“A long-empty Classical Revival building on Fullerton Avenue, built in the 1920s as a bank and later the home of a company that made clothes for burying the dead, is being turned into eight condos.
“The Corinthian-pillared building at 1425 W. Fullerton Avenue, familiar to people who pass it because of the word “perfection” carved over the door, has been vacant since at least 2013.
“A key feature of the condos will be “those big, amazing windows,” said agent Melissa Govedarica. Two-story arched windows line the building’s north side, along Fullerton, and its west side, along Janssen Avenue. Throughout the building, “they’ve saved some of the awesome original design appointments,” including decorative iron work and plaster medallions, which will be incorporated into the rehab that is going on now.
The building, a city landmark, was designed by Karl Vitzthum, the architect of at least 50 Midwestern bank buildings, according to the city’s landmarks department, and tall buildings in the Loop, including the Old Republic building on Michigan Avenue and the Art Deco skyscraper One North LaSalle. The building opened as Fullerton State Bank in 1923 and still has a crest emblazoned with an F on the facade, above the word Perfection.
The bank closed during the Great Depression, and another company, Perfection Burial Garments, moved in. During the Depression, when burying a family member in useful clothes seemed wasteful, entrepreneur Harry Eckhardt launched Perfection to make inexpensive clothing that could be draped over a corpse and buried with it.” (Rodkin, 11/25/19)
Preservation Chicago has consistently encouraged and publicly testified that any reuse of this building should incorporate both exterior and key interior components.
This 1920s Lincoln Park bank building will become 8 condos; Familiar to passersby on Fullerton for the word “perfection” carved over the front door—a reference to the burial garment company that once occupied the building—it’s been empty since at least 2013, Dennis Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 11/25/19