News and events that have impact locally by artist and architectural illustrator, Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, with JPEG & PDF scan and prints of News #015Q.
This article is about Edward Jones Art #283Z, hosted by Travis M. Brown and Rick Melone, and it’s exhibit in conjunction with the Grayslake Arts Alliance, written by artist and United States Navy Veteran, Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery. Congratulations Travis and Rick!
Yesterday afternoon Travis M. Brown and Rick Melone of Edward Jones financial advisors hosted an art exhibit in conjunction with the Grayslake Arts Alliance. This was a great opportunity for Edward Jones to showcase their offices along with displaying artwork of local Grayslake artists.
Edward Jones is located at 10 N. Lake Street, Suite 113, Grayslake, IL 60030. Contact information:
The reception started at 4:00 PM, and lasted until 7:00 PM with many Edward Jones clients as well as members of the Grayslake Arts Alliance in attendance.
Because the tone of the exhibit was up-beat everyone had a good time. Edward Jones offered a fine array of refreshments and things to drink. The office nicely displayed the artwork that is on display for the exhibit. This is the first of a series of exhibits that Edward Jones is doing with the Grayslake Arts Alliance.
Travis and Rick, thank you for sharing with the community the joy of Art and celebrating your successes with your community friends and colleagues at the Grayslake Arts Alliance!
Condren Galleries Ltd. for Edward Jones Art #283Z
Fine Arts Gallery
Condren Galleries is pleased to have been to participate in the exhibit of Edward Jones Art #283Z.
Stephen F. Condren for Edward Jones Art #283Z
Edward Jones Art #283Z is an outstanding example of a local business working with the art community, and enriching the tone of their business, and uplifting the character of the community. What better thing that art displays the image of a community?
Alt Image Tag
Edward Jones Art #283Z pen & ink drawing with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren at Condren Galleries.
Ashton Kroner of Road Home Program, spoke on what she was offering to Veterans of all walks of life, and regardless of the discharge status. The Road Home Program is affiliated with Rush Edu. The Road Home Program is an out patient program that has a treatment window of time ranging from one to approximately 25 days. Road Home Program is not a residential program. However, it works in tandem with other agencies that can assist Veterans with those needs.
We were all honored by the presence of Karyn Davidman, Casework Director for Congressman Bradley S. Schneider. Because Karyn brought up points that were germane to women’s issues and Veterans, she enriched the discourse of this seminar. Most importantly, Karyn was able bring out the resources of the different Veterans at the table. Karyn Davidman was “Sine quo none”.
Clearly as different people came to the table with their life stories pertaining to women’s issues and the Military a sense of camaraderie and fellowship came to fore. Sharing, understanding, and open mindedness to all issues regarding women, the Military, was at hand. Above all, answers to difficult questions, and solutions were made manifest right on the spot by an attorney, educators, and caseworkers. Truly, this was a seminar that enriched the lives of all that attended and it can be said that we all walked away as better people from it.
Images Of Lake County Veterans Honors Women #274Z
Condren Galleries Ltd.
Condren Galleries honors all Veteran women past and present. Because I am a veteran that served on board the USS Midway CV-41, I have made it my mission to give back to our country what it has given to us.
This article is about Congressman Bradley Schneider honoring Vietnam War Veterans, written by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery. The event was to give Certificates of Special Congressional Recognition to the Veterans. Mr. Schneider posed with each veteran as he gave them their certificate. Most importantly, I proudly served aboard the USS Midway CV-41, and I was the ship’s artist for the Cruise Book “Taking care of business”. Congratulations Vietnam War Veterans!
I served my country with honor as I am an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the United States Navy.
The great thing about Veterans is that they think outside of themselves and direct their efforts towards others!
Veterans of the Vietnam War
Present at the ceremony to honor Vietnam War Veterans, were member of local American Legion and VFW post in all honor. These fine men and women that have served our country were there to support those that have given their lives for our freedom as well as to share in the spirit of truth and honor the service of our local patriots.
USS Midway CV-41
I joined the Navy at the very end of the Vietnam War, however, I was there in spirit. I served on the aircraft carrier USS Midway CV-41, now a museum in San Diego. Because the Midway was involved in “Operation Frequent Wind”, which was the evacuation of Vietnam, where there were many refugees on the Midway. I served my country with honor as I am an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the United States Navy.
Signature and note by Rear Admiral William N. Small
After the Cruise Book was published Rear Admiral Small personally invited me into his suite on board the USS Midway and to expressed to me how pleased he was with the drawing. After this he had a copy made of the pen & ink portrait that I drew of him. After this, right in front of me, he sat down and wrote a commemorative note on the drawing and signed it. This signed drawing now hangs in my home and is ever cherished.
Captain L. C. Chambers, Commanding Officer, USS Midway
The Commanding Officer of the USS Midway was Captain Lawrence Cleveland Chambers. Captain Chambers was the first Black American to command an air craft carrier. Later in his career, Captain Chambers was promoted to Rear Admiral and Commander of Carrier Strike Group Three.
A short interesting story about the captain. One day while at sea the Air Boss, Commander Theodorelos, was looking out the window of his post on the island, and then noticed, with his naked eyes, a Russian Bear (Russia’s leading bomber), headed directly to the port side of the USS Midway. Immediately he sounded Alert-5 (a five minute readiness response by our F4 pilots). However, it was too late, long after our boys were in the air to escort the Russian bomber, it was long gone. I can just hear the Russians in their glory, howling with laughter.
