Our new baby…The Bank on Broadway

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We have been working, quietly, hopefully, since September on a truly amazing new project.

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The story goes like this…

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In 1920, the automobile had just been introduced, and buying a car was an incredible luxury.

The experience of shopping for a car was the ultimate lavish experience – you were to be transported into a whole new world of beauty and wealth as you entered into a “showroom”.

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In Chicago, on North Broadway, at the end of Lake Shore Drive, Automobile Row was built.

To show off it’s glorious new autos, Chrysler designed an amazing French and Italian Gothic architectural palace, composed of two massive ballrooms, carved columns and columnettes, curved wrought iron staircases, fountains, crested fireplaces, juliet balconies and more.

It’s like a mini French Chateau.

Smack dab in the middle of a beautiful, leafy, tree filled residential neighborhood.

In Chicago all I could compare this to is The Drake Hotel’s Gold Coast Room.

Simply magnificent.

Then, the stock market crashed, 1929. The Great Depression lasted ten long years, and buying a car fell by the wayside.

 

Here’s a sneak peek of the original terrazzo floors we’ve been restoring – they were covered in commercial carpet, layers and layers of glue.  It took two weeks just to remove the glue – talk about a human mouse trap – our shoes are still sticky.

 

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After Chrysler closed the dealership, this beautiful building then became a furniture store, an antique store complete with a full size carousel, an art gallery.

 

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The carved limestone and terracotta facade is incredible.

I could sit and stare at all these beautiful almost 100 year old “Putti Head” faces, Egg and Dart and Bead and Reel carvings for hours.

And, I have.

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The exterior is – literally – wait for it – rose quartz – the official Pantone color of 2016.

Gasp.

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So, here’s what happened next.

The neighborhood alderman is a genius.

As the building sat, vacant, with many national retail chains wanting to turn it into the next Walgreens or CVS, the alderman thought about how to properly bring this original 1920s Chicago gem back to life.

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And, through a stroke of pure luck, he thought of us.

Lil’ old A Perfect Event.

He called, he asked us to meet him and help him with a new neighborhood project.

That’s all we knew.

No other info.

We were intrigued.

We looked at our calendar, and thought – ugggh – do we really have time to drive ALL to the end of Lake Shore Drive to help an alderman with a pet project, not even inside our Lakeview community?

But, to know me, is to know how much I love projects.

So, we pulled up, we walked in, and we fell in love.

Our jaws dropped, even with commercial carpeting and old furniture scattered all about, blck drapes in windows.

All we saw – in our heads – was this.

 

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The beauty we could create in this building.

The architecture and grand details that we could restore, step by step, to bring this landmark back to life.

In the 70s, the building became a bank – and in fact the vaults are still intact.

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We’ll be finishing up restoration this month – and then – watch out – we’re launching this gorgeous space to share with community, Chicago, and celebrations to infinity.

Photos – Roots of Life Photography

Florals – A Perfect Event

 

Join us for Brides Bubbles and Bliss!

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Finally – it’s here!

Join us for Brides, Bubbles and Bliss this Wednesday, March 26th, 6:00 pm, inside Chicago’s legendary Union Station.

We are sharing all things trendy for weddings 2014 in our reception lounge – linen, flowers, stationery, favors and so much more!

So beautiful.

Plus, we’ve crafted up five brand new custom craft cocktails with our favorite local Chicago vodka – Real Russian.

So delicious.

Can’t wait to see you then…two more days!

DIY Wedding Trends on WGN Around Town, Wednesday 7:45-10am

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Wake up with us this Wednesday on WGN’s Around Town, from 7:45 – 10am as we share 2014’s Cool Colors and Pretty Palettes for Weddings and Parties.
We’re styling up BBJLinen and Tablescapes Event Rentals Hot Trends
Plus peeks inside Pure Kitchen Catering’s Global Menus
City View Loft’s Meet the Experts Party Sneak Peek

Victoria Sdoukos Custom Couture gorgeous gowns and so much more!

Tune into WGN, Around Town, 7:45-10am this Wednesday!

photo: AveryHouse

Brides to be, join us for our Meet the Experts Party, this Wednesday

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Please say I do…
Brides to be, join us for the Meet the Experts Wedding Trends Party this Wednesday, January 21st.
 
With our friends from CS Brides Magazine, Pure Kitchen Catering, BBJLinen, Tablescapes Party Rental, Victoria Sdoukos Custom Couture, Toni Patisserie, Black Dog Gelato, A Perfect Event and many others, we will answer all of your wedding planning and design questions, sharing the inside scoop on how to maximize your wedding design and budget.

And, no matter where you like, our live stream social media feeds allow our favorite brides all across the country to join right in on the fun – plan those questions now, please!
 
Wednesday, January 22nd
6:30 – 8:30 pm
City View Loft
324 N. Leavitt Street
Chicago, Illinois

 RSVP to meettheexpertsRSVP@bettiebombpr.com

Can’t wait to see you this week – to celebrate and design the wedding of your dreams together.

photo: Carasco Photography

 

 

 

Phantom of the Opera, Paris

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He lives and breathes.

Le Fantome de l’Opera.

 

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As I stepped through oversize, gilded doorways, and arches, and marble staircases, snapping away at every single square inch of Paris’ famous, incredible Palais Garnier Opera, his spirit and presence, magically captured in each photograph.

These images – which I thought were so clear and magnificent capturing the exquisite decor…so hauntingly beautiful.

 

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I first fell in love with the gothic Phantom of the Opera, by French writer Gaston Leroux back in college.

 

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I was studying at Richmond College in London, and instantly fell in LOVE one night upon seeing the Andrew Lloyd Webber version live onstage.

 

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I couldn’t wait to see the Paris Opera myself, up close and in person.

 

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The story opens in Paris in 1911 at an auctioning of the contents of the Paris Opera House.

The contents include a fabulous chandelier in which the auctioneer proceeds to tell the story of the legend of the Phantom of the Opera.

 

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Suddenly you are transported back a time when the Paris Opera House was at the height of its powers.

 

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At that time, the opera house is, claimed by many, inhabited by a phantom.

 

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If he is in anyway offended or annoyed then he will cause mayhem in the opera house.

 

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The phantom decides to help a lowly chorus girl, Christine, by giving her music lessons through the wall of her dressing room.

He pretends to be the spirit of her dead father, and eventually she becomes a talented singer who is then thrust into the limelight.

 

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Phantom worships Christine and is determined to make her a star.

When she isn’t given the lead in the new opera, he is angry, and decides to cause chaos in the opera house.

You tell me…

Do you still see him?

 

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