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Old July 6th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #1641
davismv
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All,

I am new to this message board and really looking forward to interacting with all of you. My name is Mark (user name davismv), and I live at State Place at 11th and State Street (Been a resident since April '05). I love the South Loop , its interesting history and future development that it will bring.

Over the last few years, I've become a somewhat 'urban explorer' and information junkie about many happenings in the South Loop. I take a lot of pictures, read a lot of news articles, and speak to a lot of people to track what is happening in this great part of town.

Anyways, for starters, I'm interested in learning more about 1007 S. State Street - the 'New Ritz Hotel.' This flophouse / SRO closed down a while back, and allowed my street to become a lot cleaner and safer since. Some of the people living there prior to its closure were outright dangerous, although many of them did nothing wrong. I've always wondered how old this building is, what businesses may have been in there, and how did this business run during its last days when open.

Picture 1, from June 2006:
http://mvdavis.dyndns.org/ebay/ritz1.JPG

Picture 2, from August 2005:
http://mvdavis.dyndns.org/ebay/ritz2.jpg

I recently took a little 'visit' to the New Ritz Hotel prior to the beginning of its demolition and took 60+ pictures inside. I'm going to post them soon. I can't believe the conditions inside this building and am surprised that it was allowed to be open as long as it was.
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Old July 6th, 2008, 08:25 PM   #1642
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..

Last edited by Loopy; May 19th, 2010 at 03:27 AM.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 07:49 AM   #1643
Mr Downtown
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You may be interested in Donald Bogue's book Skid Row, which gives some information about these "cage hotels." The 1963 book focuses largely on the West Madison Street skid row, which is now nearly forgotten, but talks some about the South State Street area as well.

I don't know that there's much information about the New Ritz building itself. From the look of it, I would guess it dated from the late 1870s. It may have been built as the Bennett Hospital. The fire escapes are visible in this photo:
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohisto...ages/3401.html
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Old July 7th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #1644
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1005 S. State Demo

Not sure what's going up here. The parking lot attendant said that the development included the pay lot and the building. Any one know about the plan?


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Old July 7th, 2008, 05:28 PM   #1645
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The city purchased and is clearing the site for redevelopment. In 2004 Northern Realty and some of the same folks who developed State Place had been chosen to do the redevelopment, and planned a residential tower. I was unable to attend the public meeting on it, and have never seen the plans or renderings. The owner of the New Ritz property apparently waged a long court battle over the eminent domain proceedings, so the city didn't take possession until last summer, and the city then tried to get more money from the developers. That's the last I heard. I would be surprised if Northern et al are still planning to proceed. At one point the city shut down the parking lot, apparently thinking development was imminent, but they've leased it out again (probably month-to-month).
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Old July 8th, 2008, 02:24 AM   #1646
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All,

I am impressed with the responses you have all made. The picture from the 1930's is incredible, and it surely is the 'New Ritz' back in its heyday. I will need to look at the Chicago encyclopedia more, as I am sure other interesting things exist there.

I will assemble the pictures from inside the 'New Ritz' and will post links in the next few days. It might be best for me to start a new topic, or shall I simply add to this one?

Also... I have a few other buildings of interest too, on Wabash, which must have some interesting history to them. I'll post some pictures and will inquire shortly to all of you 'experts'!
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Old July 9th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #1647
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http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...ws.pl?id=30123

Bed Bath & Beyond plans S. Loop store
By Eddie Baeb, July 09, 2008


...The Union, N.J.-based retailer has leased about 28,000 square feet on the second level of the Joffco Square development at 555 W. Roosevelt Road.

...Even though retail is slow, Joffco is planning a new, two-story center immediately west of the new Bed Bath store that would have about 85,000 square feet of stores topped by a two-story parking garage.

The development, which would replace a small, dated strip center, is to be called Joffco Plaza. Mr. Joffe says about 75% of the space is pre-leased, but he wouldn’t name any tenants
---------------
Joffco Plaza
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Old July 9th, 2008, 05:51 PM   #1648
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[QUOTE=spyguy;22403818]Bed Bath & Beyond plans S. Loop store
By Eddie Baeb, July 09, 2008


Thank god. That Linens 'n' Things by Whole Foods is getting so old and tired.

Now all we need is a Crate and Barrel or two and we can call this commerce pod complete.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #1649
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Gotta have a Restoration Hardware, too. It will carry burnt orange bath rugs, mirror-finish trash cans, and primary-color canisters with big lower-case Helvetica labels. For when new owners of Dearborn Park townhouses want to restore them to their late-70s glory.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 07:14 AM   #1650
davismv
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Pictures from inside The New Ritz - 1007 S. State Street

OK, I posted the New Ritz photos to the following link:

http://picasaweb.google.com/davismv/...uthLoopChicago

It was quite an experience. It's the first time I had ever explored anything so dark and so musty -- and at midnight! I ran into someone (probably a former resident) on my first trip who shouted at me. I must say that it scared me to half to death and I ran out. But I had to go back a week later and see more.

Anyways, please let me know if you have any questions.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 07:54 AM   #1651
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..