Captain Chambers was notified of all this by phone, and when he heard that the Russians superseded the USS Midway without a strike force escort he took his phone and threw it at the bridge window ~ he cracked the bullet proof window! I would not want be the Operations Officer that day.
Operation Frequent Wind
The final phase of the evacuation of Vietnam from Saigon is called “Operation Frequent Wind”. The USS Midway played a vital role in this strategic naval deployment. In the pen & ink drawing below is an image of Executive Officer, Captain L. H. Grimes Jr., holding a refugee child in his arms, securing the child’s freedom. This was the drawing that won the competition and secured my post as ship’s artist for the USS Midway’s cruise book.
Helicopters Thrown Overboard
For ship security and integrity, the helicopters used for the evacuation of Saigon where thrown overboard.
Cruise Book ~ Taking Care Of Business 1975 & 1976
Below on my coffee table is one of my copies of the USS Midway ship’s cruise book “Taking Care Of Business”.
The ceremony took place at Cook Memorial Library in Libertyville, Illinois. Because there a large number of people attending, a large meeting room in the lower level of the library where the event took place.
Congressman Bradley Schneider #271Z
The Congressman honored each of the Vietnam War Veterans with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. He called each veteran up to the podium and stood next to him for a photo-op while holding the certificate.
The Room was filled to capacity, and the presence of the military and veterans was seen everywhere.
Certificate Of Special Congressional Recognition
Photograph of Stephen F. Condren on shore, Japan, 1976
Photographs of the event
Dear Mr. Schneider,
I personally want to thank you for recognizing the Vietnam Veterans. Further, I want to thank you demonstrating to us your care and concern for all of us veterans that served our great country. Most importantly, I want to say “Thank you, for giving each one of us veterans here today this most honorable Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition and Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin!
God bless you and your family,
Stephen F. Condren ~ Artist
JPEG & PDF
JPEG & PDF scans of the Congressman Bradley Schneider #271Z event are available.
Condren Galleries Ltd.
Fine Arts Gallery
Condren Galleries is deeply honored to be part of the Vietnam War Veterans ceremony of Congressman Bradley Schneider #271Z.
Stephen F. Condren
As an artist and a Vietnam War Veteran I am proud to receive this Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Bradley Schneider #271Z.
Alt Image Tag
Congressman Bradley Schneider #271Z with Stephen F. Condren of Condren Galleries and USS Midway CV-41.
Congressman Bradley Schneider #271Z honors Vietnam War Veterans by Stephen F. Condren at Condren Galleries.
This article is about the Grayslake Arts Alliance #270Z Pre Spring Fine Arts Show & sale, written by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery. In the exhibition artists and painters exhibited works of art in the categories of photography, digital images, pen & ink drawings, paintings, oils, glass, watercolors, and jewelry. Congratulations Grayslake Arts Alliance!
On Saturday, March 16, 2019, the Grayslake Arts Alliance, which is a Fine Arts Association, held it’s Pre-Spring Fine Arts Show & Sale. Because the exhibit was held at the Grayslake Heritage Center and was opened from 5:00 until 8:00 PM, many of the local residents were able to attend. For that reason, the exhibit was well attended with visitors from all over the community, all of them had the pleasure of participating in something vibrant and good.
Our special guest of honor is Sara Brown, Library Director of the Grayslake Area Public Library District. Most importantly, Sara is the new director of the library, and she confessed to me that she “loved to read”, I found her guilty as charged! Sara comes here, to Grayslake from California, with her husband Greg. Welcome to Grayslake Sara!
Sara came to see what we were doing at the Heritage Center, and not only did she stop in, she remained for the entire evening! Sara is a very warm and positive minded person. Because she is open to learning about Grayslake and the arts, many of the patrons took to her.
Music was provided by the Bill Chapin Jazz Studio. The exhibit was graced with the music of Bill Chapin and his Jazz Studio. Therefore, all during the exhibit the ensemble provided us with good music that smoothly blended in with attending patrons. Because the Chapin Jazz Studio added a charm to the event that made the atmosphere enriching, we are thankful. Thank you Bill!
Further enriching the exhibit were the delicious pastries and refreshments provided to us by Somethings Brewing, right here in downtown Grayslake. Thank you Somethings Brewing!
Medium At Fine Arts Show #270Z
Because there are so many types of work, I have listed a few samples of some medium shown at the Fine Arts Show #270 are listed below.
Pencil Drawings, Color Pencil, And Pastels
Clinker Stylus Sketch With Color
Lead and color pencil arwork was on dispaly at the exhibit. Drawings by Sherri J. Fowler, Pat King, Debbie Kalinowski, Phil Schorn, and myself were on display.
Pen & Ink Drawings
Pen & ink art was put on display by Phil Schorn, Oliver Steven Merriam, and myself.
Watercolor art was on display. Watercolors were represented by Pat King, Debbie Kalinowski, Phil Schorn, Leslie Nauta, and myself
Oils were by Debbie Kalinowski
Glass was on display by Paul Price.
Condren Galleries Ltd.
