The Poetry Garage Launches in Chicago – Hammerschlag Parking


The Poetry Garage Launches in Chicago – Hammerschlag Parking

If you had asked me to pick two words that I thought I would never see together in a sentence, they would John Hammerschlag and Poetry. But then, I would have been wrong. John has let is creative side shine through and with consultant Arne Weingart has taken Chicago's penchant for naming garage floors and theming garages to a new artistic level.

Here's some info from their news release:

"The Poetry Garage provides a great way for our patrons to enjoy a literary experience while helping them to remember where their car is parked," said John Hammerschlag, President of Hammerschlag & Co., Inc. "We're extremely pleased to introduce this creatively themed parking experience in downtown Chicago. Parking is a very competitive industry, so we felt it was important to differentiate ourselves with a special non-traditional theme. Parking is our passion and we are excited about this innovation at one of our prime properties in the city."


The concept for The Poetry Garage was initially conceived last year between John Hammerschlag and his longtime friend and colleague, Arne Weingart, a graphic designer and principal of Weingart Associates.


"After knowing Arne for many years, I was surprised to hear that his fine arts degree was in poetry, not graphic arts, and in his spare time he is a poet," said Hammerschlag. "I thought it would be fantastic to allow Arne to take his creative vision and work with us to turn his hobby into a project for everyone in Chicago to appreciate."


Weingart worked with a team to select the poets represented in The Poetry Garage, and to obtain the permission to use selected poems in audio recordings and printed materials.

The poets selected were certainly ones that resonate. All are Americans, all extremely well known, and are from as varied backgrounds as a cross section of our country itself. Arne has done a wonderful job not only in selecting the poets but in the poems being read and displayed on the garages floors. Check out the garage's web site.

We all know this one from Earnest L Thayer – It's found on floor three:

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville Nine that day;

The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,

And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,

A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

We don't seem to remember as clearly how Flynn and Blake made it to second and third, but we certainly remember how the crowd loved Casey and how he got to 2 and 0 which set the scene for these final terrific stanzas:


The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;

He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,

And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.


Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out

John and Arne, however, hit a home run.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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