Valentine's Day - Chicago Style

Uploaded 12 Feb 2013 — 4 favorites
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© Bailey Cooper
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

On February 14, 1929, St. Valentine's Day, five members of the North Side Gang, plus gang henchmen Reinhardt Schwimmer and John May, were lined up against the rear inside wall of the garage at 2122 North Clark Street, in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago's North Side, and executed.

Chicago, in its own style, memorialized the warehouse on Clark Street. The place became a tourist attraction and the newspapers even printed the photos of the corpses upside-down so that readers would not have to turn their papers around to identify the bodies.

In 1949, the front portion of the S-M-G Garage was turned into an antique furniture storage business by a couple who had no idea of the building's bloody past. They soon found that the place was visited much more by tourists and curiosity-seekers than by customers and eventually closed the business.

In 1967, the building was demolished. However, the bricks from the bullet-marked rear wall were purchased and saved by a Canadian businessman. In 1972, he opened a night club with a Roaring 20's theme and rebuilt the wall, for some strange reason, in the men's restroom. Three nights each week, women were allowed to peek inside.

The club continued to operate for a few years and when it closed the owner placed the 417 bricks into storage. He then offered them for sale with a written account of the massacre. He sold the bricks for $1000 each, but soon found that he was getting back as many as he sold. It seemed that anyone who bought one of the bricks was suddenly stricken with bad luck in the form of illness, financial ruin, divorce and even death.

Whatever became of the rest of the bricks is unknown...

A big thanks to JamesHarmon McQuilkin for the nomination. You da' man Jimmy... you da' man.

9 responses

  • Min Chai Liu

    Min Chai Liu gave props (13 Feb 2013):

    nice nerration and like the poster kind of effect

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (13 Feb 2013):

    Awesome entry, Bailey!

  • Geoff Plant

    Geoff Plant gave props (13 Feb 2013):


  • Fred Moskey

    Fred Moskey gave props (13 Feb 2013):

    I'll keep the old Chicago typewriter ready, just in case.

  • JamesHarmon McQuilkin

    JamesHarmon McQuilkin   gave props (13 Feb 2013):

    All in all, all we are is just another brick in the wall--happy VD Day

  • Laurie Self

    Laurie Self (Deleted) gave props (13 Feb 2013):

    Great shot (no pun intended) and really interesting read! Thank you !

  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins (Deleted) gave props (15 Feb 2013):

    A unique take on Valentines Day and a most informative narrative. I had never heard about the bricks.How strange!

  • Elyseo

    Elyseo gave props (16 Feb 2013):

    I agree with Min Chai Liu, ++++ nice!

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon   gave props (16 Feb 2013):

    Has to be the most memorable of all Valentine`s Days.. awesome image and narrative!

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