Posts in category "Ghost Signs"

Ghost Signs: The Weather Bell Building

Ghost Signs: The Weather Bell Building
At 79 W. Monroe Street in the Loop stands a building which has a big weather bell on its corner. The building itself, designed by Jarvis Hunt, was built in 1903. The Bell Federal Savings and Loan Association was established in 1925 and moved to this location in 1948. It’s referred to by many Chicagoans as the... Read more »

State Street Ghost Sign: Boston Store

State Street Ghost Sign: Boston Store
At 2 North State Street in downtown Chicago, you’ll find a Sears department store. Although Sears, Roebuck and Company has its origins in the Windy City, this building was actually built for a rival chain: Boston Store. Founded in Milwaukee in 1897, the Chicago building itself began construction in 1906. It expanded into multiple sections... Read more »

Ghost Signs: Van Houten's Cocoa

Ghost Signs: Van Houten's Cocoa
Ceonraad Johannes Van Houten is the creator of modern cocoa powder. In the early-to-mid 19th century, he created a new process to make chocolate production easier. He was also the inventor of Dutch chocolate. It began in Holland, but by the end of the 19th century, Van Houten had spread across Europe and eventually made... Read more »
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State Street Ghost Sign: The Majestic Theatre

State Street Ghost Sign: The Majestic Theatre
While walking down State Street near Madison last weekend, I happened to notice a very-faded ghost sign tucked away behind a bunch of other buildings. Because of its location, I could only see the latter half of it, where I could read the following: ESTIC VAUDEVILLE 25-50-75c I jumped to the conclusion that the word... Read more »

Ghost Signs: Spengler and Company

Ghost Signs: Spengler and Company
On the side of the Double Door building at 1572 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park is a ghost sign that reads “Spengler & Company.” Werner Spengler was born in 1831 in Germany. He arrived in Chicago with his brother John in 1865 and immediately began a retail dry goods business with him called Spengler... Read more »

Ghost Signs at the Lightner Building

Ghost Signs at the Lightner Building
On the north and south sides of The Lightner Building at 1006 S. Michigan Avenue are many ghost signs from the past. The building itself was designed by Edmund R. Krause and built in 1906. It was originally called the Graphic Arts Building and was purchased by Otto Lightner, owner of Lightner Publishing Corporation, in 1948.  Lightner, which published... Read more »
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Ghost Signs: The Adams and Westlake Company

Ghost Signs: The Adams and Westlake Company
All around The Adlake Building at 319 W. Ontario Street in River North, you can see ghost signs for The Adams and Westlake Company, a railroad supplies manufacturer once known all across the country. John McGregor Adams was a highly acclaimed businessman in Chicago. Born in New Hampshire in 1834, he arrived in the city... Read more »

The Dunder Mifflins of Lake Street

The Dunder Mifflins of Lake Street
Two buildings across the street from each other on Lake Street near Halsted on the Near West Side have ghost signs advertising similar paper businesses located there long ago. 727 W. Lake Street was formerly the home of Rauth Brothers. William and Louis Rauth, who had moved to Chicago in the late 1860s from Wisconsin,... Read more »

Ghost Signs: Howaniec Furniture Co.

Ghost Signs: Howaniec Furniture Co.
On the west side of the building at 1551-53 W. Chicago Avenue in West Town reads “Howaniec Furniture Co.” The company began as E. Howaniec Furniture Co. in 1947, but the “E” was soon dropped. Edward Howaniec, who founded the business, was born March 11, 1914 and died September 22, 1973. The business was run by his... Read more »
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Ghost Signs: Rubin's Women's Apparel

Ghost Signs: Rubin's Women's Apparel
There is a ghost sign behind 1310 N. Milwaukee Avenue visible from Moorman Street in Wicker Park that barely reads “Chicago’s Largest Women’s Wearing Apparel Store.” This is an advertisement for Rubin’s Women’s Apparel, which used to be located next door in the 1940′s and 50′s. A major fire damaged much of the property in 1953. They had another location... Read more »
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