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)


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