WIN: Preservation-Oriented Buyer Outbids Developers for Fannie May House

“The Uptown home of the woman who co-founded the Fannie May candy stores sold for slightly over $1 million, with the buyers planning to extensively rehab the rundown home that was in danger of demolition.

“The former home of Mildred King Archibald Hyde, who in 1920 launched a candy business that her husband took over, sold June 11 at $15,000 over the asking price.

“The buyers’ agent said her clients made the higher offer to fend off developers who were vying to get the property. ‘We didn’t want to see somebody put in new crap and flip it,’ said Kate Prange, the Compass agent who represented the buyers.

“‘This house could have been easily threatened with demolition, if not for a special buyer that’s committed to the preservation of the home for their family,’ said Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago.

“The rehab is in part a re-assembly job, as the previous owner, who had begun renovations, saved loads of wood trim and other materials before gutting it. The purchase included ‘three storage units filled with wood trim, crown molding and other things, all cataloged, and a Dumpster of bricks,’ Prange said.

“The previous owner’s identity cannot be determined from public records, as the property was passed around through land trusts and limited-liability companies from 1992 forward, but both Prange and Miller said the homeowner was a man who undertook an ambitious, yearslong renovation before he died.

“Built in 1898, the 6,300-square-foot house belonged to Mildred King Archibald Hyde when she died in 1937 at age 57. It’s not clear how long she lived there prior to her death.

“In 1920, Mildred and her first husband, H. Teller Archibald, opened the first Fannie May candy store on LaSalle Street. The chain quickly became a hit and by 1930 had 30 stores in Chicago and annual revenue of $300,000.

“According to a 2013 biographical article on Mildred, she told the Chicago Tribune in 1928 that in the early years of the store, her husband kept working in real estate while she ‘was willing to work night and day’ in the candy shop.

Mildred later told the New York Times that she ‘financed the candy enterprise at its inception.’ A 1921 article in Manufacturers’ News ascribed the entire business to her, with no mention of Mr. Archibald. ‘Mrs. Archibald is not only the candy maker, but the executive, the proprietor and manager of all the Fannie May candy shops,’ the article said. She ‘manages every detail of a rapidly increasing business.’ (Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 6/17/21)

Read the full story at Crain’s Chicago Business

Fannie May founder’s house saved from demolition; To fend off developers, the buyers paid $15,000 over the asking price for the Uptown home that belonged to the pioneering business woman behind the iconic candy brand, Dennis Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 6/17/21

Uptown home of Fannie May cofounder for sale; As the home of a woman in business in the 1920s, the house should be a landmark, says a Chicago preservationist, Dennis Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 3/2/21


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