Fine Arts Gallery
Condren Galleries participate in the Grayslake Arts Alliance #270Z Pre-Spring Exhibit.
Stephen F. Condren
As an artist I please to have shown my pen & ink drawings and watercolors at the Grayslake Art Alliance #270Z Pre-spring Exhibition.
Alt Image Tag
Fine Arts Show #270Z artists, painters, photography, digital images, watercolors, paintings, artist Stephen F. Condren of Condren Galleries.
This article is a treatise about the visit of artist Stephen F. Condren, of Condren Galleries, to the historic home of James and Pauline Montgomery, which is the famous Goodman Mansion located in Kenwood/Hyde Park, Chicago. Mr. Montgomery is one of the leading attorneys in Chicago. His firm, James D. Montgomery & Associates Ltd. is located in downtown Chicago. James D. Montgomery is a personal friend of President Barack Obama.
Below is an image of the Queen Anne mansion on Greenwood Avenue in Kenwood, Chicago. If you look carefully you can see the exquisite architectural detailing of the house. For example, notice the intricate detailing of the brickwork, further yet, see the relief work below the Master Bedroom Suite on the second floor to the left. This gracious and lovely mansion is the most inviting and comfortable estate in Kenwood. The mansion is not austere like it’s grandiose colleague, the Dr. J. A. McGill Mansion on Drexel Boulevard, shown below.
Having grown up a short distance away in the Jackson Park Highlands, I have always loved and taken interest in Hyde Park, Kenwood, and the University of Chicago. I always say that I grew up in the shadows of the University of Chicago. In fact, the Jackson Park Highlands is in Hyde Park Township! I love the south side and I am thankful for all that she has given to me and our family.
My grandfather, Dr. Francis Leo Condren had is office in the same building as the first Walgreens, on the corner of 47th and Drexel Boulevard. A cute story that I may share here. A young lady that worked in Walgreens liked grandpa very much (everyone did). She would grab him by the collar and say “Dr. Condren, please buy stock in this company, it is going to be really big”. Of course, as fate would have it, he never did. Where would we be today?
St. Ambrose Church
My father grew in Kenwood and they were members of St. Ambrose Catholic Church on 47th and Ellis Avenue. We are an Irish Catholic family. With that, the south side is in my blood and still is. Every time that I am in the area the air gets better! It is my conviction that the south side of Chicago is the finest place to live in Chicago. The south side has everything, the University of Chicago, Lake Michigan, outstanding real estate, and the safest neighborhood in Chicago.
Dr. Francis Leo Condren
My grand father, Dr. Francis Leo Condren, who raised his family in Kenwood, made the comment to me when I was a young man in High School. Because “We never had access to these great homes”, and now because of Mr. & Mrs. Montgomery I am the first in our family to have such access, and what an honor indeed.
James Corwin Condren
My father, attorney James Corwin Condren, grew up in Kenwood and would often take us to the University of Chicago to go ice skating on the Grand Plaisance and through his old neighborhood. Dad loved the Loeb mansion and I know that it was from him that I also took to the place. I even remember as a boy, dad driving the family by the Loeb house at night. We were going south on Ellis Avenue and he pointed out the lights in the house, which I vividly remember as I sat by the window of the car fixed on the great edifice.
The Chicago District of Kenwood, is a political district that runs between 43rd Street and 51st Street for the north and south borders. On the western border is Cottage Grove Avenue, and the eastern border is Lake Michigan. Most importantly, the area of note in Kenwood is between Woodlawn Avenue and Drexel Boulevard as east and west boundaries. In the area between 51st Street and 47th for the north and south boundaries.
This area is the estate section of the district and one of the most fashionable and sought after communities in the Chicago metropolitan area. Kenwood has always been the premier residential community on the south side of Chicago, complimenting its rival Evanston to the north. Like it’s rival Evanston, Kenwood is fortunate to be adjacent to a world class institution of higher education, The University of Chicago.
Most importantly, this fashionable area is the site of many famous and beautiful mansions, built by the leading families of Chicago. When the area was originally chartered the acreage or parcels of land were divided into extensive lots for the construction of large estates. It must be understood that at this time there was no electricity and horse and buddy were the mode of transportation. The vastness of the properties can be seen below.
The homes built here were very large and accommodated a large, full-time service staff that lived on the premise. Further, the need for housing of horses and carriages was the staple of the, much as garages and car ports of today. Many of these homes had porticoes for the alighting of company upon arrival. Of the many fine and beautiful mansions that were built in Kenwood at the turn of the 19th Century, there is one that stands out from all the rest, the William O. Goodman estate.
The Goodman estate, at 5026 S. Greenwood, was built by William O. Goodman, a lumber magnate of the late 19th Century. Upon the death of his son, Kenneth Sawyer Goodman, he donated a large sum of money to establish the Goodman Theater in Chicago. This fine property is now the home of James and Pauline Montgomery.
Because this home is historic and cannot be replicated, no matter how much moderns try and ultimately fail. Their significance lies in the intrinsic worth and merit of their place in a time that is unique. Because many producers attempted to make a “new versions” of an old classic, they turn out to be pure folly. Beethoven’s 5th is a classic and must be understood in context of the time in which it was written, so too, for this very great, and rare house that I had the honor to visit.
