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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Korte Andrew

112-114 South Washington Street

Above. 112-114 South Washington Street, circa 2015.
112-114 South Washington Street, circa 2015.

112-114 South Washington Street are two commercial properties in one building. Originally, the building housed three commercial spaces.[1] Prior to the Village of Hinsdale’s renumbering of addresses in 1932, all retail and commercial spaces shared the same address: 34 South Washington Street. 112-114 S. Washington Street is a great example of a one-part commercial block and was built as a prototype building for “an early variety store (“dime store”).[2] For this reason, the history of both modern addresses was researched.

The site on which 112-114 S. Washington currently sits was previously owned by the Jenning family’s estate.[3]


The excavation and construction for 112-114 S. Washington Street began in July 1929 under the ownership of Mr. I. Schuman of Winnetka, Illinois.[4] Schuman was a landowner and commercial realtor who specifically provided stores for the Loblow company, either by renting the store spaces or through purchasing a site and building his own building.[5]Schuman leased the unbuilt building to Loblaw Groceteria Store in May 1929.[6] The contemporary description of the building was:


“The building, for which Mr. Schuman has planned, will be modern in both appearance and equipment. It will be a one-story brick structure of the Georgian type, with sloping roof of slate and front of terra cotta. It will contain three store spaces, the largest of which, measuring 20’x160’, has been leased to the Loblaw company for a period of twenty years.”[7]

Architect Edward P. Steinberg and Architectural Details

112-114 S. Washington St. was designed by Edward P. Steinberg. Steinberg was an architect local to the Chicagoland area who was very active in the 1920’s. In Chicago, specifically, he designed six local landmarks: 1439-1449 W. Pratt (the B’nai Sion Synagouge), 1627 N. Humboldt, 2324-2326 W. Devon Ave., 2936-2938 W. Palmer St., 3244-3254 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., and 5546-5548 W. Belmont Ave.[8] He also designed the Genessee Theater in Waukegan.


These buildings share many of the same features that 112-114 S. Washington Street has, including the combination of classical, art deco, and byzantine elements on its facade.


The Tudor Revival Design of 112-114 S. Washington St. includes a slate roof accented by two small gable-front dormers with half-timbering and an inset shield motif, which appears to rest on top of gargoyles.[9]  In 2003, 112-114 S. Washington Street was ranked as “potentially significant” in Hinsdale’s Architectural Resources in Downtown Survey Area because, “unfortunately, the entire storefront has been reconfigured with non-historic materials, covering over some terra cotta detailing. For this reason the building has been ranked potentially significant.”[10]


Identical designs by architect Steinberg exist at 3244-3254 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue and 5546-5548 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago.


3244-3254 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Designed by Steinberg in the 1920s.
3244-3254 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Designed by Steinberg in the 1920s.

Facade of 3244-3254 West Bryn Mawr Avenue.

This same design was also used at 5546-5548 W. Belmont Ave.


5546-5548 W. Belmont Ave.
5546-5548 W. Belmont Ave.

History of 112-114 South Washington Street

Schuman leased the unbuilt building to Loblaw Groceteria Store in May 1929.[11] The Loblaw Groceteria Store was established in Toronto, Canada in 1919 by Theodore Pringle Loblaw and J. Milton Cook, two Canadian grocers.[12]


Advertisement from The Hinsdale Doings for the opening of Loblaw Groceterias, 24 October 1929.
Advertisement from The Hinsdale Doings for the opening of Loblaw Groceterias, 24 October 1929.

The second tenant who signed a lease in 1929 was the Dutch Mill Candy Company, who leased a smaller portion of the building for 15 years.[13]


Advertisement from The Hinsdale Doings advertising the opening of Dutch Mill Candy Shop, 1929.
Advertisement from The Hinsdale Doings advertising the opening of Dutch Mill Candy Shop, 1929.

The Dutch Mill Candy Company was established in 1927 at 2222 Diversey Parkway in Chicago. Barnet L. Stein was the company's President when it opened. Dutch Mill opened its fiftieth Chicagoland shop in 1946.[14] Dutch Mill sold, of course, candy, chocolate, and lunch. The store specialized in Dutch-processed chocolate and had an “old world” appeal. The company closed, ultimately, in 1988.


During the Great Depression, Loblaw’s made a partial retreat from the US market, selling its 77 Loblaw Groceterias Inc. stores in the Chicagoland area to the Jewel Tea Company (now Jewel-Osco). Jewel took over the lease from Loblaw for 114 South Washington.


After Hinsdale renumbered addresses in 1932, the Dutch Mill Candy Company became the tenant of 112 and Jewel’s Food Store was the tenant of 114.


