Monthly Archives: May 1935

May 2, 1935 “I hope my brains are waterproof.”

May 2, 1935 “I hope my brains are waterproof.”

May 2, 1935

My Sweets:

Since I do not have anything better to do in lunchtime today I will start this letter to you.

So, what happened this week. Friday evening for Shabbat I was at Samuels and met Mr. Eggener. His trunks have not arrived here yet [from Germany] and I am looking forward to the cookies. He tasted them and said they are very good. Well, the later I receive them the longer will I enjoy them. Rudy Gerson, from Dresden, was there again too.

Cole Bros Circus

We walked for one hour towards home and then wanted to take the I.C. [Illinois Central electric train]. After waiting for ½ hour for a train, we left to take the streetcar. Just as we left a train came. It was warm but raining and I did not get home until 2:00 a.m. Nuts!

Saturday I went to the dentist and then a little shopping. At 2:00 p.m. I met Flora Mae and “kinder-Fraulein” [governess, nanny] in the office and the 4 of us went to the circus. This was the 1st time Flora Mae went to a circus. We all 4 enjoyed It very much. It was really a nice change.

We listened to the president on the radio

Leonard and I took a nice walk afterwards, ate a good supper and went to the office. While I wrote an English letter to Ilse Niederman, Leonard slept in his chair. At 10:00 p.m. Alfred and Luise Hamburger came and we talked until 2:00 a.m. It was very relaxing.


FDR Fireside Chat - Click on image for YouTube

Sunday, April 28, the weather was bad and I slept all day. I read the papers for about 3 hours and it was 9:00 p.m. before we went to eat. At 10:00 we listened to the president on the radio.

Monday evening I went again to the dentist. Since he is on the same floor as Leonard’s office, I waited and we went to eat together. Then he went back to the office and I walked home, visited with Mrs. Saunders for about 1 hour and then to bed.

Sunbathing without spectators

I like this room so much better than the other one. The sun shines in so very nice that I can lay on my bed and get fresh air and light and sunbathe without having to be afraid that I might have spectators.

Tuesday night I was at Aunt Henny’s again. She had a very bad cold, so I got her some aspirin and made her go to bed.

How Henny earns her money

I finally found out how she earns her money. She gets people to sign contracts for home remodeling, painting, etc., and she gets a commission for each agreement she gets. She also works for another outfit selling land along the lake for summer and weekend homes. She gets a little money daily and of course commission on every sale.

[Continued 5/3 at lunchtime]

Trudel answers her father’s questions

First I am going to answer dear Dad’s nice letter dated 4/7. I hope the cigar you were smoking while writing it agreed well with you.

Aunt Henny was delighted with your beautiful birthday card.

There were more votes for Grace Gray than we had expected, but it was not published. Leonard has had too much experience with his own election campaigns so he will not take money for his speeches but does it only for his own convictions.

Yogi Fned

Yogi Fined

Yesterday he received the newspaper you sent [about a German yogi]. Our Yogi is really not such a magician. Yogi Roy [LJG’s client] uses only herbs for healing. He himself is a vegetarian. He only got a fine of $100 while some papers thought he would go to jail for several years. The judge in that case got many insults in the newspapers.

It was really Leonard’s work that made him set such a light sentence. When you compare [Frankfurt attorney] Bruno Fürst with Leonard you are not wrong. I too have made that comparison. But please only in their professions, not in private life, thank G’d.

About my finances I think I have given you explanations. Everything is reciprocal.

At that Atheist Club we went only once for fun and my drinking is not nearly as bad as it sounds. Since that Sunday with the Bishops I have been very sober.

The going to bed so late is in my opinion a family sickness. You really read my letter thoroughly even between the lines!

Ripley's Believe it or not

By Ripley

I wrote before that Marie Bing was trying to find me a job. My old boss, Gus Bing, her husband, is also working.

You asked what means “by Ripley” on the newspaper clipping. Mr. Ripley finds out very unusual things and has them in the newspaper daily.

Frankfurters are of course frankfurter sausages, a very much enjoyed food here. Now I think I have answered all your questions. My lunchtime is almost over.

Yesterday I had a postcard from Baden-Baden on Easter Sunday. Did you have nice weather? Here it was beautiful.

