Saturday, September 27, 2008

Central and Belmont

I love setting out on long, aimless bike rides with my camera. The thrill of discovery awaits, particularly as I venture further and further from the familiar areas around Rogers Park.

I went on such a ride this afternoon, voyaging miles westward along Foster, then eventually veering south on Central, where I found a bevy of my beloved geometric glass block.

The sun was almost down, and I had accepted that the trip was nearly over... but something kept pulling me southward along Central Avenue -- perhaps the promise of "just one more". And so it was that I made my prize discovery of the day: the intersection of Central and Belmont.

Belmont at Central

The light was poor, and I was too impatient to set up really good shots, but I have to share it anyway. What an amazing intersection! It is anchored by excellent buildings on all four corners.

On the northeast, the Korbakes Building:
Korbakes Building

Northwest, the spectacular Belmont-Central Building, which unfortunately looks like it has lost some of its roofline:
Belmont Central Building

Southwest, the Boolookas Building. Boolookas! I think my parents used to threaten to smack me on the boolookas if I misbehaved as a child.
Boolookas Building

And on the southeast corner, the prize jewel, a nameless Art Deco building:
Deco Building

Art Deco building

The intersection is the heart of (no surprise) the Belmont Central neighborhood. Both streets are densely developed in both directions for many blocks, and the area's Polish heritage remains visible today.

Central Avenue

I am looking forward to going back when the sun is above the horizon.


Anonymous said...

I often bike ride around this area. It is a great place to "discover" something new. I love it!

Eric Allix Rogers said...

What an amazing collection of buildings!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to my old neighborhood. There used to be a nice looking Art Deco theater, the Will Rogers. Also, the biggest store was a Goldblatt's.

Good to see you don't just cover the north side lakefront as some always do when they talk of "the city". It is a lot more that that!!

ctygrl said...

Back in the 60's, 70's and early 80's I loved to shop there. The northwest corner of Belmont & Central had a religious card & gift shop called Jubilee Card & Gifts. The southeast corner had a Greek diner type restaurant. A huge Polk Brothers was on Central. Penney's, Goldblatts & Walgreens were on Belmont along with The Will Rogers theatre and a large beauty school. Bridal shops, Fannie Mae Candies & Tailored Girl (a high end boutique for its time)were dispersed along Belmont as well. A huge craft & hobby shop called Blackstone was located on Belmont just east of Central. It was a great place to shop. Too bad I didn't pay more attention to the architecture when I lived there and had the chance.