Thursday, November 16, 2023

History Uncovered On Argyle


Wooden structure uncovered during demolition

"I'm a long time fan and reader, just dropping a tip on an interesting bit of Argyle street history uncovered by the recent demo of Hoa Nam Grocery (1101 W Argyle).

See the attached photos for a view of the exposed side of an older building that sits just next to the demoed structure. It looks pretty weathered, and given the brown stained wooden siding, I'd venture a guess it's from the late 1800s to early 1900s. 

An exterior window and door shows this used to be an uncovered side of the structure. There's also an exposed and rusted sign near the streetscape (second photo) which appears to read "Dearling" or "Pearling," on the top line, and "Best By..." (I can't make out the rest). If it's "Dearling" I'm guessing it was a surname of the business owner.

Sign uncovered on the building

I would love if you could share this with readers to see if anyone knows about the history of this building. I did some digging in the Chicago History Museum Archives and found an image of the Argyle Station in 1916 that shows a wooden residential-looking structure just to the east of the tracks (see last attachment).

Argyle station in 1916 with wooden structure visible on the right (Chicago History Museum)

It's possible the uncovered structure in my photos was another residential or storefront building just next to that. Would love to find out more."


  1. That is an advertising sign for "Pearline" laundry soap. The second line says "Best By Test" which was their slogan.

  2. Confirmed as Pearline: Best By Test . Found this more extensive advertisement in NYC has this, which is too blurry to see what used to be there but a bit closer

  3. Brian is correct. Also found this on