The third place I lived, that is. The Charles Building at 9101 S. Ashland Avenue – I was three years old. My Aunt Genevieve and Uncle Bob lived in an apartment here. They moved out, and we moved in.
This is the home where my first real memories begin…my parents’ Murphy bed, my crib in the dining area, the ceiling falling on me while I was sleeping in said crib, laundry hanging in the back courtyard, walking up Ashland Avenue with my dad on a Saturday morning. It was one of my favorite things to do. We would pass the building with the “crazy clocks,” as we called them. They may have been barometers or thermometers, and they hung out over the sidewalk, each clock face with a single hand that seemed to move in no particular direction.
The best thing that happened when we lived there was the birth of my sister. And after a short while, of course, we would move again…but that’s another story.
Yesterday, my husband drove us to 91st and Ashland. I sat in the car and sketched the Charles Building, first with pencil, then with my mother’s Parker fountain pen, circa 1945. I marveled at how well preserved the building is, in spite of the somewhat questionable stores that now occupy the ground level. It is a beautiful building, with lovely details – if I were an architect, I would be better able to do justice to one of the more forgotten buildings in Chicago. I still love it!
Next stop, Evergreen Park…