1940s Storefront Facades

We cap off our little survey of commercial Art Deco with a style that’s not really Deco: the circa-World War II paneled storefront.

Lincoln Tap Room
Lincoln Tap Room – Lincoln Avenue

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Western Automatic Music – Western Avenue

R.V. Kunka Pharmacy
R. V. Kunka Pharmacy – Archer Avenue

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This one, on Armitage, actually has more in common with the corner Deco buildings from previous posts. But the colors are more 1940s-style.

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Kiltz’s Bakery – W. 63rd Street

Kiltz’s shares a material and finish style with the next two, a sort of smooth-finished texture with a lumpiness to it. For a while it fooled me into thinking it was terra cotta, but if you walk up and tap it, you’ll discover that it’s a hollow metal panel with a baked-on coating, presumably a form of porcelain enamel.

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Parkway Cleaners and Taylors – Diversey Parkway

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Ed & Erv’s Centrella Food Mart – Touhy Avenue

Parkway and Ed & Erv’s also share enough design elements to make them look like the same designer’s work. The white polished cleanliness of the designs is highly fitting for their occupants.

At the other end of the health spectrum, the Rothschild Liquors chain became their own mini-genre of storefront, all paneled in red and finished out with stylish neon signs:

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717 East 87th Street

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1532 West Chicago Avenue

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425 East 63rd Street

A quick Google search turns up two more Rothschild stores with facades of the same vintage, one in red, one in white.

And finally, the black Vitrolite panel storefront, exemplified by two fine northern city storefronts:

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Erickson’s Jewelers, Clark Street in Andersonville

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Paul J. Ouetschke & Co., Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Square

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Unlike the baked metal panels above, Vitrolite is basically a form of glass, about a quarter inch in thickness, and sadly prone to breaking under impact.

And with those dimensional letters, we’re clearly on the path to full-blown Midcentury. Bring it on!

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