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FEBRUARY 5, 2009   

Back alleys

Painting a fierce dog on fence

Jared told me about several unique houses on a small sidestreet off of West 58th, so we headed there via back alleys, starting on Vine Court.

One homeowner, motivated by a desire for privacy like the guy who used signs and a gate, took a different tactic. Rather than the typical "Beware of Dog" sign, he put a dramatic warning on his fence.

The dog sounded pretty serious:

Stone house

Stone house on EllenWhen we got to a tiny street called Ellen, just a couple of blocks long, I immediately understood why Jared had suggested walking here. Among the typical Near West Side frame houses in various sizes and styles were a couple of stone ones unlike any I'd seen before.

Detail of stoneworkThis one uses a type of stone/block construction that must have been created by a highly skilled and very patient do-it-yourselfer. There's all sorts of variety: the size and color of the stones, their arrangement, the rounded window sills and the corner columns. This had to have been a labor of love.

Jared & I lingered in front and talked about it for several minutes, our boots squeaking in the snow.

The house next door (barely visible at the right of the photo above) used a different but equally unusual masonry design.


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