Photographs ©John P. Walsh
Villa Park, Illinois, May 2018.
Lisle, Illinois, 2018.
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.
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.
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.
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. Postponed to 2021.
CTA stop, Oak Park, Illinois, January 2018.
Forest Park, Illinois. July 2016.
Chicago, September 2015.
Chicago, July 2015.
Chicago, August 2015.
Chicago, September 2015.
Chicago, June 2018.
Fried Green Tomato Fest, Aug 26, Watseka, Illinois, August 2017.
Wicked at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, 24 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois, December 2017. The Oriental Theater, now the James M. Nederlander Theatre, opened in 1926. It is one of the many ornate movie palaces built in Chicago by the architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp.
The venue presented both movies and vaudeville acts in its first years. When talkies arrived, the Oriental Theatre became predominantly a movie house in the 1930s. Live stage, theatrical, and concert performances continued for Chicago audiences in a venue that currently seats over 2,000 people.
Duke Ellington and his orchestra made frequent appearances at the Nederlander/Oriental Theatre which was built in the exotic ornate style. Some of the legendary stars who were seen at the Nederlander/Oriental Theatre were Judy Garland, George jessel, Fanny Brice, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Cab Calloway, Eddie Cantor, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Jean Harlow, Billie Holiday, Bob Hope, Al Jolson, Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis, The Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges, Frank Sinatra, Sophie Tucker, Sarah Vaughan, Henny Youngman, and many more.
The theatre underwent a multi-million dollar restoration in the mid 1990s and reopened in 1998. From June 2005 through January 2009, the theater housed a full production of Wicked, making it the most popular stage production in Chicago history. In December 2017 a traveling national tour of Wicked had just started its Chicago run.
Murphy’s Food King, Kentland, Indiana, August 2017.