Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hot Time In Uptown (Circa 1970)

A reader sends us this gem:

"I just stumbled across this fun bit of Uptown history! The attached scan is from the Winter 1970 issue of Chicago Fire Fighter magazine, published by the Fireman's Association of Chicago. The Uptown Chicago Fire Department station house looks to be in the same location as it stands today, but must be prior to a minor building update. The view beyond the Fire House looks significantly different than it does today as well!"

[UU Note: We see the beer sign of the fabled "Wooden Nickel" dive -- where Nick's On Wilson is located today.]

"In case the scan is hard to read, here is the caption under the photos: AMBULANCE 31 AND ENGINE 83 serve the Uptown area from 1200 W. Wilson Avenue. Ambulance 31 is a 1970 Ford Econoline. Engine 83 is a 1969 Ward La France, Diesel powered, with a Hale 1000 GPM Pump and 500 Gallon Booster and 5 inch suctions on the side only. The 20th Battalion of the 3rd Division serve from this house."

I wonder if they were as continually busy in 1970 as they are today?"

We are shaking our heads over the opening lines of the article: "Looking over the latest deliveries of new equipment, gentlemen, we submit the following items for your information and interest. First of all, 8 new ambulance units were placed in service on July 7th under the "Model Cities" program. They are located in areas of low-income population and are designed to handle "removals" which the regular fleet does not handle."

1 comment:

  1. "I wonder if they were as continually busy in 1970 as they are today?"

    The fire department back then was certainly far more busy, at least with real fires, back in the 70's. Several building (and even cars) were burned for the insurance money.

    But begninning in the 80's, some of those who might have considered self-arson found out that they could make just as much money, but do so legally, by converting their apartments into condos.

    People still had to leave their homes, and some neglect resulted in fires(such as the condos on the 900 block of Wilson). But there was more legality to what owners were doing than the 70's.

    Certainly today, fires are much rarer, especially in high rises. 4640 & 4645 Sheridan, which are BIGGER versions of "Cabrini North", have had maybe 1 or 2 fires in the past decade or so? About as good a track record as 4343 Clarendon or some downtown condos.

    Certainly not the dozens of burnt out units you saw at Cabrini or Robert Taylor.