THREATENED: Temptation Chocolates Building Risks Removal of Exterior Terra Cotta!

Temptation Chocolates Building Storefront, 1929 S. Halsted Street, Photo Credit: Google Street View

The Temptation Chocolates Building, at building 1929 S. Halsted Street, was added to the 90-Day Demolition Delay list on December 1, 2017, requesting “removal of existing terra cotta cladding and replacement of windows.” The owner is Aberdeen Development and the specifics of the redevelopment plan remain unknown.

This orange-rated, six-story office and retail building has an outstanding white terra cotta façade with decorative neo-gothic ornamentation and a detailed cornice. Historic sconces and the original Temptation Chocolates sign adds unique character and detail at the street level.

Chicago was once the candy capital of the world this is another example of a major Chicago industry that has nearly vanished. Recent demolitions, like the demolition of the orange-rated Brach’s Candy Factory by Alfred Alschuler on Chicago’s West Side and the demolition of the orange-rated Bunte Brothers Candy Factory on Franklin Boulevard by Schmidt, Garden and Martin has diminished that history and legacy.

Dating from 1916, the building was designed by architect A.L. Himelblan and built by Gallanis Brothers at a price of $120,000. It was constructed to house their highly successful chocolate company that enjoyed a reputation for “purity, fine flavor and wholesome qualities” and which had “been shipping their chocolates to all parts of the country, besides supplying an immense local trade.” (National Corporation Reporter, page 212, 3/9/1916)

Located at the corner of Halsted Street and 19th Street in Pilsen, the Temptation Chocolates Building is one of the tallest and it significantly contributes to the wonderful collection of historic buildings that makes this stretch of Halsted Street so visually compelling. It is in part because of these highly aesthetic and beautiful buildings that which has attracted creative tenants and institutions such as the Chicago Arts District, Chicago Museum of Art and Social Justice, Artspentry, Chicago Art Department, Renegade Craft Fair, Kym Abrams Design, True Productions, Studio Oh!, Art of Imagination, and many more.

Preservation Chicago will advocate to prevent the removal or destruction of this highly decorative terra cotta façade. Aberdeen Development has a focus on the conversion of industrial buildings and interest in unique historic elements that provide character and authenticity, so there cautious optimism for a good outcome.

Additional Reading

Confectioners In Big Success, National Corporation Reporter, page 212, March 9, 1916


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