LOSS: Iconic Art Deco R.V. Kunka Drug Store Sign Destroyed

RV Kunka Drug Store Building with storefront removed, 2897-2899 S. Archer Ave. Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers

After being overpainted with black paint in October 2020, the iconic and beloved R.V. Kunka Pharmacy art deco storefront has been fully removed.

While the paint could have potentially been reversed and restored, the destruction of this historic storefront eliminates this option. It is unclear why the owner made this unfortunate decision, but it can be assumed it was an effort to make the building look more generic to attract a new tenant.

“The building housing the R.V. Kunka Pharmacy is part of a long line of commercial structures on the south side of Archer Avenue. It is located at a 6-way intersection with Loomis and Fuller Streets.

“This typical late 19th Century building got a snazzy update some time around the 1930s. Glazed panels, modern fonts, a two-tone color scheme, and an emphasis on horizontal lines combine to form a Streamlined slipcover storefront.

“Though easy to overlook, the entryway to the store is the focal point of the remodeling. Two vertical plastic ‘pilasters’ appear to light up from within, marking the main door. The doors themselves feature stylish door pulls. Even the concrete step was given a reddish tint to harmonize with the facade.” (A Chicago Sojourn Blog, 7/21/2008)

Archer Avenue was a Chicago 7 Most Endangered in 2007 and would be a strong candidate for a Chicago Landmark District designation.

Read the full 2008 blog and see photos at Chicago Sojourn Blog


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