Columns


Statement of Condition » Rogers Park National Bank
by Serhii Chrucky » 4.21.2011

Rogers Park National Bank was founded in 1912. For the five years prior to the construction of this building in 1917, we presume that the bank occupied retail space elsewhere on Clark Street, although this has not been confirmed. Notable as architect Karl Vitzthum’s earliest extant bank design, Rogers Park National Bank is a typical classical revival style corner bank modeled after Stanford White’s highly influential Knickerbocker Trust Company. Read More »


Statement of Condition » East Side Trust & Savings Bank
by Serhii Chrucky » 4.12.2011

East Side Trust & Savings was founded in 1919, the same year this bank was erected, and suspended operations July 1933. A stock subscription drive allowed the bank to regain enough capital to reopen Feburary 1934. Read More »


Head Northwest » Olson Waterfall
by Daniel Pogorzelski » 9.7.2009

Those growing up in the Jefferson Park area, like so many Chicagoans who grew up on the Northwest Side, have fond memories of the Olson Rug Park and Waterfall. Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » Albaugh-Dover
by Jacob Kaplan » 8.25.2009

Chicago’s large mail order industry didn’t just consist of legendary Sears and Montgomery Ward; many smaller firms also took advantage of Chicago’s transportation hub status and easy access to the hinterlands by locating here. Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » Richter’s Food Products
by Jacob Kaplan » 8.12.2009

Here is arguably Chicago’s best example of an art deco style factory. The Richter’s Food Products “health sausage” factory on Randolph and Carpenter was constructed beginning in 1931 for a cost of $500,000. Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » James C. Curtis
by Jacob Kaplan » 8.5.2009

The James C. Curtis Company manufactured “undertaker’s supplies,” which one is led to believe was a fancy term for caskets (as indicated on the semi-obscured roof sign). Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » John Sexton
by Jacob Kaplan » 7.28.2009

John Sexton and Company was a large wholesale grocery firm that originated in Chicago in the 1870s. Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » William D. Gibson
by Jacob Kaplan » 7.5.2009

The William D. Gibson company manufactured springs at this factory on Clybourn. Built in 1908, the factory was expanded over the years. Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » Webster Company
by Jacob Kaplan » 7.2.2009

Chicago’s importance in the radio industry will be discussed at length in future articles. For now, this postcard provides a glimpse at one of the smaller players. Read More »


Head Northwest » Six Corners
by Staff » 6.28.2009

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Postcards From Chicago » Charles Bruning
by Jacob Kaplan » 6.1.2009

In a selection of Chicago factory postcards, the Charles Bruning Company offers a good place to start. The company’s frequent moves provide a textbook example of industrial relocation common among firms throughout the metro area. Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » American Licorice
by Jacob Kaplan » 3.6.2009

Continuing on the somewhat unintentional theme of showcasing an example from each of Chicago’s formerly major industries is the American Licorice Company, manufacturers of licorice confections. Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » Lyon & Healy
by Jacob Kaplan » 2.24.2009

Lyon and Healy is a musical instrument manufacturer that still operates in Chicago. Formed in 1864, Lyon and Healy opened a factory at Randolph and Ogden in 1890 that is still operation. Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » Alfred’s Ice King
by Jacob Kaplan » 2.13.2009

For a company that was supposedly “The Largest Tubular Ice Skate Plant in the World,” there is surprisingly little history available about the Alfred Johnson Skate Company. Read More »


Postcards From Chicago » Storefronts
by Serhii Chrucky » 1.17.2009

In terms of using images to study the built environment, postcards are probably the farthest one can get from “proper” documentary efforts, such as the Historic American Buildings Survey. Read More »


Movie Palaces » Save These Theatres
by Jacob Kaplan » 12.23.2008

Once upon a time, if you wanted to see a movie in Chicago, you didn’t have to go to some characterless box in a shopping mall parking lot. Read More »


Columns » Disconnected Yellow Signs
by Serhii Chrucky » 12.13.2008

The city began removing yellow street signs and changing them to green in the mid-1970s. Read More »


Columns » Yellow Street Signs
by Jacob Kaplan and Serhii Chrucky » 12.13.2008

While other large old cities (especially New York) seemingly have many remnants from different eras of street signage, the “city that works” has been relentless in replacing old street signs. Before the 1970s, Chicago’s street signs were awash in a distinctive yellow color with black text. Read More »


Casualties of the Recent Past » The More Things Change
by Serhii Chrucky » 11.22.2008

The more things change…the more they become different. Or the less similar they get? Read More »