Check out the above video from the Illinois Tollway Authority.
The three tollways that made up the system at the time--the Tri-State, Northwest and East-West--opened in 1958, so a series of spots were created in 1959 to promote use of the 187-mile network. The advertisements featured the character Mary MacToll, tooling around the tollway in a convertible while
mocking us with singing a variation of the Scottish tune, The Bonnie Banks O' Loch Lomond.
Credit the toll authority for unearthing this gem. The agency posted it on YouTube in 2011, but I ran across it earlier this morning when a fit of insomnia prompted me to get on the computer.
Watching the commercial now, you can't help but notice how naive it all was. Much of the tree lined suburban countryside seen in 1959 would be plowed under for office parks, malls and housing subdivisions in the decades to come. The agency now has 290 miles of roads under its control and has spent a whopping $3.6 billion since 2005 to keep them in good repair.
But that's now; this is then. And.there's more on the agency's YouTube channel.
St. James Roman Catholic Church is one of the city's oldest houses of worship.
Or at least it was. The neo-Gothic edifice at 2936 S. Wabash, is being demolished now.
It was too expensive to repair, the Chicago Roman Catholic Archdiocese said, citing a $12 million pricetag. This blog first reported on the St. James's woes — and the archdiocese's wishes to demolish the nearly 140-year-old church — last October.
Reader Peggy Ryan took the above last weekend and sent it to me. Less than a year ago, St. James, though shuttered, still stood strong...
...so seeing it laid open in Ryan's pictures was like a punch to the gut. Presevationists within the congregation and around the city have spent the past several months rallying to save the church, but to no avail. Ryan's photo of the wrecked interior of St.