They do not keep Good Friday or Easter Monday here. Only Sunday was a holiday.

At Samuels’ last week I saw a business card from “Allgemeine” presented by Lotte Adler. I hope that means a raise in salary.

Now continue my weekly report. I was Tuesday night at Aunt Henny’s. Sure hope she is O.K. again and am glad I did not catch anything from her.

Now I am sitting again in a streetcar on my way to Samuels. After it was so hot and dry last week that I feared my brains would dry out, today it is miserably raining, snowing and cold. I hope my brains are waterproof.

Click on Image for YouTube

Last Wednesday I was again at the dentist. Although he is nice and careful, I keep thinking of Dr. Samuel in Frankfurt, comparing his nice big office with this little room and equipment. As usual after I had my 2 fillings done I waited for Leonard and we went to eat together.

Afterwards we saw a very good movie at the Chicago Theater, “Go Into Your Dance” with Al Jolson. Although he appeared as a Negro in part of the film I like him best of all the movie actors.

Chicagp Theater

Chicago Theater

The rest of the program was excellent too with a fantastic violinist etc. It is really a special treat to go to the Chicago Theater. It costs a little more than other movies but it is really worth the difference. As you notice neither one of us has money to spare, but we both manage to get along with what we earn.

I am just now passing the fairground from last year. Too bad it is all over.

Did Max Wolfe ever write to Alfred Hamburger?

By the way, Julius Seckbach and Isi Koesterlitz are now living in the same boarding house.

Yesterday, Thursday, we worked only until 3:00 p.m. Since the weather was miserable, I went straight home, did some laundry, sewed a little. I went out to eat and right home again, lengthened my raincoat with the help of electric tape, gave myself a shampoo, manicure, pedicure and went to sleep at 11:30 p.m.

I think I have sleeping sickness (G’d forbid). No matter when I get to sleep and get up I am always tired. Maybe it’s spring fever. I am yawning again, by the way. Doris K. wrote me some time ago that my sisters had promised to call her!! Now I am going to sleep a little. I hope I will wake up before I have to get off [the street car]. That has happened to me already.

Weils, Samuels, Aunt Henny all send their best regards. Please remember me to the whole meshpoche and friends.

Your ever loving daughter and sister,

PS Special regards to Liss.
It would be nice to get a letter from my sisters again sometime.

PPS What kind of postage stamp was on the envelope with the newspaper? Was it something special? Somebody had taken it off before Leonard received it.

On April 28, 1935 President Roosevelt gave a radio broadcast on the WPA and Social Security. The link above is edited. The complete broadcast can be found in two parts as follows:
President Roosevelt’s April 28, 1935 Fireside Chat on the economy: Part 1
President Roosevelt’s April 28, 1935 Fireside Chat on the economy: Part 2


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May 11, 1935 – “All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed.”

May 11, 1935 – “All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed.”

May 11, 1935

My beloved Love Ones!

Often I wish time would not go so fast so I would not have to write you so often.

The cookies, which I received Friday night, were gone by Monday. They were delicious, of course not enough. One half of them we ate already by Friday night at Samuels. I almost thought there would not be any left for me to take home.

What ever happened to mother’s jet dress? I wrote you a couple of times that we could use it very well here.

Slot Machine

I ate so many cookies on Saturday morning that I could not eat any breakfast. At 3:00 pm I finally had some hot chocolate and a little toast. After that I lay on my bed in beautiful sunshine. Later I picked up Leonard for supper.

On the way home we found a different slot machine that we had not seen before. I decided to try my luck for a change and won 55 cents. Of course about 1/3 of it went back into the machine.

Sunday after sleeping late I went to the “south side” for the bris of the newest Samuel baby. The father, Fritz, is the youngest of the 4 Samuel children. Leonard came later with Flora Mae. We ate as usual in the Madison Park Hotel and afterwards saw a movie, “Life begins at 40.”

Life Begins at 40

Click Image for YouTube

On Monday we worked only until 3:00 pm. It was miserable rainy weather so I had nothing better to do than to go to a movie again: “The Night is Young” after a novel by Vicky Baum and playing in Vienna. The main actor was Ramon Navarro and a small part played by Hermann Bing, brother of Gus.

