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6841 S. Bennett Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60649 #260Z

6841 S. Bennett Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60649.

Jackson Park Highlands

This article is about my childhood home on Bennett Avenue #260Z in the Jackson Park Highlands, Chicago. Written by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery. I was raised up as a child at our lovely and gracious home at 6841 S. Bennet Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60649. Our home was and still is, located in the Jackson Park Highlands. The Jackson Park Highlands is an landmark estate neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, and is the step child of mansion district of Kenwood.

History

The house was built in 1913 next door to one of the developers of the Highlands, Mr. Roberts. The house is just under 5,000 square feet and has 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. The exterior dimensions are 45 feet wide and 75 feet long.

Interior

All of the rooms are enormous which included a morning room, which was in the front of the house. Access to the morning room was through the living room then through the dining room. Morning rooms are always adjacent the dining room for kitchen services. Of course, next to the dining room was the butler’s pantry for all the china and table settings. Past the butler’s pantry was a large kitchen with very ample pantry. Going straight through the kitchen you entered the game room. This was a very large room designed to hold a pool table and card tables. This room has a direct access to the back inner porch that lead to the garage and back yard.

The living and dining room were separated by a large set of sliding glass doors. The entrance to the house from the street was on the south side of the house and was a small suite off of the central block of the structure. Upon entering the suite you were in the marble vestibule, and looking to the left were three large encased glass panels, the first being the door to the entrance hall.

The entrance hall was vast and straight ahead was a grand wooden staircase. As you entered the hall to the right with the library and to the left was the living room. All of the room throughout the house was done in the finest mahogany wood. Two large massive beams wrought across the ceilings of the entrance hall, the living room, and the dining room. These beams were joined to very thick wooden moldings that encased the ceiling and mounted it to the walls. The fireplace in the living room was a massive wood structure.

Lots

When then house was built back in 1913, when the Jackson Park Highlands was developed, all the homes were designed with garden lots. That meaning that each home had a separate lost next to it for privacy. In some cases homes had two or more such lots. Mrs. Roberts house has seven city lots and is the largest in all the Highlands! Mrs. Roberts home is dead center in the Highlands as this was the home of the builder. Having a place at the center was the most prestigious because you were far from the perimeter of the neighborhood and thus most quiet. Our home was right next door and dead center as well.

Just after the First World War, our garden lot was sold off and a home had been built on it, this was the home of the Lemonthal’s. The Howett’s, Michael Howlett,¬† Secretary of State, who live four doors down from us had a garden lot on each side of their home. I was a classmate of Robert Howlett at St. Philip Neri, As the Howlett’s and my parents were old family friends. My grand parents, Dr. & Mrs. Francis Leo Condren stood up at their wedding.

South Side

  • Prairie Avenue
  • Kenwood
  • Hyde Park
  • Jackson Park Highlands
  • Beverly

The south side of Chicago is the best planned and designed part of Chicago. Grandeur was always the tone of any development of the south side of Chicago. Only in the south side are there grand boulevards and parkways. It is only in the south side that you have center park trolley lines.

The growth and development of a city the size and scale of Chicago is very complicated in imbued with ambiguities. It is my task here to highlight upper strata communities of the south side of Chicago, and more particularly, to focus on the dwellings in these communities. Side commentaries on expected social behavior given at appropriate times.

Prairie Avenue

The community of south Prairie Avenue is where the history of high society in Chicago starts. However, it should be noted that this was not the first area of “upper crust”. Downtown Michigan Avenue and Wabash Avenue were the very first areas of fine home construction. However, these areas were not developed as a community as we think of at later times. These homes were mixed in between all sorts of sites, from taverns and shops, to book shops and barbers. The development of segregated communities for “better living” start on the south side with Prairie Avenue, and later with Potter Palmer on the near north side, on Belleview and Lake Shore Drive.

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Die Fledermaus #259Z, At The MAC

Die Fledermaus, Symphony Orchestra, aria, songs, audience, people.

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!

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Die Fledermaus

  • The Bat

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.

Orchestra

  • Symphony

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

Arias

  • Songs

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.

