Remember the story of the Great Chicago Fire, that started when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lantern? Well, her mansion is for sale. How did she get a mansion? Her son, James Patrick O’Leary (aka “Big Jim”) built the ornate home for, and in honor of, his mother. He made his fortune in bookmaking as the so-called king of Southside gambling.
The asking price is $473,000, reduced from $599,877. The home is massive—with a total of 33 rooms, including a whopping 12 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. According to my research, it’s just a few blocks inside the border of a “Grade D” higher crime neighborhood, but a few blocks from a lesser-crime area.
Check it out- the Mansard windows spell out “MoM.”
And, that’s also Mrs. O’Leary’s face above the window, there.
The ceilings are about 12 feet high. When you walk in, there’s a foyer and a grand staircase going up. The house has four levels, with plenty of living space and an abundance of quirks.
The home will require a lot of work to bring it back to its full grandeur, but much of the interior woodwork and moldings are just as Catherine O’Leary left them when she died in 1895.
The current owner has lived here since 1991 and is downsizing. The home is being sold “as is.” Looks like they’re having an estate sale.
The realtor says, “It needs work. It needs updating and cosmetic work. Everything is still pretty original on the property, so there are a lot of cracked plaster walls and some pieces have fallen, so it definitely needs repairs,” adding that he is hoping that someone is ready to step up to the task.
Just look at the amazing original kitchen cabinetry.
“This is not a project for the average buyer. It has to be someone experienced restoring a property of this magnitude,” the realtor adds.
It’s not a property for the project-averse, but the rewards may be worth it for this slice of Windy City history. I mean look at it. It’s magnificent.
There are so many bedrooms.
Looks like they were using the basement as a game room, so it’s not creepy.
This is cool- her son, “Big Jim” had 2 walk-in vaults for all his money, in the house. “ The vaults are huge. You could walk inside of them, so just imagine how much cash James kept in these vaults,” said the agent.
It’s also the only house in Chicago that has it’s own fire hydrant.
The grounds need a little work, too, but they’d be lovely.
The back of the house is brick, and has a porch.
There’s also a carriage house on the property. This place could be gorgeous.
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It’s Been A While | Sweet Pea x Reader
Prompt requested by anon: After moving away from Riverdale when you were nine, you come back to spend high school back in your hometown. But your childhood best friend is completely shocked to see you back and so different...
Request status: Closed
Warnings: None! Major fluff!
Stepping out of your mom’s sedan, your feet hit the gravel of the driveway. You look around you and you can’t help, but let a small smile slip onto your lips. “Did you miss it?” your mom questions.
The environment of the North Side just made a million memories flood back into your brain and you laughed to yourself. Blowing bubbles on your front stoop with Betty, running away from Reggie and Moose, giggling like crazy. All of it brought back this light. “So much,” you look at your mom who kisses your forehead. “I can’t believe the old house was for sale,” you shake your head, grabbing luggage from the trunk.
You had moved from Riverdale when you were ten years old in order for your dad to accept a job offer. However, the job was in California which was a long way away from Riverdale. Your ten year old self was devastated. Leaving behind your best friends and school for a place you had never even known was horrifying. But your parents reassured you that you and your friends could still chat through the internet and be pen pals--if you were lucky, maybe they could book a flight so you could meet up during a break. Yet none of it was the same. So, you grudgingly packed your bags and left for California.
California was great. It’s sunny days and warm rays were always pleasing to wake up to rather than Riverdale’s cloudy gloom. But the one thing, or one person, that California didn’t have that Riverdale did was your best friend, Sweet Pea. Sweets lived on the South Side of Riverdale, the other side of the tracks. The North Side’s perception of the South Side was that it should have been exterminated long ago. The South Side was dangerous, no doubt about it, but it was a lot of families’ homes. No one could or should take that away from them. Your parents told you to never go to the South Side, and you obeyed them. What they couldn’t prevent was the South Side coming to you.
It was like it all happened yesterday. You remember playing on the school’s playground when you were younger with Betty and her older sister, Polly, watching over you two as you played. Polly left to use the bathroom, leaving you and Betty to your devices. As you played on the playground, there were two boys that came over who didn’t dress like they were from the North Side. Both wore flannels and had on dirty jeans. “I don’t know who you guys are,” you spoke to them innocently as one of them smiled.
The bigger one of the two spoke back, “You don’t have to know, shortie.” He made a reference to your short height compared to his almost foot taller stature. You stomped your foot, demanding that you had to know who he was as Betty watched timidly. “Doesn’t matter shortie.”
And with that, you stomped on his foot as he let out a cry in pain. “Tell me and maybe I’d let you play with us!”
The boy just laughed, “We are gonna be good friends, shortie.”
He was right. You and Sweet Pea became inseparable at that point. You were never allowed to go on the other side of town, so Pea always had to sneak around with Fangs. Not like any of their parents cared. He’d always meet you at the playground and chase you around and play all sorts of games. Sweet Pea was your best friend and when you had to leave, you cried for weeks. He had always promised that you two would always be friends no matter how far apart you were. But you knew that once you moved away things would change.