Because this is a great house it will always be a great house. Most importantly, the only thing that is greater than this house are those that dwell in it. To this day there has been no greater resident to dwell in this home than James and Pauline Montgomery!
I was graciously given invitation by Mr. Goodman to his home at 1:00 PM, on Saturday, March 9, 2019. This is a day that I will always remember and hold dear to memory. This article is a brief treatise about my visit that was most graciously extended to me by Mr. Montgomery. In other article that will follow this one, I will cover the extensive history and pictography of this historic and famous mansion. All of the photographs in the article are mine and are open to public domain
My visit to the Montgomery’s was prompted by my letter to about the famous Loeb Mansion, right behind his house in Kenwood. The juxtaposition of the two great estates was a call to arms for me and so I had to act! In my letter to Mr. Montgomery I enclosed copies of the now famous Architectural Renderings that I did of the Loeb Mansion, which are now in the permanent collection of the Chicago History Museum.
The Loeb Mansion
The Loeb mansion was the home of Albert Loeb, a Vice President of Sears Roebuck, and father of Richard Loeb, famed by the 1924 murder trial of Leopold & Loeb, with attorney Clarence Darrow. In the summer of 1972, house was raised, and two new homes are on the site. The red brick and stone, exterior wall that surrounded the Loeb mansion is still there.
The renderings were done as a final project for Mr. Jorgenson’s Architectural Rendering class, in 1971, at the College of DuPage, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Mr. Jorgenson commented that “These are the finest renderings that I have ever seen.” As I stood there, he then penciled in small fine print “100” on the bottom right hand corner of each of the renderings. Below are images of the two renderings.
Loeb Mansion Photograph
Sites of Loeb Mansion and Montgomery Mansion
As you can see from the plat of the sites below, the Loeb Manion was directly adjacent the Montgomery Estate. Two home now stand on the sit of the Loeb Mansion that was raised in the summer of 1972. When the Montgomery Mansion was first built, by Mr. William Goodman, the property encompassed from the corner and including all of President Obama’s home, and up to the top of the Loeb estate.
The Goodman estate was actually twice the size of the Loeb estate! As time passed the property was subdivided, as many in Kenwood were. The same hold true in the Jackson Park Highlands.
From the perspective view below you can get a better understanding of the sites, however, the receding vanishing points cause a distortion in both the proportion and scale of the properties. Thus the Obama site looks almost as large as the Loeb estate.
Loeb Mansion Original Fence & Posts
You can clearly see from the photo below the fence and posts are still intact. However, there is one missing post, and that is the one on the left side of the side walk that leads through the gate and up to the new house that has taken place of the Loeb Mansion. The driveway and walk are correct in placement from the Loeb Mansion. I have photos of the gates in my files that I will have to look up to prove this point. More importantly, I clearly remember the posts on either side of the walkway.
Clearly, even with the distorted perspective you can see that this is very large estate! The house that stands there now is in the same exact spot as the Loeb Mansion was situated on the lot. However, there is another house adjacent this one, that is not in view that I think is all part of one complex. This adjacent house can be seen from the roof-top in the aerial photos above.
The tennis court that you can see in the aerial photo is not from the Loeb estate, however, the Loeb’s did have a tennis court in the rear of the property, closer to the wall, and I do not think as large as the one that is in view here.
In any case, all the property to the right, or south, where the south lawns and gardens and the Loeb Mansion took in all of this vast space as a private retreat. The lower architectural rendering above shows the garden façade looking southward onto the lawn and gardens. The large structure that comes out from the center of the house is the solarium. The set of windows seen behind, are to the Dining Room. The Living Room took up the entire west wing, and the Master Bedroom Suite was above the Living Room. The bathroom of the Master Bedroom Suite was on the north face of the west wind, and can be seen from the façade rendering above.
Having grown up not far from here, at 6841 S. Bennett Avenue, in the Jackson Park Highlands, I knew how to time my journey. Shortly before 1:00 I drove down South Greenwood Avenue to park and meet the Montgomery’s. As I drove towards my destination I could see barriers in the street, with access cautions! I carefully drove through the barricade and parked across the street from the Montgomery’s.
I approached the street front gate and range the bell. Immediately a buzzer unlocked the gate permitting me access to the upper lawns and entrance to the house. Quietly, I walked up to the front door and rang the bell. I waited and then slowly the door opened and then appeared the gracious figure of Pauline Montgomery. I introduced myself and she reciprocated. Immediately Pauline make me feel comfortable and at home. In such an auspicious and august house that is not the usual feeling one has upon entry!
Pauline informed me that her husband was out at a funeral and would be home shortly. I of course understood and thanked her for letting me in. We then walked into the Entrance Hall where Pauline started to share with me the history and details of the home. As she talked we went from the Entrance Hall through the Dining Room and then into the Grand Staircase. Upon standing in front of the great staircase Mr. Montgomery came in from the Carriage Entrance at the side of the house and introduced himself to me. I reciprocated as I assisted him with his coat.
Jackson Park Highlands
We then walked together to the Parlor and engaged in a gracious and enlightening conversation. It was here that Pauline shared with me that they used to live in the Jackson Park Highlands, on Constance, my old neighborhood. We lived at 6841 S. Bennett Avenue, our house was next to Mrs. Roberts at the corner of 69th and Bennett. The façade and aerial view of our home is pictured below.