In October 1954, the Jewel Tea Company, aka Jewel’s Food Store, bought 45 South Washington Street and moved the Jewel Store from 114 S. Washington to that location.[15]


 


Photograph of tree removal in front of Loblaw Groceterias, circa 1927-1931.
Photograph of tree removal in front of Loblaw Groceterias, circa 1927-1931.

By 1938, the Electrical Service Shop, run by Herbert Mensing, and the American Bakery run by Henry F. Goss were the tenants of 112 S. Washington.[16] By 1947, the Hobby Shop was established at 112 S. Washington.[17] After the Hobby Shop closed, by 1952, the Hinsdale Electric Company was established at the address, run by Albert F. Thon and Herbert Becker.[18]


112-114 S. Washington on the far left, c. 1930s-1940s.
112-114 S. Washington on the far left, c. 1930s-1940s.

By 1958, 112 S. Washington was the location of A. E. Fossier & Co., a home construction and design company. A. E. Fossier & Co. changed its name to A. E. Fossier Realtors by 1972[19] and a few years later became “Fossier Realtors.”


Kaufman Interiors moved into 114 S. Washington by 1966.


View South Washington Street with 112-114 S. Washington Street on far left: Kaufman Interiors and Fossier Realtors. 1966.
View South Washington Street with 112-114 S. Washington Street on far left: Kaufman Interiors and Fossier Realtors. 1966.

After the Fossier firm left around 1976-1977, another realtor firm was established called McKey & Progue at 112 S. Washington.[20] The firm was at 112 S. Washington from 1977 to 1993, after which it moved to Chicago Avenue.


In 1984, 114 S. Washington was occupied by Washington Street Cafe, run by Chef Ralph Frederickson. The restaurant closed its doors in January 1986 because of financial issues.

In 1990, Chef Tom Romano opened Tommy R’s, a restaurant, at 114 S. Washington. Along with operating Tommy R’s, in 1997, Romano opened a restaurant called Nikki’s Place at 112 S. Washington. Both restaurants were owned and operated by Tom Romano until about 2000 when Tom Romano had to close Tommy R’s, because of high rent, and Nikki’s Place in 2001 for the same reason.


In 2004 Chef Romiro Botollo established Washington Street Grill at 112 S. Washington. Because of financial difficulties, the restaurant closed in 2007. Shortly thereafter, a new restaurant, “Zak’s Place,” was established at 112 S. Washington by Chef Mark Stein. The restaurant lasted until 2014 when it shut down for financial reasons.


In 2014, Chef Paul Virant established a restaurant called Vistro Restaurant. The restaurant changed its name from Vistro Restaurant to Vistro Prime in 2021 and is still located at 112 S. Washington in 2023.


From 2004-2021, 114 S. Washington was home to many establishments including Einstein Bros. Bagels, Jade Dragon Restaurant, Giuliano’s Pizza, and Sauced Pizzeria. In 2023, a new restaurant opened called Que Miso.


References


[1] “Work on New Loblaw Building Commenced.” 1929. The Hinsdale Doings, 1 August 1929.

[2] Historic Certification Consultants,  2003.  23.

[3] Ziegweid, 1993. 5.

[4] “Work on New Loblaw Building Commenced.” 1929. The Hinsdale Doings, 1 August 1929.

[5] “Work on New Loblaw Building Commenced.” 1929. The Hinsdale Doings, 1 August 1929.

[6] Ziegweid, 1993. 5.

[7] “Work on New Loblaw Building Commenced.” 1920. The Hinsdale Doings, 1 August 1929.

[8] “Chicago Landmarks.” 2024. City of Chicago. https://webapps1.chicago.gov/landmarksweb/search/searchresult.htm.

[9] Historic Certification Consultants. 2003. Architectural Resources in the Downtown Survey Area Hinsdale, Illinois: A Summary and Inventory. Hinsdale, Illinois: The Village of Hinsdale. 23.

[10] Historic Certification Consultants, 2003. 23.

[11] Ziegweid, 1993. 5.

[12] "Groceteria chain store system also inaugurated". 1919. Canadian Grocer (Toronto, Canada), 30 May 1919.

[13] “Work on New Loblaw Building Commenced.” 1920. The Hinsdale Doings, 1 August 1929.

[14] Gale, Neil. 2020. “A Brief History of the Dutch Mill Candy Company, Chicago, Illinois.” Digital Research Library of Illinois.

[15] “New Jewel Store Opens in Hinsdale.” 1954. The Hinsdale Doings, 6 October 1954.

[16] Ziegweid, 1993. 5.

[17] “The Dayton Antiques Show.” 1947. Dayton Daily News, 11 November 1947.

[18] Illinois, Office of the Secretary of State. 1953. Certified List of Domestic and Foreign Corporations. Springfield: State of Illinois. 1396.

[19] “The Red Carpet Directory.” 1972. Chicago Tribune, 12 March 1972.

[20] “McKey & Poague.” 1977. Chicago Tribune, 8 May 1977.

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