Then I picked up Leonard and we met Louise and Alfred Hamburger. She is giving lectures to new German refugees on American literature. It was really very interesting.

Afterwards we went to the room of a lady in the same hotel and had very interesting conversation. In 10 years Leonard has not heard as much German as that evening.

The Night is Young

Click image to see trailer

Tuesday night I was at Aunt Henny’s. She moved into a nice, quiet hotel for the same amount of money. Wednesday I stayed home, ate dinner with Mrs. Saunders and went to sleep at 9:00 pm.

Do you remember the red sweater I started to make for Ellen? I ripped it all and made it very pretty, all new.

Thursday I ate at Fritz and Bertl Samuel. I am altering a hat for the new mother. Fritz worked in FFM at the “Flôrsheimer Stiftung” [Florsheim Foundation] Addie Eggner worked several years at Sigmund Strauss Jr. and the 3 of us talked about a lot of Frankfurters.

Both young men know Alex from the “Stift” although Fritzis much younger. He and Addie used to go often to Wehrheim to sell goods. Addie sends his best regards to Doddo [Trudel’s sister] and thanks her for the letter. He thinks you really should find time to write to me and described you as a “light blond goyishe girl.” What about that “light blond?”

By the way do you still have so much trouble with your stomach? I found a very cheap easy cure. From all that not so good restaurant food my stomach was in pretty bad shape. Now I drink a cup of very warm water with just a little sugar first thing every morning. At first I did not like it, but now I got used to It and my stomach is fine. After that I eat 3 or 4 cooked prunes with milk or cream.

Frozen Cream on Top

By cream I mean what is on top of the milk in the bottle. One can get milk here only in bottles, homogenized and does not need to be cooked. Just try my prescription for a little while and you will have no need for other medicine. Good Luck! Maybe you will feel so much better that you will write me more often.

Now back to my itinerary. Friday night again I went to the senior Samuels. Tomorrow, Mother’s Day, they will be married 40 years. I gave them a very pretty salad serving set and salt and pepper shakers. When they scolded me for spending my hard earned money I declared that I wanted to give to a mother who deserved something for Mother’s Day. After all she is the “mother” of a bunch of young people. As always, the meal was very, very good. Too bad we live so far away from each other. Maybe it is just as well. If I would eat there too often I would gain a lot of weight.

Mr. Eggener has not found a job yet also. All of us are trying to help him. It is always very hard to find work until one speaks better English.

Today I went downtown early to pay Leonard’s phone bill, then I spent $4 for a collar, cuffs, belt and some flowers to make the blue dress and coat look new.



Since [For] 3 days we were having gorgeous summer weather, but now it is starting to rain.

I am writing this in the office after dinner. Leonard is sound asleep in his chair again. The poor guy did not get home until 4:00 am every night this week and had to be in court at 10:00 am every morning. I do not know how he could do that if he did not sleep here 1 or 2 hours in between sometimes.

I really have to try to get more sleep too. I got a good start on Wednesday. All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed and sewed, washed and ironed a little.

Shirley Temple Paper Dolls

Shirley Temple Paper Dolls

We are invited for Mrs. Gray’s birthday on the 22nd. At the same time they are opening their “roof garden” for the summer season. That is when I want to look very nice. I have no idea what I should wear. Hopefully I will have that pullover sweater ready by then. It would look nice with my white linen suit.

Shirly Temple Paper Clothes

When will I receive a photo of Ernst? Did you receive the underwear? Do not forget Erna Grünebaum’s birthday on the 25th. I will send her a Shirley Temple “paper doll” with paper clothes. I hope it arrives safely.

When do I get answers to my letters? I asked weeks ago what was wrong with Steffie O? I am giving up hope that my sisters will answer. At least my dear Papa writes to me now and then. What else is new?

I do not know any more to write.

Love and kisses
Trudel and Leonard

I am trying to learn more about the “Flôrsheimer Stiftung” or “Stift.” Flôrsheim is a city in the mountains near Frankfort. There also appears to have been a Flôrsheim street in Frankfurt. In my research, I discovered Dr. Max Scholl was a chemist who built a business specialzing in the chemical treatment of leather in Flôrsheim. Since Trudel’s sister and her boyfriend were in the leather business, there may have been a connection. Dr. Scholl’s tragic story is told in a series of letters in a 1997 NYTimes article Dear Cousin Julius, We Trust on Our God and on You…’

There does not appear to be any connection to Dr. Scholl’s shoes or to the Florsheim shoe company which was founded in Chicago in 1892.


