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Tut tut … it’s not who you think!

January 9, 2012

Take a look at this face. Recognize him?

An Egytian statue from the Valley of the Kings? 

No.  He’s from Chicago.

An artifact in the Field Museum of Natural History?

No.

He’s in an exhibit at the Art Institute?

No. Give up?

Yes, and what does he have to do with 1730 Outlet?

He was born here.

Wha??

Here’s a more complete picture of him:

He lives, with his twin brother, at Reebie Brothers Moving and Storage, 2325 N. Clark, Chicago. He’s made of, you guessed it, terra cotta and was designed, formed and fired by Northwestern Terra Cotta, 1730 W. Wrightwood, circa 1921.  In fact, when he looked like this, downstairs from my office about 90 years ago …

(photograph courtesy Chicago History Museum)

he stood patiently waiting to be decorated and then sent throught the kiln that is now our furniture store. 

The twin Reebie sentries, based on ancient Egyptian statues of Pharoah Ramses II (died 1213 BC), stand guard over the landmark building’s entrance:

Take a look at the colorful decorative tiles and ornamental relief. It’s all Northwestern terra cotta.

Here’s a shot of Northwestern Terra Cotta workers glazing similar pieces in the factory around the time Reebie Brothers Storage was built: 

 

(photograph courtesy Chicago History Museum)

See those pipes mounted on the wall? They’re still here, and still used to help heat the building.

If you’d like to learn more about the Reebie Storage building and its landmark status, click here for an excellent, very brief YouTube video produced by Chicago Works in their Great Chicago Buildings series.

And if you’re interested in more about 1730 Outlet, stop on by!  We’re at 1730 W. Wrightwood in Chicago and we’re open from 10:00 to 6:00, Saturdays 10:00 to 5:00. 

Furniture, home decor and lots more, at 50% to 80% off.

And be sure to check out the new spring look at tag2u.com. It’s bright, pretty and fun!

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6 Comments
  1. Cool article! And I love your store, too.

  2. Abby permalink

    Greatly enjoying your blog – I love the history and how you mix in your current experience in the building. You drew me in with the Reebie sentries. I look forward to reading more of what you write.

  3. Sharon Cataldo permalink

    Enjoy your blog and your store is great!

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