Mr. & Mrs. Roberts
Mrs. Roberts has the largest lot in the Jackson Park Highland with 7 city lots. Mr. Roberts was the developer of the Jackson Park Highlands. The property has a chauffer’s quarters above the garage, and a turn table in the garage so that Robert, her chauffer, could drive straight out!
Below you can see Jackson Park with the green lawns and harbor. The southern border is 67th Street, and circled in red is the Jackson Park Highlands.
To the left is Mrs. Robert’s home. She has the corner lot and a 2-story garage with chauffer’s quarters. There is a turn table in her garage to rotate the car.
Our garden lot was sold off years before we came. To the left is the Lemonthals house, which occupies that spot.
We then, with delight talked about people that we both knew, Jesse Jackson, Ramsey Lewis, The Sherman’s, and James & Virginia Spears, of Spears Transportation. Pauline said that she know the Spears’s by name, but that had left by the time they had move into the Highlands. The Spears’s lived just two blocks on the street on Constance.The Spear’s son, Jory Spears and I were best friends growing up and we still are as you can see from the drawing that I did of us, at Lou Mitchell’s Diner, below.
Jory Spears and Stephen F. Condren
Here is a drawing that I did of Jory and I have lunch at Lou Mitchell’s.
The Spears House
As you can see from this photo, the Spears owned one of the original homes. The house to the right is on their garden lot and is clearly a newer structure. Notice how the Spears’s house is designed to face the garden lot. Their back door is on the opposite side of the house, and almost aligned with main entrance. The house on the left side is also an original home and it’s garden lot is also taken up by a newer home to the left, as well. A key element to knowing which house is original is the use of ornamental stone masonry.
Below is one of the remaining section of homes in the Jackson Park Highlands with their gardens lots. This is how the Jackson Park Highlands was designed and should look like. A private garden lot for each house. The house on the left does not belong here. This house is sitting on the garden lot of the house just to the left of it, which is out of sight in this photo. Just imagine the space and privacy of the original conception for the Jackson Park Highlands!
The Sherman Family
Mr. Nathan Sherman was the Chairman and founder of Midas Muffler Corporation, he lived across the street from us. Below is a photo of his home.
The Grazing Calf
It was with delight that I shared my story of the Sherman family cow! Across the street from us lived Mr. & Mrs. Nathan Sherman, Chairman and owner of Midas Muffler Corporation. They owned a black Silver Shadow Rolls-Royce which was prominently displayed in their driveway. Their son, Gordon Sherman, and President of Midas Muffler, lived just one block north of us.
Gordon Sherman’s property still had the garden lot from the original layout of the Jackson Park Highlands, so they had a large parcel of land. When the Jackson Park Highlands was developed, it was intended that each home had an adjacent “garden lot” for privacy. As time passed people would sell off the garden lot. There are still garden lot properties as you can see below, but they are few.
On that land they kept a calf! Our friend Louis Balch, who lived next door to the Sherman’s, would let us come over and pet the calf from between the garages adjacent the Sherman’s property. How they were able to have a calf on city zoned land still to this day is a puzzle to me. However, I will always remember all of us going over to the Balch’s to pet the calf. Below is a photo of their home.
Louis Balch lived in the red house to the left, and the Sherman’s to the right. In the center is the Sherman’s garden lot, which can be noted by having the same fence. The calf was kept in the back of the yard, and to the left behind the Balch’s house is the Balch’s garage. It was there that the calf would walk up to us and we would pet it. The Balch’s garage opened on to 68th street, which then was adjacent the Sherman’s yard. Gordon Sherman’s home is seen below.
When I was about 10 years old there was a shooting involving the Leopold family of the famous Leopold & Loeb murder trial. I remember hearing the gun shots early in the morning from the Guest Bedroom windows. From the back yard photo of your house above, the Guest Bedroom is located at the back left corner, or the southeast corner of the house, on the second floor. There are large French windows in this room and we can see directly over Mrs. Roberts lawns to the Leopold house.
Immediately, Mom and I went out over to the site, which was around the corner on 69th Street. The victim was on the side grassy stone segment of the Leopold’s driveway. Mom actually went up to see if the man was OK, but she knew as she approached him that he was dead. She touch his leg with her left foot, then retreated, I stood back and watched. This was before anyone was around, police or rescue. For a long time blood stains remained on the decorative flat rocks along the right side edge of the driveway.
Just across 69th street, bullet shots were visible across the center of the picture window of the house opposite the Leopold’s on 69th Street. I remember this clearly, because the window remained intact, not shattered, and they were clustered in the center. Mom said that it was gang related between the Leopold’s and the neighbors across the street. How accurate this information is I cannot say as I was only a boy. Life in the Jackson Park Highlands!
President Barack Obama
As we sat in the Parlor and talked the conversation went from excellent to amazing, when they had told me that they knew President Barack Obama who is their next door neighbor! That answered my question with regards to the barricades out front. With a stoke of humor I said, “I hope that when I leave, I won’t find my car triple booted and towed!”, at which they laughed and assured me that my car was safe. James then went on to tell that he held the first fund raiser for President Obama. You can imagine my amazement to all of this, who would have ever guessed?
