Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Schmidt Mitzgerei

On the corner of Hudson Avenue and Menomonee Street resides the charming Schmidt Mitzgerei (butcher's shop) of old town.  The mitzgerei, built in the classic German fachwerk style, utilizing heavy timber framing was established in 1903.    Today it is the home of the Sullivan Law firm.  

It is a fine example of the early German immigrant construction that at one time was quite common throughout the Old Town Neighborhood.  After the great Chicago fire of 1873, Chicago instituted a ban on wooden construction that impacted construction practices in Old Town and the rest of the city to this day. Interestingly, the sign's "Mitzgerei" is spelled with a an "i" while spelling with "e" is the more modern spelling for this German word.

The street the building resides on, Hudson Avenue, was originally named Church Street, which is of note for two reasons, first, it is interesting, that the road switched from an 'Avenue' to a 'street',  which is certainly comparable to switching between the Yankees and Red Sox, proving that these terms really do have no official meaning whatsoever, and second, that the building was able to avoid being located on the adjacent, unfortunately named , Hurlbut  Street (later changed to Cleveland Avenue).

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