2014.

Oakbrook, IL, 2019.

2019.

Milwaukee, 2016.

Chicago, 2016.

Chicago, 2016.

Chicago, 2016.

Millennium Park, Chicago, 2016.

Chicago, 2014.

Chicago, 2019.

2019.

2019.

2019.

Chicago, 2016.

2019.

June 2019.

Chicago, 2015.

Chicago, 2016.

March 2020.

March 2020.

First responders, April 2020.

Chicago, September 2014.

April 2020.

May 2020.

Chicago, 2017.

May 2018.

April 2020.

Chicago, September 2013.

Chicago, July 2015.

Chicago, August 2015.

Symphony Center, Chicago, October 2014.

Midwest Roads, U.S.A. (47 Photos).

Photographs and Text ©John P. Walsh

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Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket is 22 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. Its address is 645 Joliet Road, Willowbrook, Illinois. It first opened in 1926 as a gas station/lunch counter on a brand-new Route 66. In 1939 the original owner, Irv Kolarik, served fried chicken for the first time. That was over 80 years ago.

The one-story brick commercial building was built next to the original building in 1946 by architect Eugene F. Stoyke (1912-1993). It became a full-service restaurant at the time of the post-World War II travel boom. The path of U.S. Route 66 traveled the western two-thirds of the U.S. from Chicago to Los Angeles, California, a distance of more than 2,000 miles.

Dell Rhea’s window bay of nine single-light-glass-and-wood-canted windows is original as was the neon-and-metal sign in this photograph taken in 2016 (an exact replica of the original sign was erected in 2017). With a fireplace anchoring the restaurant’s north wall, a cocktail lounge was added to the south in 1956. In front of the restaurant on U.S. 66 there was Bluebird Bus stop which people could take to St. Louis and send packages across country.

In 1962 Interstate 55, a major expressway connecting Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans basically retired U.S. Route 66 as a major thoroughfare. In 1963 the Chicken Basket was bought by Chicago businessman Delbert Francis “Dell” Rhea (1907-1992) who reinvigorated the eatery for the new era. The popular Chicken Basket was owned and managed by the Rhea family until 2019. That year the Lombardi family bought the restaurant with the promise to continue the tradition by keeping intact the original recipe which has remain unchanged since 1946.

Vintage roadhouse decor and family-oriented service joined to a menu featuring fresh and deliciously succulent cooked-to-order fried chicken makes the Chicken Basket a mandatory Midwest Roads stop.

(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” is a popular rhythm & blues standard composed in 1946 by American songwriter Bobby Troup (1918-1999). It was a hit that same year for Nat King Cole who, with the King Cole Trio, first recorded the song. Troup got the idea for the song when taking a ten-day cross country trip with his wife in a Buick from Pennsylvania to California on U.S. Routes 40 and 66. The lyrics include some of the popular cities and towns on the route. Troup, who later became a film and television actor, certainly drove by what is today Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket on that historic road trip.

Grundy Co., Illinois, 2016. 

INTRODUCTION.

These are some of my photographs featuring the people, places, and things I have met along today’s American Midwest roads.

I have a personal affection for the American Midwest. I grew up in Chicago and its suburbs, and went to grade school, high school and university here.

Growing up In the Midwest I had my family, friends, diverse outings, engaging jobs, and, later on, married here. I continue to enthusiastically explore this vast region that’s rightly called “The Heart of America.”

Memories of the Middle West — its sights, sounds, smells, and tastes — and mostly in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan — are the mother’s milk of my life. Through steamy summers, multi-colored autumns, ice-bitten winters, and flowering springs to traverse Midwest roads spell adventure — both then and now.

The American Midwest is filled with human stories and diverse and awesome natural beauty. There is timeless nostalgia, and, when those things don’t entice for the moment, unexpected curiosities.

For those who love it, the Midwestern terrain possesses what Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) spoke about in his last major book, The Sangamon, as “magic in that soil, in the plains, the borders of forest, the oak trees on the hills.” The poet was sure that “if you should drive through (this region)…strange dreams would come to you, and moreover those dreams would tally with mine.”

