Then and Now, Diversey-Milwaukee

1949–Diversey Avenue @ Milwaukee Avenue, view west

2021–the same location

In the 1949 photo, the five-story building on the right was the Morris B. Sachs Building, owned by a local clothier who had just become sponsor of an amateur variety show on early-day television.  Across Diversey is the landmark Art-Deco Woolworth Dime Store.  Notice that both buildings feature signs for Household Finance Loan Company.

Morris B. Sachs (the man) was eventually elected Chicago City Treasurer.  His one-time headquarters building is now the HaIrpin Arts Center.  The Woolworth has become a Foot Locker.  And though Household Finance is gone, “Friendly Bob Adams” is still around.

—30—

5 Responses to “Then and Now, Diversey-Milwaukee”


  1. 1 Kyle L October 14, 2021 at 5:15 am

    Footlocker started out as a subsidiary of Woolworth. Is it possible that the first floor space has been leased by the same corporate tenant for 72+ years?

    • 2 J.R. Schmidt October 14, 2021 at 5:54 am

      More likely that corporation owns the building itself.
      –JRS

      • 3 rmichaelroman October 14, 2021 at 6:41 am

        I always wondered about that myself. The building itself is owned by its own corporation. I wrote plenty of rent checks to it. This is not uncommon but it still leaves open the question of who owns the building corporation… IIRC, the building itself dates from the late 1930s… For some reason, 39 sticks in my memory but don’t trust me on this.

      • 4 J.R. Schmidt October 15, 2021 at 8:23 am

        “AIA Guide to Chicago” has a picture of the Woolworth’s, and simply says that it was remodeled in 1938. No info on the original construction date or the architect.
        —JRS

  2. 5 Garry October 15, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    I wonder how they were able to legally remove the fire escapes on the Sachs building.


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