Saturday, September 30, 2017

Baltimore: Alex. Brown building to become retail hub, restaurant


  • At the time the oldest privately held bank in the U.S., Alex. Brown & Sons was bought by Bankers Trust in 1997 to form BT Alex. Brown. 
  • Two years later, in 1999, BT Alex. Brown was acquired by Deutsche Bank. BT paid $1.7 billion in a stock acquisition of Alex. Brown.  The Alex Brown name initially survived as Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, the brokerage services division of Deutsche Bank Securities, but is now a part of Deutsche Bank AG.


  • The former Alex. Brown headquarters and an adjacent Rite Aid in the heart of downtown are slated for a redevelopment to include a restaurant and several shops, a project viewed as a catalyst in bringing new retail to the city's core.


    Tampa, Florida-based Casper Co. bought the Rite Aid building at 125 E. Baltimore St. in May and entered into a partnership with the Griswold family, descendants of Alexander Brown who own the historic building at 135 E. Baltimore St., to redevelop the block.


    The company, run by brother-sister team Blake Casper and Allison Casper Adams, own and operate the thriving Oxford Exchange in downtown Tampa. The Oxford Exchange includes a book shop, boutique and coworking offices.

    The Caspers are using the Oxford Exchange as a model for the Baltimore project.



    Friday, September 29, 2017

    September 29: feast day of the Saint Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Rafael

    • St. Michael the Archangel is often represented as a soldier, defeating the dragon, symbol of the devil, and the rebellious angels; 
    • Saint Gabriel, the messenger, was responsible for announcing to Mary the birth of Christ, so he appears in all the scenes of the annunciation;
    • Saint Rafael, as guardian angel, is associated with the history of Tobias.



    Saint Michael Archangel By Master of Zafra 1495-1500

    The Annunciation, El Greco, 1597-1600

    Goya. Tobias and the Angel, 1787


    Tuesday, September 5, 2017

    Chicago : Tru closing after 18 years

    Tru, the Streeterville restaurant that helped define upscale dining in Chicago, is closing after nearly two decades. Its last dinner service will take place Oct. 7, according to an emailed statement from owner Lettuce Entertain You.

    Tru debuted in 1999 under star chefs Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand, with financial backing from Lettuce chief Rich Melman. It earned a Michelin star in 2011, the first year the Chicago guidebook was published, and was bumped up to two stars in this year's edition. For the past nine years, Tru has been helmed by Executive Chef Anthony Martin.

    Lettuce, which has grown to become the country's largest independent chain with nearly 130 restaurants, continues to debut stylish concepts—most recently Sushi-San in River North and a third Beatrix location in the West Loop. But Melman and company seem to be braking on its fine dining. In July, Lettuce announced that Intro, its high-end, rotating-chef restaurant in Lincoln Park, was also permanently closing.

    Lettuce reps did not respond to requests for more details. In a statement, the company said it would "reconcept" the Tru space at 676 N. St. Clair.

    Saturday, September 2, 2017

    Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona

    Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona in Verona Italy