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May 18, 1935 – You know that I am one year in the USA yesterday.

May 18, 1935 – You know that I am one year in the USA yesterday.

My Dear Ones,

Bubele’s letter arrived this morning just in time, otherwise this letter would sound very different.

I am very happy everything arrived on time and fitted OK. The photo is very nice. I always liked you with your hair parted in the middle.

The clipping from your paper about the fire in Rogers Park is correct, only they did already find the person who set the fire. The trial is not over yet.  



I received a postal card from “Fuchstanz.” I do miss those Sunday hikes. But there are so many beautiful parks here, which I like a lot.

What gray hat was Liss trying to fix? And what new dress are you wearing in the photo? I had a thin light brown skirt made to wear with that new pullover next Wednesday. Only buttons still have to be sewed on.

Is anything I planted on mother’s grave still there? Do not worry about Dr. Samuel. As soon as I have a little extra I will send it to him.

You know that I am one year in the USA yesterday.

You ask what Julius S. said to Aunt Jenny. Practically nothing! I really did not want to listen to him and got rid of him as quickly as possible.

Which Hilde Mayer is going to South America or Africa? My girlfriend?

What gives you the idea that Eddy and Gwen might not be married? I think I wrote you that they will be married 1 year very soon.


Postcard from Fuchstanz

I do not know if it is an American custom to sew in bed in the evening, but I like to do it.

Have not heard from Werthahn again.

That I am a little piggy is nothing new really. The reason I took so much at one time to the cleaner is the fact that I saved quite a bit of money that way. Almost ½ the price.

Smarty Ernale, if you had mailed that letter 6 days earlier it would have been here before your boss. This way I did not receive it until 5 days afterwards.

I was very upset when I came home Monday night about 10:00 pm. I had been at home until 7:45 pm, when Mrs. Saunders and I went downtown to see a very interesting slide show from the company where Aunt Henny works.

When we came home I found the calling card from Stefan Demuth with a few lines. He had been there at about 8:45 and would have liked to talk to me. Sorry I do not have such a good nose. I called the number he gave me the next day at noon. Talked to a very nice, polite lady who told me to call again at 6:30 pm, which I did. We talked together for only a few minutes. He was sorry he could not get together with me. He was going to leave that evening and wanted to make several more phone calls. Actually he was only about 24 hours in Chicago and I think it was very nice of him to stop by my place. He will tell you all about it but I was terribly upset of course.

I do not understand exactly why Papa waited three weeks before answering my letter. But I am very happy that he did answer it. I wish my sisters would follow his good example and write me once in a while.

Were those shoes that got soaked waterproofed?

So now those are answers to your letter.

Now for my weekly report. This is about the 50th letter I have been writing to you! Correct?

Click on image for Youtube

Last Sunday we ate a light dinner instead of breakfast. That is the custom in the South where Leonard comes from. It was a nice change and tasted real good. Then we as usual picked up Flora Mae and since she begged us we went again to Beryl and Fritz Samuel. She was so anxious to see the new baby again.

We walked a little and then took Flora Mae home. We walked a little more and I saw for the first time the ex Mrs. Leonard Grossman.

We then rode downtown and tried to decide where to eat. We finally went in a place and there Mr Isi Kosterlitz was sitting at the first table. We sat and he had to see us when he left. He was so shocked to see me again after 4 months that he left without paying after he stopped and talked to us a few minutes. He did come back soon to pay. And I won a pound of nuts. Leonard made a bet that he would not come back and I said he would. Of course I won.

Afterwards we went to see “Cardinal Richelieu” – excellent movie with George Arliss, one of the best current movie actors. In order to cool off we stopped for ice cream on the way home. Almost every evening I have ice cream for dessert.

3 bridges

Three Bridges

Monday morning I came just at the right time to work to see all the bridges over the Chicago River, open at the same time. Some were opening, some closing and the one in the middle all the way open. These draw-bridges are on every street so the bigger ships can go through. On Michigan Avenue the bridge has 2 stories. I was the last person to get across that morning. They were just waiting for me. 20 minutes later, when I looked out of the window, they were all closed again. Just imagine how easy it is to miss a train or appointment, if caught with an opening bridge. They are not on any schedule. They just toot their horns when they want to go through.

