Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  David Anthony Witter  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: in Miller, Indiana

Sites:


Illinois Connection

David grew up in Lincoln Park in the '70's. He graduated from Columbia College (B. A. in writing), and Northeastern Illinois University (B. A. in education).

Biographical and Professional Information

David Anthony Witter is a Chicago based writer, photographer, and teacher of English and Special Education. Besides Oldest Chicago, his work has appeared in the Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Living Blues, New City ,Fra Noi The Chicago Reader, The Bay Area Music Magazine, and entries in the Italian-American Experience, an Encyclopedia and BluesSpeak, The Best of the Chicago Blues Annual. Upcoming works include Be-Bop, Swing, and Bella Musica, The History of Italians in Jazz, with William Dal Cerro.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Oldest Chicago
ISBN: 1893121445

Lake Claremont Press. 2011

Dozens of the oldest local treasures in Chicago and its suburban and exurban areas are highlighted in this guide, which includes

icons such as the city's oldest business, Peacock Jewelers

Merz Apothecary

tavern Schaller’s Pump

the Biograph Theater

and

drive-in, Superdawg. Remarkable for having survived demolition and extinction for decades, these beloved landmarks have also helped define the city’s landscape, offering continuity and civic identity across generations. With Chicago having lost Marshall Field’s, Carson Pirie Scott, and many more historic

gems

in recent years,

this book is also a reminder of the value of these familiar faces and a call to preserve them for a future sense of place.

Oldest Chicago is about the places that have survived the passage of time.
Oldest business: Peacock Jewelers (1838)

oldest apothecary: Merz Apothecary (1875)

oldest tavern: Schaller's Pump (1889)

oldest theater: the Biograph Theater (1914)

and oldest drive-in restaurant: Superdawg (1948). In Oldest Chicago, journalist David Witter highlights dozens of the oldest local treasures in Chicago and its suburban and exurban areas. Remarkable for having survived demolition and extinction for decades, these beloved landmarks have also helped define our city's landscape, offering continuity and civic identity across generations. Rather than celebrate the past, many of Chicago's business and political leaders have risen to power by tearing it down. Chicago has lost, and continues to lose, many great civic, architectural, and cultural landmarks. In recent years, Marshall Field's and Carson Pirie Scott have vanished from the city's landscape. Other structures like the Uptown and Ramova Theaters are also in danger of being permanently lost. Oldest Chicago is a reminder of the value of these familiar places and a call to preserve them for a future sense of place.

But Oldest Chicago isn't only a history book--it's a guide.

Everyone tries the newest...why not try the oldest? Visit the oldest house. Worship at the oldest church. Get on your soapbox at the oldest park. Party at the oldest nightclub. Taste the foods that generations of Chicagoans have savored at the oldest hot dog stand, pizzeria, soda pop maker, ice cream parlor, diner, chili vendor, liquor distributor, soul food restaurant, and bakery.

Don't just read about Chicago's history--experience it!