|L. Shure, 2015|
Storefronts are basically large panes of fixed glass supported by wood or metal mullions with a center or side entrance. Storefront technologies have changed dramatically over the years, but if you're selling something it's better to let people see into the store.
The upper floors were accessed through a front door adjacent to the storefronts. Typically this would be a solid door to convey the more private nature of the space above. Most of these on this stretch are apartments.
Cornices were used to emphasize the termination of the building, and were often stone or pressed metal, built up from stock pieces available though a catalog or a local supplier. Corbelled brick cornices often depended on the abundance of inexpensive skilled labor available at the time.
Decorative parapets often add additional interest to the top of the building. As different styles became popular the parapet offered a good location for their expression. On the far right the parapet has a castellated profile and is inset with Sullivanesque terracotta ornament.
Modern signage, even with strict code regulations, doesn't have a consistent methodology. It often blocks storefronts or interferes with the underlying ornamentation of the building. This is nothing new, can be seen even in historic photos.
The other major type of commercial development in Rogers Park is the strip mall. That might take a broader analysis.