Pickwick Stable in Chicago

Photo of Pickwick Stable in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

Airlifted pipes.

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Pickwick Stable
Formerly:22 East
Formerly:Pickwick Cafe
Formerly:Red Path Inn
Formerly:Colonel Abson's Chop House

22 East Jackson, Chicago, Illinois, The Loop 60604
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Text by Wayne Lorentz

This is our all-time favorite most unusual Chicago building. To the untrained eye, it looks like a dead-end alley. But in reality it's so much more. It is history. It is tragedy. And it is a great example of poor urban planning.

Official city records put the date of completion of this building at 1892. According to the Chicago Tribune, there was a stable at this location as early as 1857. The Trib traces its ownership back to Henry Horner, who was the grandfather of an Illinois governor by the same name. The stable eventually went through a series of ownership changes as various restaurants. While that happened, the city grew up around the building, and didn't only hem it in, it virtually obliterated it from the outside world. The building is actually 19 feet wide, and 19 feet deep, with a small portion that juts outward a few feet from the southwest corner. That is the part you see in the picture. It is also the only part of the building with outward facing windows since its neighboring building butt right up against it. They are so tightly spaced, that this former barn isn't visible on most satellite or aerial photographs.

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