June 22, 2011

Police & Fire

This post reports on both the police and fire departments of old Lake View
The Police Districts of Lake View
A Sample of Tales from Old Lake View
Chicago Daily News articles
(click all articles below to enlarge)
Troubles on Statford Place in 1897
from my block ...

A Religious Anarchist in 1888
in the City of Lake View
with the Mayor's Approval

The highwayman of the Lake View District 
baffle the Town Hall police in 1892
An Illegal Pier of Cornelia Street in 1894
A Police Commander & Water 1896
Courtroom Justice in 1901
Trick & Treat:
Fact or Fiction in 1901
Hotel Vice & Closure in 1909
Sherman Place=Drummond Place
This area was still unofficially regarded as Lake View 
ten years after the annexation 
The Old Town Hall
1872 - early-mid 1900's
image - Calumet 412 
Maps of the Area 1887
David Rumsey Map Historical Map Collection
located on the lower left
Sanborn Fire Map via Historic Map Works
photo - late 19th century
Robert Zamora - Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
Lake View's 'Old Town Hall' that included 
police, postal, and council administrations
The political and governmental administrative center of the township/city from 1872 to the annexation of 1889 to the City of Chicago was on the corner of Addison and Halsted Streets. While the original building lost its political status after the annexation the residents District of Lake View gained a police presence with the construction of the second building commonly referred to as the Old Town Hall in 1907.
The Old Guard vs City of Chicago in 1891
This area was regarded as new district within Chicago
a preserved calaboose in Mt Vernon Illinois
Non-violent prisoners were housed in 'tiny jails' known as calaboose. This was the purpose of a tiny jail in 
Lake View Township by 1879. One was apparently located 
Part of the plaque information is hopefully true
'It shall be the duty of any member of the Board of Trustees or any policeman of the Town of Lake View to arrest upon view any of the persons here-in-before described and it shall be the duty of any policeman of the town at the request of any person provided such person shall have first made a written complaint and obtained a warrant from an officer authorized to issue one for the arrest of any such vagabond to arrest and bring before the nearest justice or police magistrate any such vagabond wherever he may be found for the purpose of an examination and the said officer making said arrest shall then and there make written complaint against said vagabond unless a complaint has already been made in the case and the said justice or police magistrate before whom any such vagabond shall be brought shall within thirty six hours proceed to try said person accused of being a vagabond and if he pleads guilty or if he be found guilty the said accused person shall on conviction forfeit and pay a fine of not less than twenty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars and costs of suit and in default of the immediate payment of said fine and costs so imposed said vagabond shall immediately be sentenced by said magistrate to hard labor upon the streets avenues and alleys or public grounds or public works of the Town of Lake View or in and about the calaboose of said town not less than five days nor more than six months said vagabond to labor ten hours of each working day under the supervision of a Street Commissioner of said town and the balance of the time to be confined in the town calaboose or the said magistrate in lieu of the above sentence to hard labor of said vagabond may issue a mittimus (warrant to prison) directing the imprisonment of said vagabond in the county jail for six months or until said fine and costs shall be fully paid said imprisonment not to continue longer than six months for any one offense in accordance with the provision of section sixty eight of chapter twenty four of the Revised Statutes of 1874.'
News in 1885-86
Town[ship] of Lake View Annual Report
A What If? 
What if the Township Government building of the Township and then City of Lake View survived ... the building would look similar to Placer County Government Center located in California just north of State capital, Sacramento.
The original 42nd District Police Station
Still called the Old Town Hall
1920's - Calumet 412

