Schlock Corridor - a Photo Portrait, with Visions for the Future
 -by Lynn Becker

A photo essay on the ineluctable charms of the Ontario Street corridor, and some of ideas of new concepts to add to it.



Related Links

   Helmut Jahn Design
   Rock n' Roll McDonalds -
    Old and New

   Chicago's Schlock Corridor
    Photo Portrait
    and Visions for the Future



You, Too, Can Create a Schlock Corridor Concept!

We're soliciting our readers to submit their suggestions for new attractions for Chicago's Schlock Corridor. They can be either text descriptions, or better yet, graphics. E-mail them to me and, unless they look like something I'll be sued for, they'll be posted promptly.

For inspiration, you can draw upon the above images, and these four initial concepts:

The Log Cabin IHOP. Drawing on the city's Lincolnian heritage, the Log Cabin IHOP offers up a genuine replica of the humble structure in which the rutti-tutti-fresh & fruity breakfast was born in 1828.

The Best Western Roach Motel. The current Best Western on Ohio is transformed into The River North Roach Motel, where the room décor includes lenticular wallpaper that provides the illusion of hoards of bugs scampering desperately away from the light. The concrete pillars of the open ground floor parking are replaced with the giant legs of a gargantuan, carbon-fiber cockroach whose thorax supports the floors above it. The building's facades are repainted in the style of Roach Motel packaging.

The Gameroom Wal-Mart, Its exterior design whimsically modeled after a Dickensian debtor's prison, this new kind of warehouse store makes shopping a game where customers race to snap up affordable low-priced goods faster than plummeting wages put them out of reach.

The Grand Guignol Wendy's, where marzipan fingers, toes, ears, and noses pop up like Cracker Jack prizes in randomly selected Value Menu servings. The blob architecture of the building evokes both the exploding waistlines of its patrons and the plaque build-up within their arteries. Its fanciful, 40-foot-high animated LED sign depicts a customer of Hogarthian girth being revived by a defibrillator.

See? How could you not do better than the above four lame concepts?

For further inspiration, here's more images from the Schlock Corridor:

Vintage 1950's design - an original, not a reproduction.

The rooftop dining area of the new McDonald's

Guaranteed to give little children nightmares.

The Wall of Fame at the Sports Authority

During the day, Schlock Corridor looks a bit grim and forced.

The classic Chicago Four-Plus-One reborn as a motel

Stanley Tigerman's post-modernist Commonwealth Edison substation. Along with his neoclassical Hard Rock Cafe,right next store, these two buildings actually offer up witty, intelligent architecture, which makes them noncontributing structures to the Schlock Corridor.



© Copyright 2005-2006 Lynn Becker All rights reserved.