Wednesday, June 3, 2015

1425 W. Morse, 1963

1425 W. Morse
This is one of the worst buildings that can happen to a dense neighborhood commercial district.  It's one-story tall and and the parcel is equally split between the building and parking.  I would say it's a good thing that one side of the building aligns with the sidewalk, but it basically presented a huge blank wall until some storefronts were cut into it a few years back. And it's mid-block, so you can only enter from Morse.   Cars can park right up to the fence along the sidewalk, which is massive and unfriendly.

I expect this was built as a large grocery store and was then superseded by even larger stores with more parking at at the edge of the neighborhood.  Which is really where they belong.  It looks as though this building is struggling for tenants, despite its half-hearted renovation.

This is located on what was basically four separate parcels which originally contained two single family homes and connected two-flats. Lots which don't redevelop to match the predominant density of a commercial area typically redevelop later at a higher intensity.

But even in 1963 why did this seem like a good idea?  I wouldn't be surprised to see this replaced at some point.  It's perfect for a large transit-oriented development.


  1. I think it was a Jewel and later Osco

  2. I agree with BW - for many years in the 80's-90's this was a Jewel grocery store. I lived at Greenleaf and Greenview from 1987-1989 and shopped there all the time.

  3. Jewel built the store in the 1950s. Then Jewel was bought by a Utah company, which closed all but one of the stores that were this size in a short time. It was turned into an Osco Drug, but that didn't do very well, so Jewel either rented it out, with the stipulation that no grocery could move in, because they didn't want any competition.
    The one store they didn't close, was finally replaced by a bigger store about a mile & a half away from the original.

  4. When Jewel operated the store, the entrance was on Morse. When they handed it over to Osco, someone decided Rogers Park was a "bad" neighborhood and moved the entrance to the parking lot where, presumably, patrons could make a quick dash to the door, with the "bad" folk discouraged by the limited access from the street. I recall that when the Osco first opened, they even had more than one very obvious, beefy security guards stationed up front. This was discontinued after a few months, possibly because management discovered the neighborhood was more "diverse" than "bad".
    be well,
    bob roman