Although Gladstone Park has only a handful of its own schools, churches and fraternal organizations, its parks are its crowning glory. Below is a small sample of photographs of some of its parks with more to come.
This section shows pictures of Little Free Libraries and some of the Folk and Yard Art that Gladstonians display in their yards that is visible from the street. The photographer concentrated on finding unique homegrown elements such as statues built of car parts, folk painted garage doors, and tree art. There are no gnomes or benches or toadstools of the type that can be bought at big box stores.
Wrought iron porch railings of all types of patterns and colors can be found in abundance in Gladstone Park. That’s because they were the go-to material commonly used on front porch steps leading up to the many English Tudor and Georgian homes found in the neighborhood. Blast furnaces that debuted in the 15th century first made the manufacture of wrought iron railings possible. They were seen as functional, sturdy elements for (German) Gothic as well as Victorian houses to make passage up a stairway safer. And as techniques of working the iron improved, more intricate designs were possible, adding a more decorative element to the structure.
These photographs are curiosities. They range from a “ghost sign” on a building to a tree house that matches the big one on the lot to an artful outdoor staircase behind a closed restaurant. Undoubtedly a favorite will be the close-up of Maurie and Flaurie, the hotdog-shaped Superdawg Drive-in icons atop the famed 50’s-style drive-in restaurant (see above). These subjects were all chosen at random and by the whim by the photographer. Enjoy them and then see if you can locate where they are in the Gladstone Park neighborhood.
You park your car on the street one wintry night. It snows. A lot. You wake up the next day and spend backbreaking hours shoveling out your car and the space it’s in. Then you clear what the snowplow threw back on your work. Twice. For all your efforts, you claim the cleared space exclusively for your car for as long as there’s still snow on your block. After all, in a city where few renters have garages or even driveways, your street parking place is precious. So, of course, when you’ve gone to all the trouble of clearing it, it’s yours. That’s dibs…that time-honored Chicago winter tradition whereby drivers dig their cars out from the snow and then save the shoveled-out street parking spots for themselves by strategically leaving inventive place-holders in them every time they exit.