This two-story classical revival-style structure according to the Chicago Landmark Commission is characterized by a symmetrical facade, limestone base, and distinctive copper cornice. The architect is unknown according to Chicago Landmark Commission. In 2013 Landmark Designation was approved by the city council and rehabbed for future use according to the Chicago Tribune article in 2010.
We Will Keep our Police Station, thanks! 
A publication called Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View by Patrick Butler their were several attempts to eliminate the police station in 1975, 1983, 1987, and 1992. Neighborhood associations within Lake View battled the City of Chicago administration to keep the presence on the corner of Addison and Halsted Streets. After several decades of political battles with the City Council the police presence in Lake View remained with the construction of a modern facility in 2010. As a side note, according to the publication called Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View by Patrick Butler, the station experienced a bomb blast in 1969 during the Vietnam War era.
basement work station
A Testimonial of the Old Station 
by Marilyn Ross – contributor 
of Forgotten Chicago on Facebook - 2014
“The set of two windows to the right of the side door on the first floor was the youth office for many years. .. I was a youth officer and spent many hours there handling kids. It was later moved upstairs that with the window open I could hear the roost of the crowd from Wrigley. I knew when something exciting was going on there. When it was a good year for them (Cubs) the window looked directly at the Goodyear blimp hovering over the ballpark. Jail was on north-side of bldg. That was a garage. Some roll calls were held there and the windows belonged to an office where the sergeants sat.”
photo - Garry Albrecht
In 1966, police Superintendent O.W. Wilson said that a station as old as the Town Hall couldn't "provide the space and modern equipment necessary for today's police needs.“
[The Lake View Citizen Action group and other civic associations such as the Lake View Citizens Council prevailed and the building and the police force within it remained until the new building was built in 2010.]
"The mere fact that it has remained a police station for so long has flabbergasted me," said retired officer and Chicago police historian Dave McFarlan. - Chicago Tribune 2010
The New Look for the Corner 2010
Community Room of the new 19th used for police 
and neighborhood association meetings
Redevelopment Plans for the Corner

There was another development planned for the old police property in 2011 that once housed the original Town Hall. While the old police station would be rehabbed a new building along Halsted north of the station was to house 
LGBTQ Senior Living.  It is a development partnership with Heartland Housing Inc., and Center on Halsted. The surrounding buildings - most garages were razed to accommodate the planned new structure for seniors.
photos of the demolished garages
photos - Garry Albrecht
A New Look
2016 photos - Garry Albrecht
 the rehabbed entrance to old station house
 the rehabbed interior entrance to old station house
and below old entrance during the rehab
photo - Heartland Alliance Housing
photos - Heartland Alliance Housing
The 2013 photos below show that demolition of the adjacent  buildings to the old station to be replaced by the first of its kind in the nation senior center for LBGTQ friendly folks
Dedication Day 2014
2014 photo - Tom Tunney-Facebook
2014 photo - Tom Tunney-Facebook
2014 photo - Tom Tunney-Facebook
The Old Town Hall and Senior Center 2014 side by side
image - Bobby McClanhan contributor of
Forgotten Chicago-Facebook 
View this YouTube video on this innovative facility
District Mapping 
Prior to 2012 the neighborhood of Lake View was administered and patrolled by two police districts in the North Division of Chicago, the 19th and 23rd. A re-alignment occurred in 2012 with the consolidation of and elimination of two police districts; one in the North Division that includes Lake view and the other in the South Division. 
With the construction of the (new) Town Hall planned in 2010 on Halsted and Addison the elimination of either the 19th or 23rd became a reality but not without some resident resistance and a lot of public meetings from both residents of the old 19th that was located on 2452 Belmont Avenue just west of Western Avenue and the Town Hall District. The compromise was the retention of the courthouse on Western Avenue but the loss of 'administrated' patrol and detective manpower to the new building on Addison. The other change was the name of the consolidated district. The 23rd became history and the 19th was remained with a larger presence in Chicago. The new 19th police district borders were north on Lawrence Avenue, south of Fullerton Avenue, west of the Chicago River, and to east the Lake Michigan.
2012 map of the new 19th police district 
with the local 'beats'. 
Established in 1992 the CAPS was designed to ideally bring the police, the community, and other city agencies together to identify and solve neighborhood 'quality of life issues', rather than simply react to their symptoms after the fact. Problem solving by this program at the neighborhood level is supported by a variety of strategies, including neighborhood-based beat officers; regular Beat Community Meetings that involve both police & residents; extensive training for both police and community; more efficient use of city services that impact crime; and new technology to help police and residents target crime hot spots. 
The Chicago Police Department has a great 
data-map portal that list crimes per geographical location and another just for the 19th district.  
Selective Historical Articles
Police reorganization 1960

