It Used to Be a Store

In the days before suburban shopping centers, every block of a city neighborhood would have its backstreet grocery store. Many of these old stores have been converted to apartments, but you can still recognize them easily. They’re often on a corner, and the ground floor in front is distinctly different, usually distinguished by space for a sign along the top of the ground-floor façade, sometimes with the shop windows filled in with siding or other later accretions. Here are two typical examples from the South Side.

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