A Retro/Click Classic

                     Boys and Girls Clubs Summer Balls



1-scan_20170114-001  By Fiona Cavendish  




Mr. and Mrs. Charles Comiskey at the Summer Ball of 1960.


In the 1980’s, Chicago journalist and author Frank Sullivan published AVENUE M, a magazine that preceded CS and Michigan Avenue in addressing the interests of fashionable Chicago and its suburbs.

Three decades later, Classic Chicago pays tribute to AVENUE M and the style of picture spread the magazine popularized by printing photographs from a selection of years of the Boys and Girls Clubs Summer Ball. The collection features a who’s who of social Chicago, ranging from classic figures, with vivid identities that resonate today, to names and faces of those who continue to be active participants in the 21st century social whirl.    



Billy Marshall’s Band serenades, left to right, Mrs. Charles Comiskey, Mrs. Horace H. Cobb and Mrs. Warren Barr.



Mr. Collier Young and Mrs. Hall Adams sit one out on the stairway at an early Summer Ball during an era when everyone smoked.



Mr. and Mrs. Lester Armour.  Mrs. Armour, who was Princess Alexandra Galitzine in Pre Revolutionary Russia, became a Romanoff following her marriage to the former Czar’s nephew. She and the meat-packing company founder’s grandson married in 1954.  



Mrs. A. Watson Armour III talking with Mr. Kimball Salisbury, who was seated out of camera range above her on the steps. The late Mrs. Armour is legendary in many ways, including her extraordinary philanthropy to Lyric Opera, the Chicago Symphony and Ravinia Festival. The 1919 Steinway Grand Piano the talented musician received on her 10th birthday continues to be played during live jazz sessions on Friday and Saturday nights at the Tortoise Supper Club, owned by her grandson Keene Addington.



Mrs. Watson Armour’s father, General Robert E. Wood, with Mrs. Max Pray, was photographed at another Summer Ball of the era. General Wood was manager of logistics during the building of the Panama Canal and later pivotal president and chairman of Sears. Today his distinguished image hangs above the fireplace in the elegant Red Room of his great grandson’s Tortoise Supper Club.



Mrs. Charles M. Kittle was founding president of the Woman’s Board of Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. The year was 1949 and the name was then the Woman’s Auxiliary Board; the group launched the Summer Ball three years later at what was then Arlington Park Racetrack’s new Post and Paddock Club.



Mrs. Edward P. Doyle looks like a debutante in this Summer Ball photograph; however Charlotte was 100 years old when she died in March 2005.



Mr. and Mrs. P.D. Block, with Mr. Richard Snideman, right.



Admiral Corp founder Mr. Ross Siragusa, left, and Mr. Hosmer Morse, Jr.  


The Retro/Click series of evocative images will continue in Classic Chicago with a tribute to the work of popular Chicago photographer Robert F. Carl in our mid-week update next Wednesday, January 18.