Bridges Open

Tuesday evening as usual with Mrs. Saunders.

Then I went to Mrs. Rose Lamarque, my dressmaker. Next morning, before I went to work, to buy some material. In the evening I went again to Bertl S. and for the first time in a long time played cards. Did not go home so late.

Michigan Avenue Bridge

Michigan Avenue Bridge

That by the way is the newest news.

Since 2 weeks, I go earlier to sleep.

Thursday again supper with Mrs Saunders, dressmaker, and 10:00 p.m., bed.

Last night as always on Friday at Samuel seniors. Home a little later – and such a long way – because I would sleep late today. From noon to 2:30 pm at Mrs. Lamarque just schmoozing. Then a haircut, shampoo in my room, and lying in bright sunshine on my bed – I am surprised I do not have sunburn yet – Crocheting.

[Then] fix my hair as nice as possible, get dressed, go downtown to Leonard’s office, eat a very good supper together of course. Now he is sound asleep again. Actually that is the best time for me to write letters.

Aunt Henny visited Mrs. Saunders yesterday and they talked about me for 2 hours. I would really like to know what Stefan Demuth had to say. Honestly — about my living quarters and my landlord Mr. Silver. The latter was avery astonished how well Demuth speaks English, after I explained to him who he is.

Next time you expect some body to come to Chicago please give them my phone number. Delaware 5425. Also Leonard’s office address and phone number. He can usually be reached in his office and knows where I can be found.

A few years ago chain letters were in style in Germany. Now they are big here. I got one too and mailed it to 5 other people. Wonder how many 5 cents I will get. Some people started chain letters with $1 and $5, but that is too much for me. It will take at least 3 weeks before the money may trickle in.

And now my very dear ones I hope to get mail from you soon again. For today I am sending you uncountable greetings and kisses,

Your loving Trudel

Best regards to Liss and all friends and relatives. How is Herr flying Heinrich?

Letter from LJG to Lotta and Erna, 5/18/1935

Dear Lotte and Erna,

They say the way to a man’s heart is thru his stomach, so a good cook is sure to win her man.
But the Adler sisters don’t have to win me by cooking. I knew and loved Trudel without ever knowing even to this day if she can cook water without burning it.


And in this country a man’s sweetheart is called is “sweet cookie.” [Drawing of hearts.] So it was appropriate and fine and wonderfully thoughtful of you all to send those sweet cookies to my “sweet cookie” and me. I just couldn’t eat enough of them – so I ate too many. Just ate, and ate, and ate your sweet cookies with my sweet cookie. And I want to thank you for every cookie you sent, and for those that may some day come – can I thank you in advance?

So Erna – before your picture – so lovely and gracious – arrived, your cookies – Trudel – the unbaked one- sweeter even than the ones you baked – and the baked ones – had won my heart completely – as Lotte – your dear and beautiful picture had won me long before.

But you know – if a man wants to stay on the safe side a lawyer’s advice is “Do right and fear no man.” Also, “Don’t right {write) and fear no woman.” Now if I write and sign myself “yours truly,” and I am not truly yours, you can sue me for breach of promise. But this week in Illinois the law against breach of promise was passed – so broken hearted ladies are out of luck from now on.

Of course I am not exactly yours truly, because I am all Trudel’s. But she tells me that what is hers is yours. So maybe a small piece of my heart is fastened in Frankfurt by your gracious pictures and the loving thoughts of your Father and all his dear ones. So please give him my love and keep some of it – each of you – for yourselves. I have given all the rest of my heart to darling Trudel – so I can only give you the small diagram of it with the arrow of our love on the other side.
Devotedly your (?)

The photographs of the bridges were taken by Trudel from the window of the millinery place where she was working. If you look closely at the one captioned “Three Bridges,” you can see all three are in motion. The one on the right is just about closed. The one in the middle is just past its peak and the left bridge is opening. A boat has just moved past the middle bridge. In the other photo, the boat is to the right of the middle bridge.


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May 25, 1935 – I think my letters are even more detailed than a diary.

