Chicago’s main gallery district in River North is justifiably well-known and is within walking distance of all of my recommended hotels in the city. I love browsing this neighborhood, but this time, I ventured farther afield to the up-and-coming “Grand Avenue Design District” west of downtown on Grand between Wood Street and Oakley Boulevard. The streetscape of warehouses and storefronts looks unremarkable, but several of the shops have enticing collections of salvaged architectural elements, antiques and edgy contemporary furniture.
This salvage-focused company has two stores on the same block, an attractive showroom at 1818 West Grand, and a dusty but comprehensive warehouse at 1850 West Grand. We discovered everything from vintage brass grilles to art deco chandeliers to a terra-cotta pelican.
1818 and 1850 West Grand Avenue. Tel. (312) 492-6254.
Chicago’s best-known architectural salvage shop focuses on hosting events as much as on selling recovered columns, stained glass and doors. Nevertheless, the multi-story space is fun to explore, with much of its inventory creatively organized into unexpected seating groups. Closed Monday-Thursday.
1840 West Hubbard Street. Tel. (312) 733-0098.
Most of the items sold by this stylish gallery are ready to place in a home. I especially liked the furniture created in-house from reclaimed wood, including tables made from a former bowling alley lane and planks that once lined a boxcar. Commissions for custom pieces are accepted.
Closed Monday and Tuesday. 2248 West Grand Avenue. Tel. (630) 863-9941.