Jun 22 2013

Drama at the Esquire Motel

The Esquire Motel is a rare survivor of a simpler era - a time when operators still worked switchboards to connect you to your call and simply having a television in a motel room was a symbol of grandeur!  This marvelous relic was built in 1959 near the intersection of Elston and Milwaukee Avenues in the far northwest corner of Chicago and has provided shelter for untold minions of wayward travelers entering and leaving the city limits over the years.  It proved a decidedly dramatic location for a distraught middle-aged optometrist and his mistress in 1969.

Esquire Motel Sign
Esquire Motel
Holga 120N, Fuji Velvia 50 film.

Optometrist Found Shot to Death in Room

A Chicago optometrist was found dead of a gunshot wound in the head and a woman near death from an overdose of barbiturates yesterday in a room at the Esquire motel, 6145 Elston St.
Police said Dr. K. Lester Greenberg, 49, of 2501 Touhy av., had apparently committed suicide and Mrs. Margarita S. Steinfeld, 38, of 6117 N. Kedzie av., had apparently attempted to take her own life.
Sister Finds Body
The body of Dr. Greenberg was found at 9:45 a.m. by his sister, Mrs. Helen Shoub, 7547 N. Maplewood av., who told police she got a phone call from an unidentified man who reported her brother could be found at the motel.
The motel told police that Dr. Greenberg registered there at 1 p.m. Wednesday under the name J. Harris, and that he was alone at the time.
Dr. Greenberg was taken to Resurrection hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  Mrs. Steinfeld, a north side beauty shop operator, was reported in critical condition at the same hospital.
Find Two Pistols
Police said that a .45 caliber automatic pistol was found on the bed beside Dr. Greenberg.  No notes were found in the motel room.  A .25 caliber automatic pistol, which police said was stolen, also was found in the room.
Dr. Greenberg had been employed for six years at the Shaw Brothers company, a jewelry and appliance store at 19 W. Van Buren st.  Store officials told police he was off work Wednesday and that when he did not show up for work yesterday they tried unsuccessfully to reach him by phone.
Police said Dr. Greenberg is survived by his wife, Hazel.  Mrs. Steinfeld, married and the mother of a 13-year-old son, is the owner of Marge's beauty salon at 4641 N. Kedzie av.
(Chicago Tribune, May 2, 1969)

Jun 21 2013

Luck Runs Out At The Bellham Apts.

The Bellham Apartments (4100-4106 N. Hamlin Ave.) is a 3-story 28-unit apartment building in Chicago's Northwest West Walker neighborhood built in 1927.
Pentax K1000, Fuji Neopan 1600
  Children have had both good and bad luck here over the years.  In 1956, little Lorraine Durham was a very lucky girl:

Child Falls 3 Floors and Lands Uninjured

A physician reported yesterday that Lorraine Durham, 23 months, or 2752 Lincoln av., apparently suffered no serious injury when she fell from a third floor window of the home of her grandmother, Mrs. Mabel Durham, at 4100 N. Hamlin av.  The child's fall was broken when she struck the head and shoulders of Judy Zorehkey, 14, also of 4100 N. Hamlin, who was not injured.
(Chicago Daily Tribune, May 13, 1956)
Bellham Apartments Front Doorway
Holga 120N, Tri-X
  However, two years later, luck ran out for little Donald Schroeder:


A 2 year old boy was found strangled yesterday by a guard rope which his father had installed to keep him from falling from his bunk bed in their home at 4100 N. Hamlin av. Donald Schroeder was found on his knees beside the bed with his head caught below the edge of the mattress.  The guard rope was caught below his chin.  The child's mother, Nancy, 27, summoned a physician, who pronounced the boy dead. The boy's father, John, 31, told police he installed the rope after the boy had fallen several times.  The boy's sister, Caryn, 3, was asleep in the upper bunk bed and a brother, Cary, 1, was in a crib in the same room.
(Chicago Daily Tribune, January 29, 1958)