This was the neighborhood where I grew up. By 1974 I was married and out of my parents’ home, but the old businesses still remained on this commercial strip. Moving south from Montrose, we have the drug store, the bakery, Mandis the Chicken King Restaurant, Kars Five-and-Ten Store. At the far end of the block, just past Kars, the old National Food Store has been converted into an Armanetti’s Liquor Store.
Today most of the residential streets in my old Portage Park neighborhood look the same—bungalows are sturdy. But all the stores in the 1974 photo are gone, their buildings replaced by a giant Walgreen’s.