Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Hail To The Chiefs!

Today's completed version of the terra cotta

What the storefront looked like about ten years ago

The renovation is done on one of our favorite storefronts in Uptown, at 4629 North Broadway.

An original terra cotta face
(courtesy of Formed Space)
Since 1930, the Native chiefs have looked over Broadway, sometimes in better days, sometimes in worse.

The entire terra cotta façade had been looking rough for decades. When the building was purchased a few years ago, the new owners contacted FORMED SPACE to do the renovations.

The chiefs' heads were recreated by artisans in Italy, but the rest of the terra cotta, including the stage curtain, remained in rough shape.

We were told the entire façade would be improved, and it has been! We took the most recent photo (top) this past weekend.

The renovated face
(courtesy of Formed Space)

It doesn't look new, but it does look fabulous. A tiny terra cotta jewel box in the heart of Uptown.

For those who wonder why the Native chiefs? -- We don't know. 

According to the Uptown Historical Society, the storefront was built for a Thom McAn shoe store, which shared space with a ladies' millinery shop. The stage curtain was possibly a nod to the then-bustling Uptown Entertainment District.

The completely renovated space is now the home of Manske Dieckmann Thompson Architects.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thrilled to see yet another irreplaceable decorative terra cotta facade restored instead of demolished. Unique buildings like this one form a neighborhood's character. Chicago was, in the past, the country's leader in the manufacture of decorative terra cotta because we have so much clay here, which is why this city has so many wonderful old buildings with intricate terra cotta embellishment.