Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The History of Moo & Oink Grocery Chain of Chicago, Illinois.

Moo & Oink was a southside Chicago based grocery store chain and wholesaler that catered to the inner-city community and south suburbs
Originally named the Calumet Meat Company, the company was renamed Moo & Oink in 1976.
It became well known for its odd late-night television commercials that ran in the 1980s and mid 1990s, usually featuring dancing people in cow and pig costumes. The commercials often featured a jingle, that started off with: "Moo and Oink! Moo Moo Moo!" and eventually ends with a well-known sign-off "Moooooooooooooo & Oink!"


In 2005, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler sang the Moo and Oink jingle on the "Weekend Update" portion of Saturday Night Live in order to prove to Scott Podsednik that they were native Chicago White Sox fans.


Moo & Oink is also famous for its Chicago-style hot links and hand-cleaned chitlins. 

In April 2010, they revealed a new company logo, replacing the classic cartoon-ish cow and pig logo with a logo featuring animated but realistic looking animals. 
All Moo & Oink stores closed in 2011, after the company went into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, though there was interest in buying and resurrecting the company. By the end of the year, the brand and trademark were sold to Best Chicago Meat. The stores remained unsold. 

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Celebrating "Chicago Flag Day" on April 4th.

In 1915 Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison, Jr., decided that the time had come for Chicago to join the dozens of other American municipalities that had adopted an official flag. The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition had come and gone with only a red banner emblazoned with a white pall (Y-shape) to advertise the city’s “municipal colors” (the Y-shape would also be employed in the city’s less recognizable “municipal device”). 

Harrison’s flag commission received more than 1,000 proposals before settling on a design submitted by Wallace Rice, a lecturer in heraldry and flag history at the Art Institute of Chicago. Rice’s original design only incorporated two stars, symbolizing the Chicago fire of 1871 and the Columbian Exposition.
Rice chose six-pointed stars to distinguish them from the five-pointed stars commonly seen on national flags; the points formed a 30-degree internal angle to mark them as distinct from the Star of David. He aligned them to the staff (left) side rather than centering them, assuming that city officials might wish to add more stars at a later date. The city did exactly that in the 1930s, adding two more stars (symbolizing the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition and Fort Dearborn). While there have been numerous campaigns to add a fifth star to the flag (to honor everything from Chicago’s role in the creation of the atomic bomb to its place in the history of the Special Olympics), its current form has remained unchanged since 1939.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Frank Long House of Oak Park, Illinois.

Frank E. Long, a publisher from downstate Illinois, was born in 1865. By the standards of the time, he was already an elderly man when he commissioned architect Leon Stanhope to design his house in 1924. Long began his career downstate working for a manufacturer of agricultural implements and became the company's representative for publicity in Chicago, necessitating a move to the area. He eventually became vice president of operations. One of the company's publications lists Long's hobbies as motoring and fishing. He lived in several Oak Park homes before hiring Stanhope to build the 401 Linden Avenue house.
In a suburb made famous for Prairie design and Frank Lloyd Wright residences, the Long House stands apart in its architectural heritage. The cottage style home looks as if it should be sitting on a rolling hill in the English countryside, rather than the western suburbs of Chicago. 

Leon Stanhope, the Chicago-based architect behind the Long House's singular style, was a contemporary of Wright, but rather than embracing the new Prairie Style, he looked back in time in designing a home that combines the charm of a pastoral dwelling with the grandeur expected of a home in the estate section of Oak Park.
The wavy roof has earned the home the nickname the "hobbit house" because of its resemblance to a tiny dwelling that seems to rise from the ground, sporting a roof made of natural materials. While the home's distinctive roof appears to be made of thatching, it is, in reality, constructed of wood.
Often, these types of roofs are made up of steamed cedar shingles, which have the ability to be shaped in curved formations. A custom gutter system and a certain amount of creative underlying construction are also required to support the heavy materials.

The roof is a large part of what makes the Long House an example of the storybook style that was popular for a brief time in the 1920s. Very few homes of this style were built in the western suburbs and the Long House's large size makes it unique for what is usually considered a style represented by much smaller homes.

The house has four bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths which sits on 0.83 acres. It's 3,722 square feet sold in 2014 for $1,800,617.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.