Forgotten Merchants: General Furniture Company

The building at 1709 W. Chicago Avenue in West Town now houses a boxing training facility, but its elegant terra cotta facade gives an indication of what was once here.

The General Furniture Company began in the early 1900’s. Billing itself as “Chicago’s Greatest Chain of Furniture Stores,” they had multiple other locations around Chicago, including:

  • 6155 S. Halsted Street in Englewood. This building is now demolished, but you can see how this location looked in this 1922 photo and 1950s postcard. A fire destroyed this location in 1952, killing six people.
  • 9139 S. Commercial Avenue in South Chicago. This location is only listed in the 1910 Chicago city directory. It’s still standing and still a furniture store.
  • 11155 S. Michigan Avenue in Roseland. This location is only listed in the 1910 Chicago city directory. It is unknown if the building standing there now is the same building.
  • 2947 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Bucktown. This location is only listed in the 1923 Chicago city directory. Recently the location of another furniture store, it is currently vacant.

This location was built in 1922 specifically for the business, as noted by the GFC logo still located at the top of the building.

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