Die Fledermaus at The MAC at College of DuPage.
Die Fledermaus At The MAC At College Of DuPage

Audience

  • People

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.

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Die Fledermaus, Symphony Orchestra, aria, songs, audience, people.

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Chicago Skyline #258Z Pen & Ink Sunset Drawing

Chicago skyline 752B pen & ink drawing of downtown at sunset.

This article is about Chicago skyline #258Z is a pen & ink drawing of Chicago is a cityscape done at early sunset, which is a cityscape stylus sketch, which is for sale here, at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans. The view or perspective it taking from the northwest near Western Avenue.

The three tallest points in the skyline are those of the near north side, east Randolph Street, and the Chicago Loop.

At the near north side you have 875 N. Michigan Avenue (former John Hancock Center). In the center cluster you have the skyscrapers of the Aon Center and Trump Tower. The last cluster is on the right which shows Willis Tower.

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Chicago skyline #752B pen & ink drawing of downtown at sunset.

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing #751Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing at sunset by Condren.


Chicago skyline #751Z pen & ink drawing, which is a cityscape stylus sketch, is for sale at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #751A

  • Light
  • Cross-hatching
  • Delineation

This pen & ink drawing of Chicago skyline #751Z is a cityscape of the near north side of Chicago at early sunset. In the center of the rendering is 875 N. Michigan Avenue (former John Hancock Center). To the immediate right is a cluster of buildings that comprise the near north side. The exception is the nub immediately to the right of 875, which is the Aon Center.

My original intent for the drawing was to make it much darker and with a mood of impending storms. However, while I was drawing I had my mind on the Scientific Theory of Luminiferous Aether. Thus, with light in my mind I let the glory of the sun take command of the drawing. Thus as I moved my pen along the paper it gently came to a halt as the drawing with finished!


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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing #750Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing overlooking Lincoln Park.

This pen & ink cityscape drawing of the Chicago skyline #750A, which is a cityscape stylus sketch, is for sale at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #749B

  • Landscape
  • Cross-hatching
  • Sky

This cityscape drawing is of Chicago skyline #750B looking south over Lincoln Park. Closest to the park is the immediate skyline of the near north side with show 875 (former John Hancock Center).

The linework in the drawing if very clean and clear. The use of hatching and cross-hatching is at a minimum so as to keep the forms of the park distinct from the skyscrapers. Effort has been taken to be as clear as possible without sacrificing quality draftsmanship.

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing #749Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing at sunset by Condren.

This article is about pen & ink cityscape drawing of the Chicago skyline #749B, which is a cityscape stylus sketch, is for sale at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #749B

  • Sunset
  • Cross-hatching
  • Water

This Chicago skyline #479Z drawing is done at sunset. The setting sun is on the left side of the drawing is from the east (behind Willis Tower) where it holds command. From this point the power of the sun’s rays are cast to the skyline and out onto Lake Michigan.

Making the pen & ink work effectively in creating spectrum in a work of art is difficult. For it takes great skill and care to use just enough line work to convey the gradual transition of tones. It is ever so common to cast stroke of in in random formations leaving poor results. Every single stroke has to be calculated. 

As I draw the lines with my pen I eye every element on the paper and keep moving my pen tip on a path that correctly satisfies the needed tone. It is with difficulty that I explain this process but it exactly what I do. As I move the pen and process strokes at the same time I look at the space and move the pen to fill in the need tone.

Also, as I move the pen I am very aware of the length of each stroke. If the space permits I make the strokes later and if not, then smaller. This is a quandary for I only know how to make the strokes as I move the pen. I cannot calculate the movements of the pen before hand. 

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing At Night #254Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink of near north side at night.

This article is about pen & ink cityscape drawing of the Chicago skyline #748B, which is for sale here, at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements of the Chicago Skyline

  • Delineation
  • Time of day
  • Light

The innumerable hatching and cross-hatching lines are the hall mark of the rendering. The darkest region of the drawing is in the waters of Lake Michigan. After the water, the sky has the deepest tones of black. The most luminous area is around the banks of the lake and along the roadside of North Lake Shore Drive.

