THREATENED: Remnants of Decorative Art Deco Terrazzo Floor Discovered at Six-Corners

“Some Far Northwest Siders are hoping rediscovered remnants of an ornate entryway from an old Six Corners clothing store can be saved as a developer takes over the property.

“Last week, a local historian and explorer came across an old Art Deco terrazzo floor at 4035 N. Milwaukee Ave. It was unearthed after two long-empty buildings were demolished last summer.

“Now, passersby peeking through the fence can see a layer of pink flooring amid the demolition rubble at 4033 N. Milwaukee Ave., a lot that was once home to the famous Mr. Steer Steakhouse. The floor features white and green lines with a circular mosaic of three women.

“The terrazzo entryway used to be part of the Three Sisters clothing store, which was in the neighborhood from the ’40s through the mid-’60s. Mavrek Development bought the property last month. Company representatives did not reply to a request for comment on what they plan to do with the lot or if they will preserve the terrazzo.

“Susanna Ernst, president of the Northwest Chicago Historical Society, said the custom entryway was a spectacular find. The logo represented the clothing store, which was part of a national chain under Miller-Wohl, a New Jersey company. Miller-Wohl operated 1938-1984, when it was merged with another company. Ernst thinks the store was active from about 1940 to 1952 — a long time for a store to be in business during that era, she said.

“But longtime Portage Park resident Cynthia Abbinanti remembers the store still going strong well into the ’60s. She grew up in the neighborhood and regularly shopped at Three Sisters with her friends when they were in high school. She bought a prom dress and pedal pushers from the women’s boutique during the early ’60s, she said.

“‘Anything you can save that is old … we should save it. That is part of history,’ Abbinanti said. ‘Six Corners was always a big hot spot for shopping.’

“Dan Pogorzelski, local historian and writer of Forgotten Chicago, said the terrazzo is a link to the past that fits with his mission to highlight the overlooked environment of the past.

“‘Many are familiar with the landmarks of our wealth of architectural treasures in Chicago, but less are aware of the landmarks which are present in every neighborhood of the Windy City,’ Pogorzelski said. ‘This terrazzo is part of the legacy of the architectural wealth that really helps it hit home how grand the Six Corners business district was in its heyday.'” (Parrella-Aureli, Block Club Chicago, 3/29/22)

Read the full story with many photographs at Block Club Chicago

Residents, Historians Want To Preserve 1940s Terrazzo Mosaic Floor Unearthed In Six Corners; Neighbors want relics to be remembered and appreciated as Six Corners sees developments and new businesses, Ariel Parrella-Aureli, Block Club Chicago, 3/29/22


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