Forgotten Merchants: Kling Bros. and Co.

Tucked away at 2300 West Wabansia Avenue in Bucktown stands the Clock Tower Lofts. Over each doorway reads "KLING BROS. & CO."

Completed in 1920, the Kling Brothers & Company building was built as a manufacturing facility for their wholesale clothing business. It was designed by Alfred Alschuler, an innovational architect at the time.  His most notable existing building is the London Guarantee Building at 360 North Michigan, although he also designed the original Chicago Merchantile Exchange that was torn down ten years ago.

The company began in the early 1910s with brothers Leopold and Samuel Kling. Kling Brothers was successful for decades. By the 1940s, the business allowed Leopold to spend much of his time (and money) developing Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Leopold died in 1962 and Samuel died five years later. The business eventually ended and the building was renovated into residential lofts in 1996.

Interestingly, there is a ghost sign for Kling Brothers in the South Loop at 411 South Wells Street. The logo in the ad matches the sign on the loft building.

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