“They always called it the dairy.
“‘Come to the dairy,’ Deborah Clarkson would often say when she invited people to her home. She liked how the word contained the history of the house and of Chicago.
“We had the sense that we were keeping something alive,” she said the other day, standing in the sunlight outside the home she and her husband shared for 35 years. She looked around at the low walls, the old rose-hued brick, the row of linden trees shading the patio, all of it now towered over by one of the neighborhood’s modern mansions.
“She sighed. She and her husband were moving out and the dairy would soon be torn down.
“‘Buildings have so many lives,’ she said. ‘We were one of them. And they’re meant to have a lot of lives. They give a voice to the past.’
“But when the old dairy on North Howe Street in Chicago’s Lincoln Park vanishes, so will the past it represents, which is why today I want to give it a brief eulogy.”
“Imagine Chicago. Late 1981. Deborah and Ron Clarkson are in their 20s. He’s in construction, she’s an architect. On the weekends, they drive from their Evanston home into the city looking for a place they can afford to buy and fix up. One day, on a Lincoln Park street shared by longtime German residents and newer African American ones, they spot a long, low, decaying brick building with a black iron fence out front.
In the 1880s, the brick buildings that became the North Shore Dairy were erected as workers’ cottages. In the early 20th century, they merged to become the dairy. Farmers from outside the city carted milk in for bottling, and the bottles were then delivered by horse-drawn carriage….”
(Schmich, Chicago Tribune)