Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Addovolt Explorations: (re)Purposeful

This month, we wanted to talk about places that started out as one thing but ended up as something else entirely.

The fascinating locations that we feature in this quick doc are mostly Windy City sites (The Chicago Cultural Center, Andersonville's Brown Elephant, The Essanay Building, The Ghost Church of Pilsen, and Wicker Park's Vitamin Vault) with one exception (the Traverse City Commons in Michigan).

Three narrators because why not?:  Nancy Quint (history buff and my mother!), co-director Jack Syron, and writer-director Derek Quint.

This month's edition of Addovolt Explorations, "(re)Purposeful", is a little bit longer than the usual quick docs but there was a lot of ground to cover (literally).  The video is HERE on YouTube.  Still photos from this project are below.

The other Addovolt Explorations are HERE.

co-director and narrator Jack Syron (and some random customers in the background) focusing on health at the Vitamin Vault

most places that sell 8 different flavors of Doritos don't have ornate ceilings or skylights but the Vitamin Vault Walgreens--a former bank--isn't a typical drug store

old-school drugstore artifacts displayed within the Vitamin Vault

Jack checking the milligrams

view of Pilsen's Ghost Church from 19th Street

the peak of the steeple showing modern reinforcements

a protective shield covers the crucifix; the building is more of an historic brick shell than anything else by this point

still holds up:  a view of the church from Peoria Street

The former Essanay movie studio is now a series of residences

terracotta embellishments framing the front entrance

historical plaque describing the building's history

a slot hatch on the side of the Essanay building (is this where silent movie actors would drop their headshots?  probably not)

the original use of this address on Clark Street is clear from the words above the top window

chipped murals on the walls behind shelves selling used books

director Derek Quint, oblivious to his surroundings

performance art:  ragged but still charming details within the main (former) auditorium space

Traverse City Commons was an expansive asylum that's been rehabbed for multiple current uses

one of the abandoned buildings in the back on the Traverse Commons complex tagged, appropriately, with "Cruel Summer" in pastel pink

American Gothic:  some structures at the Commons are still on the to-do list when it comes to repairs

 narrator Nancy Quint goes full-on Nancy Drew outside one of the abandoned houses at the Commons; the over-the-top "KEEP OUT" sign couldn't be more perfect

The Chicago Cultural Center used to be a (ridiculously lavish) library

intricate tilework on one of the main staircases

quotes from classic authors are in mosaics all over the building; this one reads:  "A good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life."--Milton

and last but not least:  the ceiling of the Preston Bradley Hall inside the Chicago Cultural Center

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