Saturday, February 2, 2013

Curses and Bricks

By Julie Rahm
          The garage, which stood at 2122 North Clark Street in Chicago, was demolished in 1967. The site is now a landscaped parking lot for a nursing home. When the garage was demolished, the bricks from the north inside wall of the garage were saved and later sold at auction. These bricks were a novelty. According to stories, the bricks would bring financial ruin, illness, bad luck and death to anyone who bought them. Despite the curse, the bricks were purchased and saved by Canadian businessman George Patey. Patey’s original intention was to use them in a restaurant that he represented. But, the restaurant's owner did not like the idea. So, Patey ended up buying the bricks himself, outbidding three or four others. Patey had each of the 414 bricks numbered and shipped back to Canada.
There are different reports about what George Patey did with the bricks after he got them. Time Magazine reported that Patey reassembled the wall and put it on display in a wax museum. The wax museum later went bankrupt. In 1971, Patey opened a nightclub called the Banjo Palace. The famous bricks were installed inside the men's washroom with Plexiglas placed right in front of them to shield them. Patrons could urinate and try to hit the targets painted on the Plexiglas. In an interview Patey said, "I had the most popular club in the city.”  The club eventually closed and the bricks were placed in storage until 1997 when Patey tried to auction them off on a website called Jet Set on the Net. The deal fell through after a hard time with the auction company. The last known substantial offer for the entire wall was made by a Las Vegas casino but Patey refused the $175,000 offer.
In 1999, Patey tried to sell the wall, brick by brick, on his own website. The bricks came with signed certificates by Patey. Patey died on December 26, 2004, having never revealed how much he paid to buy the bricks at auction. The remaining bricks were given as an inheritance to his niece. She sold them to a museum in Las Vegas, which opened February 14, 2012. While the wall is no longer complete because of Patey selling a few dozen bricks from it, the wall still remains original. As you guessed, this is the brick wall against which the seven men, on February 14, 1929 were lined up and killed by Capone-hired killers.
On Valentine’s Day in 1929, a Cadillac sedan stopped in front of the brick garage. Four men emerged and walked inside. Seven members of the Moran gang were ordered up against the wall and gunned down by two machine guns. The seven men were shot with 90 bullets. The only survivor of the massacre was a German Shepherd owned by one of the victims. The dog was spared. Thus, the massacre was born into Valentine’s Day history. Now you know.
So if you’ve massacred your relationship, resurrect it with romance on Valentine’s Day! Then, visit my website at 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Top curve