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A tisket, a tasket, a tag easter basket!

February 29, 2012

Our colleagues at just posted a seasonal tip about putting together your own easter gift basket. You can read it by clicking here.

… which got me to thinking about easter baskets and baskets in general … which got me to thinking about my favorite basket song. In 1938, the Chick Webb Orchestra recorded a wonderful little basket number with their young new vocalist. Click here and have a listen! 

Chick Webb was one of the best drummers of the Big Band Era.  His orchestra was the resident band of the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York City. And I think most of you know his vocalist, who was only 21 when the song was recorded!

What does this have to do with 1730 Outlet? Well, thinking about the Savoy Ballroom got me thinking about the local Chicago venues where the big bands played, like the Aragon Ballroom and neighboring Uptown Theater. The Uptown, which opened in 1925, was at the time the largest “movie palace” in the country. It was a mix-use venue that staged plays and musicals, showed movies, and employed its own 30+ piece big band orchestra. Its stunning 104 foot facade is clad in terra cotta designed, formed and fired by Northwestern Terra Cotta, 1730 W. Wrightwood!

(photo by Bruce Sharp)

Northwestern also manufactured the terra cotta facade of the Chicago Theater in the Loop, and many others. Check out the detail of the Chicago facade below.

(photo by Bruce Sharp)

You can see the intricate terra cotta detail on the left, echoed in the ceiling of the lobby seen through the window.

Here’s more of the facade:

So next time you visit 1730 Outlet and step into our Furniture Showroom, look up at the refractory ceiling, installed to keep the heat inside the tunnel kiln that ran through the building. And then imagine the beautiful terra cotta that today still clads Chicago’s historic theaters, making its way through the kiln on small rail cars, as seen below. The loading door for the kiln at right is still visible in our outlet warehouse.

(photo courtesy Chicago History Museum)

And while you’re in the store, check out our spring and Easter collections. Perfect for your family’s spring celebrations, or for an Easter Gift Basket!!

1730 Outlet Company . 1730 W. Wrightwood . Chicago . 773-871-4331 . Mon-Fri 10-6. Sat 10-5 .








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