More renovations are coming to the Milwaukee Avenue Historic Landmark District between North Avenue and Division Street. The former Continental Furniture building will be renovated with first and second floor retail with offices above. Continental Furniture/Meyers’ Furniture closed its door in 2015 after 63 years in business. For decades, the upper floors had been used for storage with their windows back-filled with glass block.
Continental Furniture Building is actually three contiguous buildings all fronting Milwaukee Avenue. All three are contributing buildings in the Milwaukee Avenue Historic District, a Chicago Landmark District designated by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks in 2008. 1427 N. Milwaukee Avenue is a four-story red-brick building built by George Strauss in 1887 with a decorative pediment reading “C. Strauss – 1887”. The adjacent 1425 N. Milwaukee Avenue is also a four-story red-brick building built in the 1880’s with a series of concentric masonry circles. The adjacent two-story red-brick was built in the 1910s and has lost its decorative cornice.
The buildings were purchased by Realterm, Maryland-based real estate firm in August 2017 for $3.7 million. In June 2018, a construction permit was issued for approximately $1.5 million worth of renovations, including brick masonry facade repair, replacing the glass block from the upper floor, and installing new two-story high storefront windows. “We saw it as an opportunity to take a beautiful building from the late 1880s and restore it back to its original glory,” said John Tsiskasis, vice president of acquisitions for Realterm. “We’ve been working through designs and Landmark Commission to get [the renovations] approved.
Preservation Chicago applauds the City of Chicago Commission on Chicago Landmarks, developer Realterm and architect Pappageorge Haymes for respecting the historic appearance of these important contributing Landmark buildings and modifying their redevelopment plans accordingly to honor the building’s historic appearance.