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 wife until 1986, when it closed after nearly 40 years. Marie died soon after in February 1987.

Before Howaniec occupied the space, Paul Kavorka and Sons Furniture was here since at least 1917 and took up two more storefronts, from 1547 through 1553 W. Chicago Avenue.

The building was built in 1896. I’m not sure if the building was the location of a carpenter business in its beginnings, but the “screw” ornamentation at the top would seem to indicate this. There is also a letter S.

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