The light of the streets shows nicely from the base of the buildings. However, I was careful not to hat too much as the building got taller so as not to diminish their stature.

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Chicago Downtown Skyline Pen & Ink Sketch #253Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink sketch of North Lake Shore Drive.

This article is about pen & ink cityscape sketch of the Chicago skyline #747B, by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements Chicago skyline #747B

  • Delineation
  • Time of day
  • Light

The delineation of Chicago skyline #747B is short and simple. It is all preparing for the intense amount of hatching and cross-hatching that is to follow. The scene will be at night so most of the images will not be recognizable.

My interest in Chicago skyline #747A is more compositional thank formal presentation rendering. In fact this is not any form of architectural rendering for display. This is a free-hand sketch that is exploring the forms along Lake Shore Drive. You have a mixture of skyscrapers, trees, concrete, and of course water from Lake Michigan.

The light is this image is standard afternoon light that show all the froms. However, in the drawing that comes over this it will be in the dead of night. The lighting at the present will do to give us an image of the scene. However, there is nothing theatrical or dramatic in the light of day. The rendering that is to follow will offer a very theatrical vision of North Lake Shore Drive. Chicago skyline #747A is the preamble to #478.

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Chicago Downtown Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing At Night #252Z

Chicago downtown skyline pen & ink at night by Condren.

This pen & ink cityscape of the Chicago skyline #746B, which is for sale here, at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans.

Key elements to Chicago skyline #746B:

  • Pen & Ink
  • Time of day
  • Light

Clearly this rendering is done at night by the mere title and dark drawing. However, the night time brings out an interesting quality to skyline. The darkness gives you freedom to work different forms with the images of the buildings and landscape. You are now more free to work the shadows and architectural images into a more cohesive composition. You are not locked into copying all of the buildings in their proper place and proportion. Rather, you can work with their forms and create an even strong cityscape.

For example, the bottom of the drawing is the darkest. I have done this so that it will visually support the images above. The intense use of cross-hatching frees me up to look for light reflected in the image from the sky. I do not have to worry about capturing the seascape or waves. The composition is more important than the details.

Because the center ground of the drawing is based on the Plan of Chicago by Daniel H. Burnham Harbor. Mr. Burnham is a famed Chicago architect and we both share the same birthday! In the middle and just above the harbor is the world famous “Chicago Loop”. This area has the greatest concentration of skyscrapers in Chicago. Notable buildings are Willis Tower, Trump Tower, and Aon Center.

I have made the sky with intense cross-hatching to let light emit from the sunset.

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Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing Overlooking Lincoln Park At Noon #251Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing over Lincoln Park.

This article is about Chicago skyline #745B cityscape drawing, which is for sale here, at discount with prints by artist Stephen F. Condren, SAIC, of Condren Galleries, a Fine Arts Gallery, offering JPEG & PDF scans. This pen & ink drawing is looking south over the lawns of the zoo and Lincoln Park in Chicago.

Chicago Skyline #745B

It is my goal in the rendering to offer the viewer a personal note about the subject. Being a native to Chicago I am partial to art about Chicago. Further, having graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago it further underscores my love for this great city.

I am from the south side of Chicago. I grew up in the Jackson Park Highlands with is in Hyde Park Township and just south of the great Jackson Park. Being from the south side we did not venture north as often as my mother would have liked. My mother grew up in Lakeview along the north shore lake. Mom always talked about here time growing up along the lake and how wonderful it was.

So in honor of my dear mother whom I will cherish all of my life I dedicate this pen & ink drawing.

I have made use of a fine line pen for this drawing. My intent was to use the foreground as a visual support for the skyline in the rear of the rendering. There are both cumulus clouds (on the left), and stratus nimbus clouds at the center and to the right. The contrasting line movement from these shape enhance the contour of the drawing.

The skyscrapers in the background are many and most difficult to define. If you look carefully you can see the major super structures. Like any good drawing, it is best practice to use as few lines to convey the most meaning and that is what I have attained in this splendid rendering.