Written by Pam DeFiglio
Stephen London was taking photos of the Purple Hotel in Lincolnwood Tuesday as demolition crews began the work of taking down the huge structure.
"My parents got married there on Sept. 7, 1969," he said of the violet-colored building at Touhy and Lincoln Avenues.
And although he had only been inside once, London, of Chicago, wanted to preserve a piece of family history.
Related: How to Get Souvenir Purple Bricks, Plus Video of Demolition
Likewise, Cheryl Rodgers of Skokie arrived after her sister texted, urging her to go get a purple brick in memory of their late mother, who loved the place back in the day.
"It's such a landmark," she said.
Claudine Wojtowicz, had succeeded in getting three purple bricks from the demolition foreman, and said she was going to use them in her garden.
She remembers getting her daughters all dressed up about 10 years ago and taking them to an event at the hotel.
"The grand ballroom was so beautiful," she said.
Even Rick Mandell, a demolition foreman with National Wrecking Company, grew up in Skokie and remembers riding his bike past the purple hotel.
The first phase of the demolition will last two months, he said, and will clear the building to the ground.
"Then we might come back later and clear the basement foundations."
He said more purple bricks will be available later in the week.
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