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1929 (circa): Oak Park with Friends and Downtown Chicago

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Film Identifier: F.2019-10-0001
Run Time
0h 4m 17s
Date Produced
circa 1929
Ca. 1929-1930 footage of Oak Park and Downtown Chicago, IL. The film features footage of Beryl Simon's friends in Oak Park during the winter, with shots of important Chicago landmarks in the downtown area.
Begins with shot of cars in a suburban street, in Oak Park. The building featured is the Oak Park Club on Ontario Street, which was built in 1923 (it was converted into upscale condommeniums in 1988). The old post office in Oak Park is also featured, which was constructed in 1905 and subsequently demloshied in the 1930s to make way for a commercial strip. Next few images are of Downtown Chicago, with shots of signage depicting different stores or bars including "Swain's Beauty Shop" and "Walker's."

Camera pans upwards to CTA train overhead. The intersecting streets are Lake and State with sign of Chicago Theatre featured prominently in the background. Camera pans to the Marshall Field Building, then the Chicago Temple (also known as the First United Methodist Church) is promintently featured, as is the Reliance Building. This is followed by streetview shot of a Walgreens drug store.

Film goes on to show more familial footage in snowy Oak Park; a man who may be one of Beryl Simon's friends holds a baby outside their home, standing in front of a horse and carriage. An elderly woman holds a young girl's hand as they make their way past the family's backyard; a woman wearing a dress but no winter coat can be seen with them - she may be Beryl Simon.

Next shot is of a busy street and a Lake Street trolly passes through. A woman walks out of a large municipality-type building, followed by another shot of her walking out of the Marshall Field store in Oak Park (this building has a sign, "Cutler," which may be a restaurant right next to the department store). Also briefly glimpsed is a shot of the YMCA on Oak Park Avenue, which was later converted to a condominum. 

Last minute of film depicts Simon's friends walking out of their home in pairs, waving to the camera. Simon's friend and her daughter are playing with the dog in the snow. Camera pans to one woman at the end holding a camera, who may or may not be Simon.
Main Credits
Beryl Simon (is filmmaker)
Related Places
Oak Park (depicts)
Chicago (depicts)