Kidnapping & Murder of Store Owner 1965
contributor Susan Riebman Groff
Proposed curfew for kids under 12 in 1965
Evictions and Police Response in 1972

When Lake View East was called New Town in 1982
New Town was a real estate idea that did not only last a decade or so - from late 1960's to late 1970's
Vandalism in 1987
 page 2
Community BEAT Policing in 1988


The Fire Stations of Lake View
referred to as 'hose houses' in the 19th century
image - Lake View Saga 1847-1985
The 'Hose-House' on Barry
aka Fire House
built in Old Lake View
fireman Ray Dwight 
The Barry Firehouse was located at 2214 W Barry Avenue
with a 2011 Google Viewer view as Engine House 56
1929 photos - Chicago History Museum via Explore Chicago
Fire Insurance Patrol No. 8
3921 N Ravenswood Avenue
This former Fire Dept building was built in 1907 according to Redfin. The Fire Insurance Patrol’s job was to go into buildings after firemen and protect goods and assets from water damage and thievery. It was especially concerned with protecting major industrial interests in the city.  The building is currently residential and marketing at over 1 million dollars. A Sanborn Fire Map has the building labelled as Fire Insurance Patrol No. 8. This general area was the location of Curt Teich & Bell & Howell (built movie projectors at the time during the time of Essanay Studio).
2017 residential look from Redfin 


 garage or no garage look

2016 photo - DNAinfo
3921 N Ravenswood - built 1907
the crew in 1930 photo - DNAinfo
 2016 ground floor photo - Redfin
 2016 second floor photo - Redfin
Historical Fires of Lake View
The Fire of 1871

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 caused the citizens of Lake View Township some concern. The fire nearly blew across Fullerton Avenue at one point - the southern border with Chicago. Apparently, rain and wind saved the day but some residents of the township were watering down their residencies just in case. Apparently, a few terrified Chicagoans who traveled north found safe harbor in homes from township citizens as far north as Belmont Avenue.
(click on image to enlarge)
The Experience
These sample pages from a book I purchased by Ebay - Chicago and the Great Conflagration 
by Ellas Colbert & Everett Chamberlin 1872
tells a tale of the terror that was the Chicago Fire


Fleeing toward Lincoln Park, the park
illustration - Ebay
According to this book about the fire, "the principal officers of this body [CFD] are appointed to their places through political influence, which is saying perhaps saying enough of to indicate the degree and direction of their talents."(p 370)
The Chicago Fire of 1871 led to a reorganization of the 
Fire Department that included military-style disciplines. The City was divided into 18 battalion districts, the companies in each comprising a battalion, under the charge and the administration of an Assistant Fire Marshal or Battalion Chief. But it was not until 1889 with the annexation of City of Lake View did the City of Chicago have any authority.
Six years after Annexation 
some Issues in 1895

The days of using horse-drawn equipment ended in February 5, 1923. The last day included a fire alarm from box #846 at State Street and Chicago Avenue that was pulled at 12:40 p.m. The horses scrubbed and groomed, the old steamer rolled out of the swinging doors for the last time. 
The Northwestern Terra Cotta Fire 1911
 This company is also highlighted another post called Blue Collar Lake View. This factory was located in the Township/City of Lake View.

