Forgotten Merchants: Rabinovitch and Ogus Millinery

Above the building at 1308 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park is an ornate decoration that reads “R&O”.

This 3-story terra cotta commercial building, designed by David Saul Klafter with W. J. Ratlidge, was built nearly a hundred years ago for the Rabinovitch and Ogus Millinery, a national company started by Louis and Samuel Ogus and Frank Rabinovich that specialized in designing, producing, trimming and selling hats.

Their main offices were at 12 N. Michigan around the same time. Prior to 1914, the year the building was built, the same business was listed at 1273 Milwaukee (originally 917) since at least 1904.

An October 1918 newspaper notes an “important transaction” from Rabinovitch and Ogus to Michael Solomon, who ran his own millinery at 1259 N. Milwaukee, for a FOUR story property on Milwaukee “seventy five feet northwest of Paulina street.” By 1929, a fine men’s clothing store called The Palace was here. The building was home to Paddor’s Smart Women’s Wear in the 1950s.

The building is a contributing factor in the historic designation of the Milwaukee Avenue District.

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