But now you were back in Riverdale. You left California due to your father’s death. He was suffering from a heart disease and he lost the battle. You and your mother were beyond depressed by his death--your mother not leaving her room for weeks. But she knew that she had to move on and get her life back on track. There was nothing left in California for you two, so back to your hometown it was.
Of course this gave you high hopes that you and all of your old friend, especially Sweets, could reconnect. It would be easy to reconnect with Betty and Reggie and Moose, since they too lived on the North Side. But trying to find Sweet Pea would be hard because South Side kids liked to lay low. Or so you thought.
You started school immediately, being thrown right into the whirlwind. When you arrive, your feet on the light blue tiles of Riverdale High. Betty stood at the entrance, hair still pulled back slick in that ponytail and a large smile on her face. You squealed in sync with her, running into her arms. “Oh my God,” you giggle as you hold her tight. “Betty Cooper.”
“Y/N Y/L/N,” she mimics. “I’m so happy to see you back in Riverdale.”
It was so nice to catch up with her and continue talking like you never were away for all of middle school and most of high school. She asked you about California as you told her about the past seven years: school, family, and of course, boys. The bell interrupted your conversation as you sighed. “I’ll catch up with you later, okay?”
Betty grabbed your forearm. “Oh wait! Come to Pop’s with some friends after school! You do remember Pop’s right?” she raises a brow.
The mention of the diner made your heart soar. “How could I forget? Pop Tate’s milkshakes came as a close second to the things I missed here. The friends being the first,” you teased as Betty laughed.
At Pop’s you met back up with old friends and it felt like you had never left Riverdale. Archie Andrews was still absolutely adorable and now he was dating a new girl, Veronica Lodge. You could see why he was so into her--she was gorgeous and incredibly smart. Since you were gone, Betty’s crush on Archie had disappeared as she dated Jughead Jones. Jughead was always that kid who you always knew existed, but people sometimes forgot about because he was so quiet. But man, do people change. Jones walked in with that same stupid beanie he wore for as long as you can remember, but his Sherpa jean jacket was replaced by a leather jacket with a patch on the back of the South Side Serpents. “Do my eyes deceive me or is that Jughead Jones?” you laugh, emerging from the booth.
Jug smiles wide, “Y/N.” He engulfs you in a hug as you laugh. “You haven’t changed one bit.” He examines your jeans and cable knit sweater as you roll your eyes.
“And you have!” you push his shoulder as he laughs. You both scoot back into the booth as he presses a kiss to Betty’s lips. “Traded in a jean jacket for a leather one. But I see that damn beanie persists.”
The five of you sat at the booth, talking and enjoying each other’s company. It was so nice to just relax. You haven’t been able to be like this with friends since your father’s death. You could have stayed in that diner for hours, but it was already five o’clock and you knew that your mother would be on your case if you weren’t home for dinner on a school night. “I should be heading home or else my mom is gonna have a conniption,” you sigh as you scoot out of the booth, grabbing your jacket.
Betty pouts, “Already?” You sadly nod. “I was your ride here! How are you gonna get home?”
Shrugging, you speak, “I’ll walk.” Everyone speaks in protest as you laugh. “Seriously, it’s fine. I walked almost a mile home from school in Cali.”
Jughead then starts, “Hold on, Y/N. One of my friends from the Serpents is coming to pick me up now since my bike’s in the shop. He can drive you home.” You raise your brow skeptically. If your mom ever found out about this, she’d have your head on a silver plate. “Oh come on, not all snakes bite.”
“That’s just not true,” you retort causing Betty to snort. Jughead looks at her as she laughs harder. “Are you sure it’s okay?”
He shakes his head up and down before looking at his phone. “Speak of the devil,” he shakes his phone. “I’ll see you guys later.” He kisses Betty goodbye as you wave your friends goodbye.
You and Jughead exit Pop’s and walk across the street to see a burgundy sedan parked across the way. In the faint evening light, you see a figure leaned against the car, waiting. As you walk closer, you heart starts to beat faster. No way. His hair was still the same raven color and his tall stature was recognizable from a five mile radius. He wore ripped jeans and a grey t-shirt with a matching leather jacket to Jughead’s. The one trait of his that was different was a Serpent tattoo on his neck. “Sweets?” you ask as Jughead looks at you confused.
Sweet Pea’s face contorts and he speaks, “Y/N?” You start to laugh and a smile emerges on his face. “What? Why are you here?” he asks as you run up to him. He immediately embraces you in a hug as you giggle wildly, wrapping your arms around his neck as he lifts you off the ground. “Aren’t you supposed to be in California?”
He puts you back down as you tuck the hair behind your ears. “We moved back!” you exclaim as he has a huge smile on his face. “Jesus, I thought I’d never see you again!” you tell him.
“Sorry to break up this sweet moment,” Jughead interrupts. “But how do you two know each other?”