 page 2
and rebuilt that same year 
The Commodore Apartments 1935

The Fires at St. Luke's Parish

images - 'Lake View' by Matt Nickerson
Fire destroyed interior 1899 
image - 'Lake View' by Matt Nickerson
The new church and original school 1960
image - 'Lake View' by Matt Nickerson
The Fires at St. Alphonsus Parish
The Theater Fire 1939
 The Church Fire 1950
 image - 'Lake View' by Matt Nickerson

  photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
 photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
 photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
 photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
 photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
  photos - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
The fire included the Athenaeum Theatre 
 photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
  photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
 photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
 photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
Nelson & Lincoln Avenue Fire

 Fire in 1906 on the corner of Nelson & Lincoln
both photos - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
3430 N Lincoln Avenue Fire
3200 Block N Lincoln Fire 1933

North Lincoln Avenue fire @ Newport - 1933
with the story below
Athenaeum Theater Fire 1939
photos & text by Jeff DeLong
The theatre had devastating fire that destroyed the attic and 2nd floor on Thanksgiving Eve of 1939. The parish rebuilt the 2nd floor and added the third floor in 1940 

Firemen & their Trucks
page - 'East Lake View' by Matthew Nickerson

Located at 1529 Belmont Avenue 1936 photo - Engine 21

The Alphonsus Church Fire 1950
 image - Matt Nickerson from his book called Lake View
The Bowling Alley Fires
image from a book called 'A Chicago Firehouse: 
Stories of Wrigleyville Engine 78'
1950 Sanborn Fire Map of the building
originally known as Lake View Recreation
prior to 1921 photo - Ebay
 photo - Dr. Jake's Bowling History Blog
 3239 N Clark Street
There was this late 19th century building with a bowling alley and a second floor dance hall that apparently had a floor   collapse in 1948, a reputation during the late 1950's as well as a fire in 1961 that gutted the building and the building north of it.- 3 strikes and you are gone I guess.
A Dance Floor Collapse 1948

A Reputation in 1958
 photo - An Engineers Aspect
photo - An Engineers Aspect
The Mister Softee Arson Fire 1965
 The fire destoyed a 'Mister Softee' fleet of 56 trucks on 3100 block of Halsted Street in 1965. It was part of mob-related arson attempt to have the owner of the fleet sell his company and for him, the owner, to leave town.
The garage had a tunnel that connected the boiler room to an apt building next to it.
This is one of several articles about it 

The Melrose Fire of 1963
photos & video via WGN TV
2012 photo of Rick Vega 
a young Rick Vega
Eddie Groya & Rick Vega
In 1963 Eddie Groya saved a then 5-year-old Cuban refugee from a burning apartment building. That little boy was Lieutenant Rick Vega, a Chicago firefighter working out of the same station as Mr. Groya on Halsted just south of Diversey.
Arson in the Hood 1970's
Continous fires caused by arson rocked 
Lake View during the 1970's. 
Here is a sample article - one of many
located at Byron and Hermitage Avenue - unknown date
the corner of Hermitage & Byron decommissioned
photo - WBEZ City Room
More Arson in Lake View in 1976
more in the same year
 page 2
In 1978
An important date in the mid-20th century for the Chicago Fire Department was January 1, 1958, with the establishment of the Bureau of Fire Investigation within the fire department. Prior to that date the sources of many of Chicago's fires particularly arson went unresolved without independent & private forensic research. Knowledge of the causes of fires has proved to be extremely valuable in the prevention of potential fire and in the assistance to insurance companies in their investigations. This innovation was tested during the 1970's & early 80's when arson was a common occurrence. 
Hawthorne House Blaze 1969

 page 2
A Chicago firefighter tries to free up an ice-encrusted hose while battling a blaze at 648 W. Cornelia, February 1979. photo by William Yates
1979 photo - Chicago Tribune via Susan Riebman Groff
The Dominick Fire 2005
An extra-alarm fire gutted a Lakeview supermarket Sunday evening, casting gray smoke over the area and wreaking havoc with neighborhood traffic. The fire started about 5:25 p.m. in Dominick's Finer Foods, 3012 N. Broadway according to  Fire Department spokesman Josh Dennis said per the Chicago Tribune. Read more about from the link above.
all photos - Eric Herot via Flick
Road 66 Fire 2013
2013 photo - LakeView Patch