A Lady Of Grace And High Station
What is most valuable to me, above all, are the vignettes of Pauline in segments of the photos, as they give real meaning to the house, and that being the soul of dear and precious people. Pauline is truly a lady of grace and high station!
As Mr. Montgomery relaxed in his chair, in the Parlor, Pauline commenced with her grand tour of the house. The photographs below were taken by me as we walked through the interior of this great house. I have organized them by subject (room name) rather than by route (our path through the house). Now please enjoy the personable and rare view of a great house of great people.
This is the façade of the Montgomery home, a historic Queen Anne residence in Kenwood, Chicago. The house faces east and you can see the windows of the Ballroom on the Third Floor. The Ballroom takes up the entire east wing of the Atelier. The Master Bedroom Suites have command of the Second Floor, separated by the oval window in the center. The front entrance has the door to the right on the porch (which was gone and completely restored by the Montgomery’s). To the left of the front door are the windows of the Entrance Hall. The large windows to the far left are to the Living Room. The porch to the extreme left is for the Morning Room, which faces the south lawns.
The greatest success of this fine home is it’s habitability. Unlike it’s later rivals of the electric light era, this house was designed and built to be lived in by a single family. The duality of the great home is remarkable. On the one hand this is the most comfortable and easy to live in homes that anyone could ask for. Yet, on the other hand, you are able, at a moment’s notice, to entertain 50 people with grace and polish. This is an amazing house!
House Is For Sale
The house is currently on the market. If there is one thing that I can say about this home it is that it is very comfortable and easy to be in. Of course the Montgomery’s can make even a jail cell a comfort, nevertheless, this home is pleasant and easy to live in. Not only is it easy to live in, it is gracious to entertain in, and entertaining in a house like this is relaxing.
The Living Room is the only room on the first floor without paneling, this was brought to my attention by Pauline. As you can see it is very formal and used only on rare occasions with the arrival of high ranking people and dignitaries. Even the head of the house does not use this room otherwise. Activities out side of this are done in the Parlor.
The Living Room is square and the Chinese partition is a perfect fit.
The Grand Staircase, or front stairs, have a dual purpose. First and foremost they serve as access to the upper floors of the house to the family. However, there is another vital role that they play, and that is public access from the Carriage Entrance to the Ballroom! That is why the stairs are so large and wide. You would have ladies in waiting escorting their mistresses to an elegant event. I love the shoes.
The rounded protrusion is a bench that can be seen from the staircase side.
I would like to mention that the solid black posts were later additions that are supports from settlement. My thinking that is would be a great project for the next owner to find or manufacture fluted columns for enclose each of the steel beams.
This photo of Pauline is taking us to the Master Bedrooms. We are standing on the Second Floor Landing which has an arrangement of a couch and chairs for guests to relax while waiting for the water closet.
This view show the spot where Pauline and I were standing, in front of the Master Bedroom Suites.
This view of the Grand Staircase is from the corridor outside of the Ballroom. This photo has the lights on.
This is a view of the Grand Staircase before Pauline turned the lights on. Imagine the days of gas lights!
The Morning Room, which is a day room, is a private place to relax in the morning. It is here that the lady of the house would have morning reading and tea. Of course guests are welcome, but they are usually received here in the afternoon. The large doors with windows on either side face the south lawns and open to a large covered porch. Through the door to the left you can see the Living Room.
This view of the Morning Room gives you a view of the Dining Room.
Taken from the steps of the Grand Staircase, this is an overall view of the Morning Room. To the right is an alcove that contains a large fireplace with fine wood relief.
This is a gaslight house, not electric. It has to be understood that at the turn of the 19th century, gas was in vogue, and electricity was in it’s infancy. Thus, the rooms were smaller so as to cast the torch light. All of the chandeliers that you see in these photos are later additions. Electricity is a late comer.
We are looking east towards the front entry. At the very end and to the left is the vestibule, past the small couch. The cabinet that you see on the left with the large Chinese vase faces the elevator.
The entrance to the coach entry and portico is immediately to the left of the Grand Staircase, and leads downward.
Now we are looking west towards the Parlor. I am standing in front of the Vestibule door, and the Living Room is to the left.
This is the Entrance Hall proper, and the door to the Vestibule is opened and directly in front of us, while the Vestibule is to the left. The Living Room is to the right.
We are standing just inside the Parlor looking towards the Living Room.
Because the Parlor is the step-child of the Drawing Room, it is less formal. In the Parlor, I am seated with James Montgomery, surrounded by his wonderful art collection. Behind us are the cabinets that the Montgomery’s had to re-install as they were taken out. The hired craftsmen from Europe to make and install these new cabinets.
It is my conviction that this was not a library but rather a game room, because bookshelves are not behind glass doors, (unless in a museum setting of course). These cabinets were more likely to sore chess sets, card, and games for casual living. Just like the Chicago Athletic Club (CAA) on the Second Floor in back of the Lounge.
Though the door on the left you can see the entrance to the elevator. On the door to the far right you can see into the Dining Room. James Montgomery is relaxing in a chair.
I just love the phot of Pauline, it give us a view of what a sincere and open person she is. Behind her is what at first I thought was a former Billiards Room, or Pool Room. After going though the house and reviewing the photos I am now convinced that this spot is correct as it is. But is was for cards and light conversation while entertaining. Remember, the Kitchen was in the basement, not adjacent and ultra-convenient as it is now. However, now is serves as a Breakfast Room. Because the door to the back left leads to the kitchen, the room became a natural Breakfast Room. The rear window faces west.
