Chicago’s First Modern Food Truck?

Photo: courtesy

Our friend Sharon Bautista (of Fork and the Road bicycle tour fame) tweeted about this and we just had to share it. In 1938, the architect Bertrand Goldberg—best known for the Marina City Towers and soon-to-be-destroyed Prentice Women’s Hospital, and subject of a current exhibition at the Art Institute— created this modernist ice cream stand for River Forest, Illinois. We say “for” rather than “in” because it was in fact a mobile ice cream stand. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion house, it was tension-supported on a mast (calling it “North Pole” was thus a pun) and sat on wheels, so that it could sell ice cream in Chicago during the summer and then drive down to Florida for the winter. A site about Goldberg’s work has several photos (including one showing the wheels) but is scant on details as to whether it ever operated and, as Sharon asks, what became of it. We’re sure the odds it wasn’t sold for scrap are minuscule, but still, we like to imagine it’s in a junkyard somewhere, unheralded but still hopeful that the future it belonged to will arrive… someday.