And the kitchen sink


The year is 1964. After his latest round of projects, a contractor finds he still has a lot of little architectural decorative bits left in his supply yard, none of them enough to work on any one building by itself. What to do, what to do? Find the next client that walks in the door and just throw everything at their project!

At least, that’s the story I picture behind the building of North American Heating and Air Conditioning, 5915 Lincoln Avenue in Morton Grove.


The tiny office portion of this building packs a grab bag of architectural materials, including a brown brick, black lava rock, and metal spandrel panels. Adorning it are a bronzed window screen, funky Mid-Century address numbers, and three columns of randomly spaced colored glass block dripping down the side. If that ain’t enough, a brick and pattern block fence once lined the parking lot, too, with brick posts topped by lamps. IMG_9475a IMG_9469a

The end result is just way too much stuff packed into one tiny facade, but I love it.


It seems that North American Heating & AC eventually moved further west; the building has looked empty and for sale since at least 2010, though the name “Service Packaging Inc.” remains on the door and on that company’s enigmatic website. (Curiously, all the real estate ads peg the construction date as circa 1970, a good five or more years later than the actual date.)


3 thoughts on “And the kitchen sink

  1. Robert Powers
    Hi, I wrote to you yesterday thru FB, not sure the best way to reach you,
    but I love this blog of yours, it is great, I’m a big fan of all things Mid Century,
    I’m working on the new mosaics that will go with the saved 1966 Loyola Mosaics by
    Melville Philip Steinfels, I like you pictures of the mosaics and would like to use them on a blog about the project, I have been posting pixs on my FB page. Please take a look, David Lee Csicsko, Loyola New Nursing School Project. I also designed the mosaics at the Belmont CTA station, and designed the new chapel at the new Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Again lover reading your postings.
    david lee csicsko

  2. As a fan of Chicago architecture and the stories behind the buildings your blog is always a pleasure to read! I now live in the vast architectual wasteland of South Florida. The thing I miss the most about Chicago are the buildings and exploring the alleys. Thanks for sharing your love of Chicago.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s