In this view of the Parlor you can see the Dining Room.
This overall view of the Parlor show access to the Dining Room on the left, and access to the Breakfast Room to the right.
The Carriage Entry is quite small but a real jewel. The entry door is on the left and opens to the portico outside. Behind me is the steps up to the hall and Morning Room.
This view show the fine woodwork and craftsmanship everywhere.
Men’s Smoking Room
This is one of my favorite rooms in the house. Because we are in a very special place, right above the portico! This is the only room of the house that is not in the central block of the structure.
These bookshelves and drawers were installed by the Montgomery’s.
The overall feel of this room is very masculine, especially the fireplace.
This is one of the Guest Rooms adjacent the Master Bedroom Suites.
The cameo of Pauline is wonderful.
This is a small built in cabinet on the Third Floor and most likely a servant’s quarters. This space at one time was used as a pool room.
The Ballroom, or dance hall, is the largest single room on the house. This is a lovely and gracious space, however, in the original there were no cabinets and no coffered ceiling! The original Ballroom had murals and a stage. At a later date the stage was converted to open access platform, accommodating recitals, and other events that did not use a chamber orchestra or musical ensemble.
It is my theory that as the Gilded Age waned, the era of hosting balls came to a stand-still. Because there was still a need for social gathering and events that were not dance based events, these large halls were converted to more “modern” and practical needs. Most importantly, events that needed a large space without an orchestra or band. Hence, the conversion of the Ballroom to a Grand Salon.
The coffered ceiling and chandeliers are magnificent! Each end of the Ballroom has a working fireplace.
This view of the Ballroom shows the Orchestra Pit. However, it has been converted to a service station for hosting events needing to be catered.
On the left are the main windows of the Ballroom and the look out east and are in the front of the house.
This splended view of the Ballroom show the details of the coffered ceiling and the tracery of the front windows.
This is the fireplace on the south side of the Ballroom.
This is the north fireplace with service entry.
A view looking out into the front windows of the Ballroom from the service station.
A view of the sink and counter tops in the Service Room.
The sink and counter top with phone!
To me the Dining Room, which is a variant of the a Grand Salon, is the most beautiful room in the house, and there are many! This shot is taken from the Parlor.
This view of the Dining Room is taking for the Kitchen area. This room was expanded by the Montgomery’s.
All Meals In The Dining Room
All eating is to take place in the Dining Room. At the time of this home there was no such thing as a Breakfast, only the Dining Room. The whole concept of a breakfast room is strictly modern and lacking in service. At every meal the servants set the table and the family came to eat. When you look a any episode of Downton Abbey, you will see that the Crawley family is always seen eating in the Dining Room, day or night. When Lord Crawley is at work in his Library, never once to you see him eating or drinking.
This room demands service and it gets it! When the house was built the kitchen was in the basement and all the hot platter had to be covered and brought upstairs (via the back stairs) to the Butlers’s Pantry and adjoining service rooms.
Please notice that are no breakfronts or any kind of china, dishes on display ~ Thank you! China and silverware belong in the Butler’s Pantry. The concept of putting dishes on display is banal. There should only be two other pieces of furniture aside from the table and chairs, and they are the server, and the buffet. The server is crucial in that it is the key landing point from the Kitchen to the Dining Room.
When food comes out of the Kitchen it is immediately placed on the server, with is an elegant piece of furniture usually located close to the Butler’s Pantry door. Because the maid or butler sets the food server, he or she then organizes and puts each plate in order. Most importantly, after the plate is in order it is ready to be served to those that are dining. Most importantly, plates for the table never come directly out from the Kitchen to the table ~ never!
The buffet, like the server on a larger scale, is the station point for larger vessels, especially foods like lasagna and ham. These need to be set to porting my the butler and then served to those that are dining. In a strict household the butlers stands at attention at all time during the course of the dinner, and oversees all the activities of the dinner hour.
Behold this incredible fireplace! This is stone masonry top to bottom with all the reliefs. To the left of the fireplace is the service room outside of the Kitchen.
This room should not be here for in the beginning it was in the basement! All of what you see is later addition, so it is most difficult to say much about it. It is undoubtedly gracious and does the job! The room that I am standing in, is between the Kitchen and the Dining Room. Because it has to have served as some sort of resting station for food preparation, it is close to the Dining Room.
This door was move from the Kitchen wall to the Dining Room Wall. We are still in that small service room next to the Dining Room.
This elevator is original to the house! However, at the time it was made it was hand operated. Because the servants had to operate the pulleys to take the car up and down, it was not in use at a moment’s notice.
Because the elevator is large enough to hold a wheel chair, the house is handicap friendly.
As I left, Pauline let me borrow a photo-album of the Goodman Mansion in it’s early years. Most importantly, I told her that I will make scans of it along with a CD for preservation.
Rather than say “goodbye” I would like to say au revoir, for that implies a return. It is always difficult to leave the company of people that you love, and I so love these dear and precious people, James & Pauline Montgomery.
Thank you James and Pauline Montgomery!
Condren Galleries Ltd.
Fine Arts Gallery
Condren Galleries is my online Website where I display and sell my artwork as well as write article on various topics germane to my education and expertise.