Last edited by Loopy; May 19th, 2010 at 03:19 AM.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #1652
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They're soil testing at the Avalon Bay site today. Right in the middle of the parking lot, next to the pay station.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #1653
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davismv View Post
OK, I posted the New Ritz photos to the following link:
Wow, you got some guts, man. Thanks for the photos and detailed descriptions. What a terrifying place to contemplate living in, now or then.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 09:11 PM   #1654
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I noticed soil testing yesterday at the old Old St. Mary's site, SWC Wabash/Van Buren. I'm pretty sure DePaul owns that.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 09:25 PM   #1655
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Grand Central

http://www.independent.ie/business/i...o-1429919.html

Chieftain switches focus from Wicklow to Chicago
By Donal Buckley
Wednesday July 09 2008


Limerick firm Chieftain Construction is pressing ahead with plans for a $100m apartment and hotel development in Chicago.

...In Chicago, Chieftain is seeking planning permission for a 200-bedroom hotel and 500 apartments in a mixed development in two tower blocks of 25 storeys each.

To be known as Grand Central, it will be located on the south-western corner of Harrison and Wells and just a few minutes' drive from fellow Irishman Garrett Kelleher's Chicago Spire.

---

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Old July 10th, 2008, 09:39 PM   #1656
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopy View Post
What, no swimming pool?
That would be be basement after a hard rain - just watch out for the drowned rats.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 01:37 AM   #1657
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My tenants who have been renting from me for the last 3 years have to move back to London at the end of September. If anyone is interested in renting or buying a two bed two bath in the Michigan Ave Towers on the 12th floor. PM me.
__________________

for the Pelasgians, too, were a Greek nation originally from the Peloponnesus
The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...assus/1B*.html

Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece". Strabo, VII, Frg. 9
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...ragments*.html

But north of the gulf, the first inhabitants are Greeks called Epirotes....
Procopius
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m6...page&q&f=false
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Old July 14th, 2008, 08:53 PM   #1658
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davismv View Post
OK, I posted the New Ritz photos to the following link:

http://picasaweb.google.com/davismv/...uthLoopChicago

It was quite an experience. It's the first time I had ever explored anything so dark and so musty -- and at midnight! I ran into someone (probably a former resident) on my first trip who shouted at me. I must say that it scared me to half to death and I ran out. But I had to go back a week later and see more.

Anyways, please let me know if you have any questions.
You are a little insane to be in that place at those hours. I was in there while the place was fully inhabitated and can give you a little information. First, the "office" was at the top of the first set of stairs. They had a cage and a TV in there, so my guess is what you have labelled a common area is the remains of that office. There were no "family room" type common areas that I ever saw.

On bathrooms they were communal on each floor and off to the left as you went up the stairs.

Finally, all of the rooms were very small, just enough to put a single bed with room to get by the bed, all had plywood walls and doors and all had chicken wire like mesh for ceilings. Each room had a single overhead light fixture and either one or two outlets.

I recognize it would have been very difficult to get any perspective shots, but it appears that the floors have largely been trashed and scavenged since they threw the residents out. While in operation the rooms went front to back on the floors with aisles conciding with the rear windows. There was barely enough space in the "halls" for two people to by each other.

Thanks for the photos.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #1659
i_am_hydrogen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davismv View Post
OK, I posted the New Ritz photos to the following link:

http://picasaweb.google.com/davismv/...uthLoopChicago

It was quite an experience. It's the first time I had ever explored anything so dark and so musty -- and at midnight! I ran into someone (probably a former resident) on my first trip who shouted at me. I must say that it scared me to half to death and I ran out. But I had to go back a week later and see more.

Anyways, please let me know if you have any questions.
Fascinating set. It must've taken some testicular fortitude to nose around this place at such an hour. Thanks for sharing.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 07:27 AM   #1660
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I missed Bob O'Neills meeting last night... but between the Tribune and SSP I thought I would open the discussion for the proposed Congress Parkway meetings...

I dont know how to quote from other pages and I dont want to piss anyone off for plagiarism, but Mr. Downtown suggested that CDOT was looking for ideas for the lot at the SEC of Plymouth and Congress (north of teh ComEd substation, west of the Library Tower). Originally, I believe it was supposed to be part of a park with the lot east of it, which was scrapped when the City did a land swap at the north end of Library Tower for the lot at the South end of Library Tower.

I was thinking about it on the train ride home and thought a good solution for such a small lot (that could benefit the City) woudl be a bike substation like at Millenium Park. A lot of commuters could use it that work downtown in addition to the students at the nearby schools. IT would also encourage people to ride their bike to the library. Also, people who live in the nearby lofts could rent a space (since many of them dont have a bike room as an amenity). THe bike station at Millenium Park was such a success and I am sure one in this locaiton will do even better now. I would assume it would have showers/lockers (underground), temporary parking, seasonal spaces, and maybe even bike rentals for the tourists. I dunno about you... but I would be willing to spend $150 a year to put my bike in this place instead of my living room... Here is a link for the bike station at Millenium Park:

http://www.chicagobikestation.com/

Maybe you could even put a rooftop cafe over the bike station to generate a little more money.

Any feedback?
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