The Central Avenue “Nazi House”

When I was growing up on the Northwest Side in the 1960s, the two-flat at 4819 North Central Avenue was notorious among my friends.  That was the building with the swastika.  We called it the “Nazi House.”

We didn’t know that the swastika was an ancient symbol of good luck that the Nazis had appropriated.  The two-flat was from the 1920s, and had been built when Hitler was still a minor-league rabble-rouser.  Hardly anyone on this side of the Atlantic had heard of him or his party then.  Whoever had decided to put up this particular swastika likely had no political motives.

Today Confederate flags and other symbols of an unenlightened era are consigned to the junk heap.  I wonder what passers-by thought of the Central Avenue two-flat during World War II, when the United States was actively involved in a death-struggle against the Nazis?  Or did the owner of the building cover over the swastika until V-E Day?

I took the photo of the “Nazi House” when it was being torn down in 1974.  An apartment building now occupies the site.

—30—

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1 Response to “The Central Avenue “Nazi House””


  1. 1 Garry May 23, 2019 at 9:41 am

    I see numerous buildings around the city with swastikas in the decorations. One is in a building from the former TB Sanitarium, now part of North Park Village/Peterson Park.
    There are several on Michigan Ave. with them, mostly at the second or third floor level on a lower floor cornice.
    All are from before 1929.


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