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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chicago Whitehouse

Note the statue in the above picture is not at Obama's house, but it's not too far away.

It's the
Statue of the Republic that was erected in 1918 as a reminder of the 65 foot 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in the Jackson Park area of Chicago. A great way to learn about that 1893 fair is through the book, "The Devil in the White City".

So last Friday, my daughter talked me into driving into Chicago for an outdoor concert. I thought I could make the trip more worthwhile by finding Obama's Chicago house. My daughter's schedule failed to give me much time to research before I was on the road. I knew what general area it was in and was able to pin it down to the Kenwood neighborhood.

So on a rainy Friday I started driving around looking for it. I knew the street was blocked off, so I just needed to find police cars and barricades.

I first turned off Lake Shore Drive (anyone call it LSD?) at Jackson Park and proceed north through the Univ. of Chicago campus (reminds me of France).

I found the closed off block on South Greenwood.

After the trip, with a little internet searching I found this on the site.

About the time of Mr. Obamas' run for the U.S. Senate, the Obamas bought 5040 S. Greenwood, a large house in the historic Kenwood Historic District, near Hyde Park Boulevard across Greenwood Avenue from landmarked Congregation K.A.M. Isaiah Israel. Information about the house, gathered from Jean Block's Hyde Park Houses and Construction News - May 28, 1910 includes: Original owner A. R. Clarke, a contractor who also owned and was the owner/architect. The architect was Bishop & Company. Built in 1910. 5040: A Historical Georgian revival home built in 1910 with four fireplaces, glass-door bookcases fashioned from Honduran mahogany, and a 1,000-bottle wine cellar…

You will be lucky to glimpse it and cannot take photographs. You have to keep walking on the other side of the street. The street is closed to through traffic and owners need special ID to enter. Those attending services or events at KAM and expecting to park in the lot must register a day in advance and have their names on a list. Traffic is also regulated on East Hyde Park Boulevard (5100) and when there is a motorcade or such, the street may be barricaded.

That above description is correct.

After driving by the barricades at both ends of the block, I decided I would venture on foot. Parking my car a house (the lots in this area are large) away from one of the parked police cars, I proceeded to walk up to the Chicago policeman guarding the north barricade.

Expecting he would just command me to move along, I was surprised he was willingly to talk to me. He confirmed that I could not walk down the block and noticing my camera told me where I could take some pictures. He also advised me that I would see mostly trees.

While I was talking to him, a young boy (guessing 11 yrs. old) came riding up on a bike. He was stopped and briefly questioned. Apparently, he was going to visit a friend on the block. He knew the right names and addresses so he was allowed through. It must be interesting living on that block.

Well the pictures I got are not that great. I suggest waiting until the leaves fall for a better picture. You can find better pictures than mine on the internet.

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NOTE This is NOT an official blog or statement from any government office or agency.

These are my comments regarding the President Obama's .gov sites

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