New CVS Pharmacy opens in old Wicker Park bank

Date: 
04/02/2011
CVSInterior

CVS Pharmacy's new location at Ashland and Division is a testimony to structure and interior reuse. It blends the beauty of an historic structure with contemporary commercial needs as it brings more commercial traffic to the corner from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. Pharmacy is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mon.- Fri. and 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on weekends.

The beautiful stained glass ceiling and the massive  columns topped with huge arches greet the customer who enters from the store's front doors off of Ashland Ave. Nestled into this massive space are well lit aisles filled with thousands of items.

Customers of the CVS Pharmacy at Milwaukee, Chicago and Ogden, will recognize a familiar face when they see the new store's manager Joyce Narel. Assistant managers are Amy Eckhard and Brett Nunno.

CVSSign
CVSEveExterior

CVS Ashland Ave. entrance

The pharmacy is located in the northwest corner of the store. A second entrance, located straight up the aisle from the front door, is accessed from the parking area on the Division (south side) of the building.

CVSAsstMgrStaffCustomer

Amy Eckhard assists new staff as he helps a customer

CVS, a Rhode Island based business, is on Chicago area based Walgreens' home turf with four Walgreens stores to CVS's one.  However their plans include expansion. While they are impacting the Milwaukee corridor on the south end, Walgreens' has one at Milwaukee and Wolcott with another planned for the intersection of Milwaukee, Damen and North in another former bank building.

CVSGiveaways

CVS give aways during grand opening

Built in 1925-26 for more than $1,000,000 for the Home Bank and Trust Company (HTBC), the building was designed by Karl M. Vizthum & Co. While HTBC fell under the weight of the depression in 1930, United American Trust and Savings Bank took over until it failed the next year. Manufacturers National Bank purchased the property in 1948. MB Financial

BuildingWithBrickedWindows

With the windows bricked up, the building looks very different

Bank, continues a branch on the property along the Division St. side though RDM Development company purchased it in December 2004. They began opening the bricked up exterior windows a couple of years ago, giving passersby a different landscape from the unfriendly foreboding gray stone that appeared to want to keep people out.

Keeping people out was exactly the intent of bricking in the windows. It was 1968, the year of Democratic convention and riots.

 

For more information: initial announcement of project


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Comments

Give CVS Credit

Please give CVS a little bit of credit. When huge corporations go above and beyond they deserve some positive reinforcement. This building now serves as a model to other chains that they can locate in dense, historic areas without flattening everything around them.

CVS Creative Reuse

Agreed! It would be an interesting study to find out the premium paid (if any) by CVS in reusing this structure. They succumbed to pressure some years back by Preservation Chicago to reuse the structure at Division & State (a Moorish Revival building next door to Andrew Rebori's white apt. bldg - with ornament by Edgar Miller). Although I think the Div. & State reuse could've done a bit better I applaud them for doing the right thing.

Terrible News

This is plain sad. There was once a demand for office space in buildings like this and the best we can come up with is a CVS? Our economy is in real deep trouble.

The Gateway to Wicker Park

In actuality, the Home Bank and Trust company property will be more alive than ever. The vault will have a new restaurant opening soon, the CVS will bring many conveniences to the neighborhood, there is over 50,000 sq ft of office space in the rest of the building. Adjoining residential units and additional retail with the MB Bank still onsite. Parking has also been preserved with over 50,000 sq ft of underground parking for the offices and residential and 100 parking spaces at grade level. This site will become more vibrant than ever. There is bus service and subway adjacent to make this more attractive than ever for commuters. This is a vital project for the community as as entrance to Wicker Park.

dead alive

It is a big box store in a beautiful building. It makes it look like the suburbs. I have trouble seeing the addition of a CVS as making the building "alive". But I will concede that it is better this than having it torn down, which is usually how it goes in Chicago.

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