Bucky Fuller's Home In Chicago Has Vanished! Where Is It? Help? i Can't Find!
June 18, 2011 8:19 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for Bucky Fuller's former residence in Chicago. There is nothing at the given address. Help?

I went to listed address today. It is recognized in some way by the city. There is no address. The block ends at "427 Belmont" It is a brick apartment with maybe an upper and lower but no numbers that show this. I asked a postman and business across the way and they had no clue. There is no "East Belmont" There is a photo taken of the propertyIt looks nothing like the building on the block. Also this is corner of building on left. The 427 address is corner on right. I left a comment on her Flicker page. I only have until Monday to see it. What's going on? What other options do I have? Chicagoean's, am I missing something here? Help?

P.S. Chicago is awesome!
posted by goalyeehah to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (13 answers total)
The Flickr picture is of this building at 740 W Belmont Ave.
posted by halogen at 8:45 PM on June 18, 2011

Here is Google's street view of 429 W. Belmont.
posted by amyms at 8:50 PM on June 18, 2011

The library should have old city directories and possibly old phone books in its reference section.
posted by brujita at 8:57 PM on June 18, 2011

I think there's some confusion somewhere, because another source says Fuller lived at 739 W. Belmont.
posted by amyms at 8:58 PM on June 18, 2011

amyms, I used Google to get me there.
posted by goalyeehah at 9:03 PM on June 18, 2011

That works with what halogen posted. Same building.
posted by goalyeehah at 9:04 PM on June 18, 2011

There are other Chicago addresses for Buckminster Fuller on this page. There should be a marker (a Chicago Tribute Marker of Distinction) at the site you're seeking, though.
This map gives the location as Belmont and Pine Grove. The lack of a house number may mean the building is gone. (I am not a Chicago person, just a busybody with poor sleep hygiene.)
posted by Francolin at 9:12 PM on June 18, 2011

I used the link above to check all the Chicago addresses where he is said to have lived.

426 W Belmont, as he knew it, is gone. Lake Shore Drive was built to Belmont (extended from downtown) in 1933, AFTER he lived there. Lots of smaller houses and apartment buildings were torn down and larger buildings put up around the new infrastructure of Lake Shore Drive.

739 W Belmont is a salon on the ground floor with studio apartments above. They're advertised as "vintage" so probably these are the ones he lived in.

840 W Belmont is right in the middle of a busy commercial area now, but there are still apartments there above the popcorn shop and the sex shop. They're loft studios, so again, not surprising to think that he lived there in the late 1920's.
posted by juniperesque at 9:31 PM on June 18, 2011

Just to expand the answer in a way you never asked for, Bucky Fuller also lived on the Carbondale campus of Southern Illinois University, in a geodesic dome. I visited him there once, and he explained his theory of interior decorating---mixing a three-legged Medieval wooden chair with a Princess phone etc,-- by saying the geometry of the structure itself tied them all together. I stayed nearly all day: That guy could talk! Apologies for the name-drop. He was fascinating.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 7:44 AM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

1- Don't believe Google's address to streetview conversion. It is close, but not exact.

2- Small streets like that aren't necessarily the end of the block, numbering wise.

3- 427 W Belmont is there, as you saw, and if I had to guess, it would be that this door (the next door west of 427) would be 429. IF that building is the right building. It seems old enough, but it is also possible 429 was knocked down to make that small street (Hudson).

4- It is even more possible that 429 is just the wrong number.

5- Lake Shore Drive is nearly a quarter mile away from that spot, if you look at the satellite view, you can see how it is unlikely anything was knocked down west of Sheridan on Belmont to build LSD.
posted by gjc at 8:29 AM on June 19, 2011

seconding gjc. google's streetview is usually about a half-block away from the actual address in chicago.

additionally, this block is going to be a high rise before too long. if you go a bit east, there's a sign for it those pictures are actually current, unlike other portions of google streetview.
posted by patricking at 9:04 AM on June 19, 2011

it is also possible 429 was knocked down to make that small street (Hudson).

No, those buildings have street-quality façades. The one you think is 427 is actually 437-459 W. Belmont, judging by the rental sign at the gated entryway of this classic U-shaped Chicago apartment building. These were created by agglomerating three (or more) city lots and building essentially three (or more) linked buildings and so they would actually have separate addresses despite sharing a single design and street façade.

I think the site is where this "Winchester" thing is now -- a pity, but only one of hundreds, if not thousands, of prewar housing stock that Chicago lost during the 90s and 2000s building boom.
posted by dhartung at 7:59 PM on June 19, 2011

DHartung - that's what is going to be built at 421-427. Signs are already in the windows.
posted by goalyeehah at 8:38 PM on June 19, 2011

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