'Fire crews spent more than two hours battling a fire that overtook a Wrigleyville building occupied by several businesses as it spewed smoke that could be seen from the Loop. The fire, at 3330 N. Clark St., erupted in a building that is shared by a bar, Roadhouse 66, Thai Classic and Samah, a hookah bar, located just south of the "L" tracks that straddle Roscoe Street. Fire department spokesman Mark Nielsen said the blaze began in Samah and was called in by Roadhouse 66 just before 5 p.m. Investigators are working to identify the cause of the fire, he said.' - DNAinfo article
2013 photo - DNA info
2013 photos - DNA info
Fire on Mansfield 2016
2016 photo - DNAinfo
'A large, smoky fire broke out north of the intersection of Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont on Monday evening, officials said. The flames started around 5 p.m. and involved three buildings around 3338 N. Marshfield Avenue, near Dinkel's Bakery and Lake View YMCA. "It is an apartment fire that started on the West Side of Marshfield and it jumped porches. It seems they have it under control," said Melani Domingues, owner of The Green Lady at 3328 N. Lincoln Ave. "We were both getting home from work. This our daily walk," Cohen said. "It's scary to know that older buildings can catch fire in Chicago. It's scary how fast a fire can spread. I hope everyone got out OK."' - DNAinfo article
investigate more of this fire from Chicago Fire Wire
2016 photo - Chicago Fire Wire
2016 photo - DNAinfo
The Diner Grill Fire 2016
A fire that broke out late Christmas Eve has shuttered the Diner Grill, but its owner plans to rebuild. The fire began around 9:30 p.m. Christmas Eve, after employees had gone home for the one day a year when the 24-hour diner isn't open, owner Arnold DeMar said Tuesday. Chicago firefighters were called to the fire around 10:20 p.m. Saturday and found no one inside the diner, the department said. A dozen fire trucks and engines responded. A cause of the fire has not been determined, but investigators have narrowed the fire's origin to refrigeration compressors in the back room, DeMar said. – DNAinfo article

Rocks on Fire 2017
It will take several months to rebuild 'ROCKS Lakeview' after a fire ripped through the building Wednesday, but its owners are hoping to help out its employees in the interim. The fire began around 7 p.m. in the kitchen and spread throughout the building, owner George Manta said. With its insurance, ROCKS will be able to rebuild, but it will take several months. "Our plan is to most definitely reopen, but we're in no position to make guesses on that time frame," Manta said. No one was injured in the fire, but the bar suffered "significant damage," Manta said. About 35 staff members are subsequently out of work, and although Manta said he and fellow co-owner Tim Shepardson are trying to help them find new jobs, "it's going to take awhile," Manta acknowledged. 
according to DNAinfo. Rocks reopened that same October.
photo below - YouTube
Lake View Fire Stations as of 2014
The Chicago Fire Department was restructured in January 2012. The neighborhood of Lake View currently administered within the following:
Fire North
Fire District 2
Battalion 5
Units E78 & A6
 Wrigleyville's Engine 78 
One of the oldest stations in the Chicago is Wrigleyville's Engine 78 located at 1052 West Waveland Avenue. It was built in 1884 by the Lake View Township administration - originally built at 3217 North Clark Street as a wooden framed structureAfter the annexation the City of Chicago moved the station and company to its present location on Waveland Avenue in 1894. By 1915 it was rebuilt in its' present brick condition at the cost of $18,600. According to the book called ‘A Chicago Firehouse’ by Karen Kruse, while the present structure was under construction the Engine company was temporarily housed in the Mandel Brothers Warehouse – now lofts on corner Halsted & Aldine.

Post Note
Finally, some extra reading for CFD history fans!

Important Note:

These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!
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