Boston Store Stables Demolished!

Change.Org Petition

Save Our Stable: Halt the Demolition of Historic Boston Store Stable

Save Our Stable! The last remaining Boston Store Stable building has been purchased and issued a demolition permit. Designed by Holabird and Roche, the building was constructed ca. 1906  for the Boston Store. Founded in 1873, the Boston Store was one of Chicago’s most prominent department stores and mail order businesses until 1948. The company’s Holabird and Roche-designed department store still stands at the northwest corner of State and Madison and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located at 4340 S. Vernon Avenue the stable building is the last vestige of the Boston Store’s network of warehouse and stables throughout the city which helped facilitate the daily delivery and movement of goods.  

The building has housed a myriad of activities – from its original use as a horse stable and later auto garage for the Boston Store to apartments and the home of the Greater Chicago k Elks Lodge No.954 for nearly 50 years that saw the likes of B.B. King and Buddy Guy, and finally the home of the Temple of the African Community In recent years it has fallen into disrepair, but with a little time and love it can be returned to its former beauty and rehabilitated to once again serve our community.

We are asking for a 90-day moratorium on development while we construct a plan and recruit a team to restore this historic building to the community anchor it once was. As of now, the current owners plan to tear down this testament to Bronzeville’s rich history at any moment. We are asking Alderman Dowell to do whatever she can to halt the demolition process while we amass the resources to transfer ownership of the building to a preservation-friendly developer interested in revitalizing and celebrating the Boston Store Stable as a significant piece of Bronzeville’s past.

Help us Save Our Stable! Please sign this petition to ask Ald. Dowell to support this effort.

Change.org Save Our Stable: Halt the demolition of historic Boston Store Stable, Bronzeville, 4340 S. Vernon Avenue, Greater Chicago k Elks Lodge No.954

Preservation Effort Overview.

Part of Bronzeville’s History at Risk!
Boston Store Stables Facing Imminent Demolition

Preservation Chicago opposes this demolition and encourages the developer to either incorporate this historic building into their development plans or sell the site to someone who can. At least, the owner should postpone demolition until their new development plans have been completely approved and permitted by the City.

Save Part of Bronzeville’s History!
Urban renewal and wholesale demolition over time has destroyed a great deal of Bronzeville’s built environment and history. We cannot let another viable historic building be demolished!

The building at 4340 S. Vernon was built in 1906 as horse and delivery stables for the Boston Store, a once famous department store at State and Madison in the Loop. It was designed by Holabird & Roche. It is the only remaining Boston Store Stable building in Chicago.

Red Van Construction purchased the property in April 2018. They were issued a demolition permit by the City at the end of October, and they have fenced off the building and are ready to bring in the wrecking ball.

Every developer who wants to demolish a historic building will argue that the building is unstable and beyond hope. However, brick buildings built in the early 1900s are solid as a rock. They need restoration and reinvestment at ti mes, but they are almost never the “lost cause” that developers claim.

Bronzeville is rebuilding. Our community is getting stronger every day. We need every historic building to remain intact as we continue forward with a larger vision for the community.

For more information or to get involved,  please contact:
Email: bronzevillebostonstore@gmail.com
Phone Number: (872) 231-2154

Additional Reading

Facing Demolition: The Last Remaining Boston Store Stable
John Morris, Chicago Patterns, September 24, 2018