Uptown and its gangster past are well-represented (although the author makes disapproving comments about present-day Uptown). We recommend the books to anyone who might be interested in Uptown's -- and Chicago's -- past, and finding out who walked these streets and inhabited these buildings before we did.
Inspired by the books, Uptown Update made a few trips to places mentioned. We'll do an occasional series visiting scenes of Uptown's Notorious Past.
Today, in honor of Johnny Depp and Public Enemies filming in Uptown, The John Dillinger Edition:
Dillinger's Hideout: 4310 North Clarendon. In autumn 1933, Dillinger and his gang rented a "stately" six-room apartment on the third floor. They were "good neighbors" and kept to themselves, according to people in the building, and spent much time sitting on the veranda and talking. In mid-November, the place was raided, but Dillinger had gotten advance notice and was long gone.
Dillinger's Funeral Home: 4508 (was 4506) Sheridan. Dillinger was shot near the Biograph Theatre in July 1934. He was taken to McCready Funeral Home in Uptown, now a private residence, where his father claimed his remains. Thousands of curious Chicagoans lined Sheridan Road to see his body, but were turned away. The "M" on the turret of the home is a reminder of its days as McCready's. Several of our older Uptown neighbors remember going to funerals here, although no one admits to seeing Dillinger.
Other nearby Dillinger sites:
- 3512 North Halsted (at Brompton). After escaping from an Indiana jail in March 1934, Dillinger went directly to Chicago, and hid out for a night just a block from the Town Hall police station. He stayed at the 2nd floor apartment belonging to the sister of his girlfriend, Billie Frechette.
- 3504 North Sheffield. The Sheffield Hotel was a bordello belonging to Anna Sage, the Lady in Red, who betrayed Dillinger to the cops.
- 1123 West Argyle. The offices of Dr. Harold Cassidy, who performed plastic surgery on Dillinger in May 1934 to disguise his appearance.