Today’s building for A Million Times is Harry Caray’s restaurant in River North, located at 33 W. Kinzie. It’s a building you certainly may have noticed, it sticks out like a sore thumb, but it’s architecture and age is amazing and deserves a second glance.
The building was designed by Henry Ives Cobb and was finished in 1895 (Harry Caray’s opened in 1987). It was a factory and showroom for a company called the Chicago Varnish Co. It’s a crazy red brick and has a light, gray stone contrast that really makes it “pop” (oh I’ve always wanted to say that about my own dancing abilities, now I’m using it for architecture, the world is ending). It’s in the Dutch Renaissance style with those huge gables on the side and three dormers in between. Also notice the cool round windows at the top of the building and over the entrance. There’s a lot going on here, I like the “fans” over the windows and the red vertical lines between the windows on the trunk of the building.
Cobb also designed the Newberry Library, Excalibur Night Club (the original Chicago Historical Society Building) and The Chicago Athletic Association (another of my favorites). He also designed the famous Potter mansion which is now gone, but was CRAZY, even for Palmer.
A couple of quick fun facts: Henry Ives Cobb’s grandmother, Augusta Adams Cobb, left her husband, Henry Cobb, and seven of her nine children in 1843, and married Brigham Young as a plural wife. Wow.
Mike Royko was only person to ever take a piece of memorabilia back, he took back his own picture after he learned the restaurant didn’t take reservations. The restaurant changed its policy after that. Heh.