The H.W. Rubloff building, better known as the Majestic Store (Everything For Men), stood at Broadway and Leland for years. Built in 1922 and designed specifically to fit under the L tracks, it was a familiar site to generations of Uptowners.
But Uptown's old nemesis -- deferred maintenance -- took its toll, and the building suffered a partially collapsed roof and the deterioration of its exquisite terra cotta.
When the CTA began its rehab of the Wilson L, it wanted to tear down the Rubloff Building (which it owned), but local preservationists fought hard to preserve it. A compromise was reached: the store would be dismantled during construction, and the exterior would be reassembled at the end of the rehab project. It would no longer be a store, but the historic elements would be retained.
Three years ago, workers painstakingly removed and numbered the terra cotta tiles. Thanks to reader JMM, we can see that the the process of restoration has begun.
Last Friday, workers poured concrete into the wood framing, to create new walls:
On Monday, the framing was removed, to reveal new walls:
The terra cotta -- 80% of which was cleaned and restored, 20% of which had to be remade -- will be put up at a later date.