Stephen F. Condren
As a child I could always draw and I will never cease from drawing or being an artist.
Die Fledermaus #259Z is a post on the operetta Die Fledermaus (the bat) is written by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC. Sunday afternoon, January 27, 2019 I had the pleasure to hear a wonderful performance of Die Fledermaus. The operetta was under the masterful baton of maestro Kirk Muspratt. The New Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra was outstanding. The audience was filled with people that know and love opera. The MAC gives us this performance that is filled with arias and love songs ~ this is a winner!
This lively and light hearted comic operetta, Die Fledermaus, “The Bat”, by Johann Strauss was admirably performed at the MAC at the College of DuPage. Most importantly, the music that Kirk Muspratt conducted with the New Philharmonic Orchestra was outstanding. Lead opera singers in this outstanding performance were as follows. Katherine Weber, Mikaela Schneider, Jesse Donner, Matthew Greenblatt, Sam Handley, Brittany Hebel, James Judd, Ashley Sipka, and Aaron Wardell. The lovely songs that they delivered will be remembered for a long time.
Because this music is so familiar to opera goers the world over it gives us joy to hear it live on the stage. For me the waltz is the most delightful orchestral piece in the operetta. Therefore, that does not mean that there as no other good music, for sure, the voices of these stars just carried us all away.
I was very pleased with the spontaneity of the musicians to all the lines. There is no prompter on this stage so all the details have to be worked out well ahead of the performance.
Because of the solid preparation that the New Philharmonic orchestra puts into each symphony performance at the highest quality music. Conducted by Kirk Muspratt the orchestra is at it’s best. The musicians were sharp and clear and you could hear everything. This is complemented by the excellent acoustics at the MAC theater. Maestro Muspratt displayed is outstanding knowledge of Strauss’s masterpiece and delivered to us the best performance eve
The arias delivered to us by the vocalists were songs to the delight of everyone. Because the voices were complimented by the excellent props and lighting of the MAC, the performance went smoothly. It is amazing how well the voices of the soloists come to life when they are complimented with quality stage sets and lighting.
The beautiful tones of all the artist resonated within me, I only wish that the opera was longer. The arias just followed one after the other and in good form. Each of the soloists accurately follow the notes of the music with tempi of the maestro.
Because we had good seats I could see and hear everything. The theater is a nice size so that no matter where you sit you have a good view. I was seated on the center aisle to the left center of the stage.
Because the audience was filled with people that know and understand opera, they were delight to be presented such a fine performance. I attended this performance with my dear friends Sandra Ganakos and Robert C. Marks. Because Mr. Marks is an ardent supporter of opera and a major donor to Lyric Opera of Chicago he was pleased to appear in support the cast. Mr. Marks sits on the Ryan Opera Center Board and is a sponsor of Jesse Donner (Eisenstein).
Most importantly, The College of DuPage, is making possible a venue for local residence to participate is great opera. Therefore, the more exposure to high quality opera leads to high quality living. I am honored to have done my undergraduate studies here at the College of DuPage.
Alt Image Tag
Die Fledermaus, Symphony Orchestra, aria, songs, audience, people.
This article is about the Chicago Club collapse #249Z of the interior building on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, written by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans. As a former member of the Chicago Club I learned of an interesting chapter in the book of the club’s history. When I joined the club I was given a book on the club’s history as a new member’s gift. The title of the book is “The history of the Chicago Club”, by Emmett Dedmon, 1960. On June 17, 1928 the entire interior of the Chicago Club (formerly the Art Institute of Chicago) collapsed leaving the building in ruins. No injuries were recorded.Key points
Chicago Club Collapse 1/9/2019B
Chicago Club collapse 1/9/2019 is an historic event that impacts Chicago and the history of Art. The Chicago Club was the original home of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was on the Sunday afternoon of June 27th that the security guard suddenly heard loud and violent noises coming from within the clubhouse. In fear of the unknown the guard immediately left the building. He made an exit from the front entrance onto Michigan Avenue and then to Van Buren. Little did he realize that the sounds he had heard with the fracturing of the supporting beams!
Just a few minutes after leaving the building the entire interior of the structure collapsed. The Chicago Club at that time was closed on Sunday so fortunately no one was injured. The club has already built an annex build adjacent to the older building, designed by Daniel Burnham. The annex can be seen in the photo below immediately behind the main building. Since that time the club tore down the ruined building and completed the clubhouse in the same style as the annex building.
It should be noted that this was an architect’s error. The design of the building put the main beam of support on a hard surface thinking that it was bedrock. However, in truth there was a small cavern below that “bedrock”.
Had the building collapsed at a time when the structure was the Art Institute of Chicago the incident would have been a catastrophe. Not only would many people have been killed and injured, but the loss of priceless works of art would be gone forever.
This is about a Multi-cultural mass at St. Anselm’s Roman Catholic Church in Chicago, written by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans. This was a religious service held today Father Bob Kelly, SVD, Pastor of St. Anselm’s Church in Chicago, celebrated a very memorable Multi-Cultural Mass. I was honored with an invitation to this gracious event and I am pleased to say that it only enriched my life. All day long I have been humming with joy the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of Father Kelly.
Below is a link to images of this outstanding and enriching mass.