May 25, 1935 – I think my letters are even more detailed than a diary.

May 25, 1935

Sherman House Stationery

My Sweet Sweets:

I am real fancy tonight. I am sitting at a nice desk in the Hotel Sherman while Leonard went to the barber shop to make him look his best. We are going to Gray’s later and we want to look real nice. Actually he always does.

I never thought I would keep a diary here but I think my letters are even more detailed than a diary.

Well, last Saturday we spent most of the night in the office. We even ate breakfast downtown before going home. Sunday I slept all day and we did not meet until 8:00 p.m. for supper.

Monday dinner at Mrs. Saunders. I finished the pullover from the ripped sweater and started a hat for myself.


H. Horwitz Co,

On Tuesday we met downtown for breakfast. I took a beautiful silver vase Leonard bought for Mrs. Gray to have it engraved at Horwitz’s, the company Aunt Henny worked for at the fair. Dinner at Mrs. Saunders. Finished my hat, made 2 flowers and 1 bud similar to what I made at my test in the trade school. Wednesday I had to wait for 1 hour until the engraving was finished.

Wednesday: Dinner at Mrs. Saunders again. Change clothes: brown shoes, beige hose, beige new skirt, new crocheted sweater with hat to match, brown pocketbook, long beige kid gloves and navy blue coat. At 9:00 pm we went to Gray’s. I think I really looked very nice and never knew brown and beige would look that good on me.

We had some real nice warm days, but naturally that Wednesday when the birthday party was planned to be on the roof garden it was colder and raining. The party was anyhow very nice. I followed Papa’s good advice and had only 1 beer, 1 cocktail and a cup of black coffee.

I saw Len only when he brought me a plate with bread and cold cuts. He was sitting as far from me as possible with a few ladies and I far away with a few nice men, all kinds of professions including a newspaper reporter. It was very interesting and nice. We took 2 ladies home on our way. Leonard was trying to apologize for not being with me all evening but I assured him that for us 2 to be together we do not have to go to such a party. We went there to meet other people.


Double Decker

Please excuse my bad writing and making everything as short as possible. I am anxious to have this finished by the time Leonard comes back.

Enclosed I am sending you a petal of a rose I swiped and pinned on my bosom. It smells so wonderful, I want you to have a little part of it.

More explanation about Gray’s penthouse will follow with my next letter. It is too hard to do now. One of the nice things at Gray’s party is the fact we did not go home so very late. We left there already shortly after midnight. As a result I was not any more tired on Thursday than I am usually.

(Leonard has no car. He mostly takes taxis. He drove some years ago but had an accident and will not drive any more. I do not know what really happened, since I noticed he does not want to talk about it.)



Thursday: Ate again with Mrs. Saunders. We did want to go to a movie but the 4 films showing in our neighborhood we did not want to see – either one of us had seen it already or it did not sound good. So we saved our money and went to bed at 10:30 pm after doing some very neglected

Yesterday, Shabbos, I was again at Samuels and did not get home until 1:00 am. I often have that trouble going home from there.

Going I had a beautiful ride on the upper deck of a double decker bus, along the parks and the lake. The “Palmengarten” is very beautiful but no comparison with these parks for miles and miles. The Chicagoans do not really appreciate that beauty.

Sherman House

Sherman Hotel

Today I slept late, visited with Mrs. Saunders for 2 hours, then sitting in the sun on my bed I altered a dress and a hat, took off cape collar from my coat (it is too warm now), went downtown and picked up Leonard. Now after a good dinner I am sitting here in the lobby of the Sherman House, as I mentioned before. In the meantime only a toothache joined me.

I am glad Leonard left his fountain pen with me, otherwise I would have had to stop writing a long time ago. But that is it now. I am getting writer’s cramp, because I am trying to write real fast.

So now more next week.

A million greetings and kisses

Your Nudelsupp
[Noodle soup – A nickname for Trudel.]

At the end of this page of her translations, Trudel wrote:
Comment: Now that I have translated the letters of my first year in Chicago I will pick out only the highlights. You all know that I eat and sleep every day. It is really not important when or where. From here on it goes “diary style,” only different or interesting occurrences.

In the 1960s, many years later, Trudel would herself work at H. Horwitz Co. at 36 S. State Street in Chicago’s Loop.


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