Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Opened in 1915, the Al. Ringling Theatre is located in the town of Baraboo, Wisconsin. Built by Albert Ringling (of the circus family - Baraboo was the winter headquarters of the circus for many years), this fantastic house was designed by noted theater architects Rapp & Rapp. Originally a vaudeville and silent film palace, the Ringling is still operating today, as a movie house (Lincoln was opening when I shot this). The Ringling is one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the United States.
Anyway, I'd never heard of the place till I saw it. I was grinding along the highway, returning to my Chicago area home from a brief visit to Minneapolis. I'd gotten a late start on the drive up, ending up spending much of it on the road after dark, putting paid to my plans of doing some shooting along the way. So, I made sure I had the time to make at least one stop on the return trip-and was greeted with a spectacular day. I looked at my map and decided on the town of Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Why Baraboo? I liked the name - I remember seeing a picture in a book about trains, showing the station with a big sign on the side that said "BARABOO". It stuck in my mind as one of those classic upper Midwestern names, like Sleepy Eye or Oconomowoc, and I had a good feeling that Baraboo would have a great downtown.
I wasn't disappointed - Baraboo's downtown is quite charming, and I passed a nice hour looking around at stuff on this lazy fall afternoon. But really, to find a grand old vaudeville house, complete with neon sign, right downtown? I wouldn't have thought it, but there it was.
So there you have it, a short story to round out the year.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Incidentally, it seems that in the meantime the owner has painted some greyish-blue primer onto some of the rustier spots, particularly on the hood and roof. So....is the restoration finally starting?
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
This is as true at drag strips as it is at road courses. Particularly at the starting line, where there's usually modern safety equipment and an emergency vehicle, right where your subject's doing a smoking burnout.
Anyway, the organizers of the races I was at hit the mark with their start line truck, which was this well patinated old sixties Ford, complete with a Holman & Moody logo on the door.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
This was the best shot I managed to get of the iconic neon sign.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Like the Mustang, the Barracuda spawned a number of high performance options, particularly later in it's life. One of the rarest is the AAR, a Trans-Am special devised to capitalize on the series. Developed in part by Dan Gurney's All-American Racing Team, the AAR was a fast car but the team didn't manage to win any races in it's inaugural season.
This one's a genuine ex-AAR car, run originally by Swede Savage, and still competes in historic racing today.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Currently, Uptown Station is kind of run down-the fast food restaurant that was in this space has closed, as did the doughnut shop at the side entrance, and the interior isn't in the best shape anymore. But it does retain much of it's original architecture and fixtures, and is certainly worthy of preservation.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Production finally ceased at the A-Mill in 2003, and the building has been empty ever since. Plans are currently afoot to turn the complex into lofts and studio spaces, while retaining the historic exterior of the mill.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
This one was given the through the viewfinder treatment with an old Kodak Duaflex.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Taken during Open House Chicago on a glorious sunny fall day.
Friday, October 18, 2013
making each floor a little smaller than the one below it, a function of the architect's desire to make the Foshay Tower resemble the Washington Monument. The interior was very luxurious, featuring intricately carved African mahogany, marble, Terrazzo, a silver and gold plated ceiling, and hand-wrought iron fittings.
Finally, the building has it's own march, composed by John Philip Sousa. The dedication ceremony for the Foshay was almost impossibly lavish, with building owner Wilbur Foshay inviting 25,000 people, guests recieving gold pocket watches, and music conducted by Sousa, who composed the "Foshay Tower-Washington Memorial March" for the occasion. The march was only played once during Foshay's lifetime, though-his empire soon crumbled, and the check written to Sousa for his work famously bounced. Sousa refused to allow the song to be played until the debt was paid, which didn't happen until 1988, to Sousa's estate.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Anyway, long story slightly longer, I found out earlier this evening that the old Caddy's gone, leaving behind a rectangle of bare dirt in the lawn. I can only hope that the owner finally got around to restoring it, but most likely he sold it on.
What's to become of Fading Glory? I've no idea, but I leave you with this, the last photo I took of her, back in May.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I took this on a rare outing for the 803, and processed it to give it that "Oldachrome-found-in-a-shoebox" look.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
I imagine that it's short for "Augustus", although I've not found a whole lot of info about this former market.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Monday, August 5, 2013
That's one thing they don't talk about in the Fiat history books-the Topolino's racing history here in the States. Along with old American Bantam roadsters and English Ford Anglias, the Topo was a popular Altered and Gas class drag racer, due entirely to it's tiny size, which combined a low weight with a small frontal area to make a nice racing platform. Though plenty of genuine cars were chopped up, many of the Toplino Altereds were made with fiberglass replica bodies, like this mid sixties example.
Fun fact-you can still buy 'glass Topolino bodies today.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
Also, it was an excellent cloud day.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
The Electroliner was the North Shore's premier train. Running a swift two hour schedule between Milwaukee and Chicago, the 'Liner was introduced in 1941 in an attempt to bolster the road's ridership. It worked, and proved a popular train until it's retirement in 1963. The two Electroliner train sets were eventually sold to the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Lines, where they were re-christened Liberty Liners, and continued to serve until 1976.
This is train set 801-802, and has been repainted beautifully in it's original livery by the Illinois Railway Museum. Sadly, it is currently non-operable, although plans are afoot to get the 'Liner running again in the near future. It usually lives indoors, but does make the occasional appearance outside at the Museum's restored L platform.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
This one was shot in front of the Museum's station, with a bonus of some classic L trains from Chicago over there on the left.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Friday, May 31, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Title sound familiar? I recycled it.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Didn't we do this last week? Anyway, here's another beautiful chopped custom, this one a '49 or so Mercury Eight. The first postwar Mercs to both have all-new styling as well as being significantly different from current Fords, the '49 Eight was immediately popular with the custom car crowd, both for it's style and it's V-8 engines. Some of the most famous customs were Mercury Eights, including Sam Barris' original '49, as well as the legendary car of Bob Hirohata. The Eight just looked good however you reworked it, from mild to wild.
This one features a lot of the classic touches-a chopped top, a new grille and bumpers, flipper hubcaps, rounded hood corners, and the removal of the original badges and logos. I also love the color-it's very subtle, like a lot of the earliest customs were, and is suitably elegant.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
A vintage Moose Lodge, with an equally vintage neon hanger. It's well faded but the glass is still nice and bright.
This building had a nice Vitrolite front too-I'm thought I'd shot it but I guess not.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
As you longtime readers (all three of you) can tell, I like old stuff. Vintage signs, classic cars, old buildings, long gone restaurants, you get the drift. This includes old books. I found these vintage Hardy Boys books at a used bookstore near here, and since most shops don't especially like it when you take pictures in them, I had to sort of sneak off a few shots with my phone and futz with them later.
Anyway, I have always liked vintage book covers, with their strong graphics and charmingly lo-fi artwork. My favorite Hardy Boys books when I was a kid were the hardcover reprints, with the original artwork.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Spotted this gem in Freeport, Illinois, as I was traveling along the Grant on my way to Iowa. Well seasoned, but a nice example of fifties/sixties neon goodness. Plus the glass still seems to be in good nick-I should go back that way and see if they still light it up!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
...and a Ford Mainline. That Willys is a classic old school gasser style hot rod, too. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen an actual stock Willys. They're all hot rods!
Friday, May 10, 2013
Elizabeth, Illinois is a small town located in Jo Daviess County, amongst the area's rolling hills and valleys. Despite it's small population (less than 1000 at the last count), Elizabeth's downtown features plenty of shops and businesses, and includes this excellent neon sign at the bank.