You smile, “Pea and I used to be best friends when we were younger. He’d sneak over to the North Side playground and hang out with me as kids.”
Jughead nods in understanding before saying, “In that case, I’ll grab a ride from Betty and let you two catch up.” You two try to object, but he’s already back inside Pop’s.
In Sweet’s car, he drives around town for awhile, trying to stall so the two of you can talk longer. Instead of wasting his gas, you decide to go to Sweet Water River to talk.
You two sit on the rocks, catching up in general as the steady stream of the water echos throughout the woods. You tell him about your father’s death and moving back to Riverdale and you tell him about your life in California. “Enough about me though. What is this?” you tug on his jacket, signaling you want a story about how he’s a Serpent.
Sweets smiles, “It was the only choice I had. Both of my parents are Serpents. You think I could escape this life, shortie?” He remembered. At the mention of your nickname, you smile. “You think I forgot?”
Playing with the sleeves of your sweater, you speak, “To be honest, I thought you forgot about me, period.”
He widens his eyes in shock. “How could I forget you?” You smile at his words. God, how you missed him. As he talks, you take him in. Sweets still had that boyish charm to him, but it had grown with age. He had become devilishly handsome over the seven years you were gone. You were shocked no one had pinned him down yet. One sentence snapped you out of your thoughts. “A guy never forgets his first crush.”
Now it’s your turn to widen your eyes in disbelief. “No way,” you laugh as he joins, shaking his head. Sweet Pea used to have a crush on you? When you were younger, you were basically in love with Sweet Pea. If ten year old you knew this, you’d be freaking out. To be honest, you still were freaking out. “I never knew that. I used to have the biggest crush on you,” you confess as he tells you that he knew. You slap his arm and he chuckles.
“Let’s also not forget the little moment we had before you left for California,” he teases as you bury your face in your hands to conceal your blush. “Hey, it was adorable!” he teases, shaking your shoulder.
The memory of him standing in front of your house came flooding back to your memory. It was a few hours before your flight to California was leaving and Sweet Pea wanted to say his final goodbye. He had embraced you in a big hug as you held onto his ten year old body. “I’ll miss you, Sweet Pea,” you tried to fight the tears.
He sighed, “I’m gonna miss you, Y/N. Don’t worry though, we’re gonna see each other again.”
In that moment, you knew that it was now or never. So with all the courage you had mustered in your body, you pulled away from his hug, grabbed his shoulders, and pressed your lips onto his quickly. It was so fast that he didn’t even register what was happening. The two of you were in complete shock with what happened. “Uh,” you stuttered. “Bye, Pea.”
And then, you ran inside as Pea stayed in place, completely confused.
“Oh my God,” you speak into your hands. “That’s so embarrassing!”
Sweets laughs, “It was cute. I give you major props for actually doing it.” You just groan and shake your head. “It’s a great first kiss story,” he tries to joke as you giggle.
As your laugh cease, you tell him, “I really missed you, Sweets. I’m sorry I never reached out.” He shrugs. “No, I’m serious. I should have tried to get a hold of you.”
He grabs your hand, “Hey, it’s fine. Even if you tried, how would you do it? Our phone bill was never paid, so you couldn’t call. If you tried to write, do you think I’d get it what with the Serpents around? We were ten.” You softly smile. “I’m just glad you’re home. I missed you a lot.”
The air between you is silent as you look at him. His brown eyes glimmered in the evening light of Riverdale and you watch him bite his lip softly. You inhale softly, knowing that he is thinking the same thing you are right now. But you don’t act on anything as your phone buzzes with a text from your mom. You huff and open up the phone, read text that asks where you were. “It’s my mom. I should be getting home,” you tell him as he helps you stand off of the rock.
“No worries. I’ll get you home in no time, shortie,” he teases, hugging you into his side, letting yourself meld into his figure. Man, it felt good to be home.
Sweets pulls up to your house and exits the car with you. You sigh and look up at him, smiling. “Same house?” he asks and you nod. “Geez. It hasn’t changed.” You nod, tucking your hands into your jacket pockets. Then a smirk crawls onto his face, “Do you know where we are standing?”
You groan and take a step away from him as he grabs your wrists laughing. “Don’t start with this again! You’ve already teased me enough about this!” you whine as he pulls you into him.
“Hey, you stole my first kiss! I have every right to tease you,” he protests as you smile at him. It takes a second for the both of you to register the position you are in. You pressed against him as he leans on his car, your hands rest on his chest as his rest on your waist. He stares at your lips and then looks into your eyes as if he’s asking permission. Sweets then dips his head down, connecting your lips with him. His lips are soft and warm compared to his cool, minty breath. As he kisses you, you inhale deeply, wrapping your arms around his neck. His grip on you tightens and he pulls you in closer. The kiss makes your head reel and you don’t want the moment to end. But of course, it does. You refuse to open your eyes just yet, trying to savor the tingling sensation on your lips as he presses his forehead against yours. You let your finger dance over the Serpent tattoo on his neck as he exhales, “I really missed you, shortie.”
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