The region continues to offer the sightseer magical things including impressive remnants of an American Indian mound-building culture and encounters with animals and birds, wild and domestic. Edgar Lee Masters understood that it is the Midwestern people – individualistic, hospitable, industrious, good willed, courageous and independent – who bestow to the central part of the country its greatest distinction. It is this populace that, like the past, builds what is frequently photographed on Midwest roads and in its towns and cities: canals, roads, barns and farms, houses. In the 21st century new things of interest can be seen on a Midwest road trip– such as cellphone towers or wind turbines — while older things, like barns, disappear.

Many famous Americans and international figures have traversed the Midwest roads, some perhaps unknown or unexpected–James Monroe (in 1785), Charles Dickens (1842), John Muir (1849), Henry David Thoreau (1861),  Antonín Dvořák (1893), Winston Churchill (1946). Others were born or lived here, such as Carl Sandburg, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Edison, Edgar Lee Masters, Walt Disney, Mark Twain, Jane Addams, Harry S Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Barack and Michelle Obama,  Frank Lloyd Wright, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., John Wayne, Wyatt Earp, “Wild Bill” Hickok, Jesse James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Dinah Washington (“Queen of the Blues”), and many more.

It is Abraham Lincoln whose memory is most famously linked to Midwest Roads. Riding his horse, “Old Bob,” Lincoln loved to travel the Eighth Judicial Circuit as a defense lawyer. It is to the sixteenth U.S. president and the Midwestern spirit he manifested that this photographic essay is dedicated.

Asian Garden (Man), July 2018

Man in his garden, DuPage Co., Illinois, July 2018.

Woman in her garden, DuPage Co., Illinois, July 2018.

Illinois Farm (Bureau County IL) June 5, 2017.

Bureau Co., Illinois, June 5, 2017.

Crucifix and wind turbine (Bureau County IL), June 5, 2017.

Crucifix and horizontal-axis wind turbine. Bureau Co., Illinois, 2017.

Wedding party, Waukesha Co., Wisconsin, 2017.

working farm 5.31.17 jpw

Walworth Co., WI, 2017.

Tuesday Taco jpwalsh

Kirkland (DeKalb Co.), Illinois, 2017.

red barns jpwalsh

Northern Illinois, 2017.

Dixon, Illinois, 2017. The Ronald Reagan Trail is a route in Illinois that follows areas and sites of interest associated with the 40th president of The United States. Reagan grew up in Dixon, Illinois. Route 26 originally ran north-south about 25 miles from Freeport, Illinois to Polo, Illinois. In 1937, IL-26 was extended north about 15 miles from Freeport to the Illinois-Wisconsin state line and south about 15 miles from Polo to Dixon, Illinois. In 1969, IL-26 was extended nearly 100 miles south from Dixon to East Peoria, Illinois.

Honor Guard, Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, Dixon (Lee Co.), Illinois, June 5, 2017.

Walworth Co., Wisconsin, 2017.

1992 Case IH 7150, DeKalb Co., Illinois, 2016.

Midwest roads.

DeKalb Co., Illinois, October 9, 2016.  

Midwest Roads.

Grundy Co., Illinois, 2016.

Kendall Co., Illinois, 2016.

Grundy Co., Illinois, 2016. 

Midwest Roads.

LaSalle Co., Illinois, 2016. 

Tazewell Co., Illinois, 2016. 

Midwest Roads.

LaSalle Co., Illinois, 2016.  

LaSalle Co., Illinois, 2016.

Midwest roads.

Grundy Co., 2016. 

Midwest roads.

Detail, Downtown Mural, LaSalle Co. (Ottawa), Illinois, 2016.

DeKalb Co., Illinois, 2016.

Midwest Roads.

Lake Co., Illinois (Wauconda), August 2016. 

Kendall Co. (Oswego), IL, April 2, 2016.

Iroquois Co., Illinois (Watseka), 2017.

LaSalle/Grundy Cos. (Seneca), Illinois, 2016.

Leaf blowers, 2018.

Cook/DuPage Cos., Illinois (Schaumburg), 2016.

DuPage Co. (Downers Grove), Illinois, 2018.

DuPage Co. (Wheaton), Illinois, 2018.

At about 3,100 miles long, U.S. Route 20 is the longest road in the country. It stretches east to west from Boston, Massachusetts to Newport, Oregon. Its origins began on the east coast in the early to mid-1920’s. Its designation and routing reached Illinois in 1938 and is since unchanged. In 1955 the Illinois General Assembly designated the entire length of U.S. 20 in Illinois the U.S. Grant Memorial Highway. This sign was produced in late 2006.

Lake Geneva (Walworth Co.), Wisconsin, 2017.

Grotto shrine, Des Plaines, Illinois, 2018.

Mass, Des Plaines, Illinois, 2018.

Winnebago Co. (Rockford), Illinois, 2017.

The Worker, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Camp Chicago-Lemont, Company 612, Willow Springs, Illinois. Established June 4, 1933.

The CCC was a major part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The Federal program provided manual labor jobs related to conservation and the development of natural resources on mostly rural lands owned by government entities. The CCC was specifically designed to give jobs to young men so to relieve their families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression. The CCC was active from April 1933 to July 1942. In those nine years and 3 months the program employed approximately 3 million young men who, with food, clothing and shelter included, earned $30 a month, of which $25 had to be sent home to their families.

Capt. A. Lincoln, Illinois Volunteer Militia, Black Hawk War, 1832, bronze, 1930. Sculpture by Leonard Crunelle (1872-1944) in Dixon, Illinois.

During the 1832 Black Hawk War, 23-year-old Abe Lincoln was a captain in what is today the Illinois National Guard. Lincoln enlisted in the Volunteers on April 21, 1832 near Richland Creek in Sangamon County, about halfway between New Salem and Springfield, Illinois. He was mustered into State service the next day at Beardstown, Illinois, on the Illinois River almost 40 miles to the west and elected captain, a position Lincoln said he was surprised and proud to receive.

Illinois and adjoining states at this time were at the edge of the American frontier. Lincoln was mustered into the U.S. service on May 3, 1832 near Janesville, Wisconsin and mustered out on May 27, 1832 as they camped in Ottawa, Wisconsin, without having fired a shot. On that same day, Lincoln re-enlisted as a private in Captain Iles’ company and when that expired re-enlisted again in Captain Early’s company. Lincoln was finally mustered out of military service on July 10, 1832 at Whitewater, Wisconsin.

For a time, young Lincoln was stationed at Fort Dixon on the Rock River in Dixon, Illinois where this statue, unveiled in late September 1930, stands. The sculptor is French-born Leonard Crunelle (1872-1944). Crunelle’s immigrant family came to Illinois in 1889 and settled in Decatur, about 40 miles east of Springfield, Lincoln’s hometown. As Crunelle worked in the local mines, he started making fired clay sculptures. His work was brought to the attention of Lorado Taft (1860-1936) who brought young Crunelle to Chicago to study at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Crunelle also began to do decorative work for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

The bronze sculpture of Lincoln, who later as a lawyer and politician expressed pride in his brief military service, is one of the first attempts to depict the Great Emancipator in his youth.

Old Glory, June 2020.

Chicago, 2018.

Buying corn, Watseka, Illinois, August 2017.

Barn and silo, Illinois, June 2017.

Fox River near West Dundee, Illinois, August 2014.

November 2017.

Wheaton, Illinois, August 2015.

October 2017.

NOTES:

for photograph 1-Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket. http://www.chickenbasket.com/; https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/route66/dell_rheas_chicken_basket_hinsdale.html .

INTRODUCTION – Masters quotes from The Sangamon by Edgar Lee Masters with Introduction by Charles E. Burgess, University of Illinois Press, Urbana & Chicago, 1988 (first published 1942), p.6.