Krause Music Store - Lincoln Square - Chicago
Krause Music Store

Lincoln Square - Chicago IL
The Krause Music Store was the very last design completed by Louis Sullivan. It's a somewhat sad story of a true architectural genius who was never fully appreciated during his lifetime. His organically inspired ornamental details, as seen on the façade of this store front, are a lasting legacy of a bygone era of beauty, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. Many Thanks to Peter & Pooja Vukosavich for putting their hearts, time, passion, (and finances) into the loving restoration of this treasured landmark.

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Chicago Athletic Association - The Loop - Michigan Avenue
Chicago Athletic Association

The Loop - Chicago IL
You might recognize the distinct patterns on this stonework from your last trip to Venice. Although Michigan Avenue is slightly less tranquil than the Grand Canal, be sure take a moment to pause and admire this beautiful structure. The recently renewed Chicago Athletic Association building is a gorgeous living example of past meets present that now houses a hotel, Shake Shack, and one of the best panoramic views you'll find at a rooftop bar. An overpriced drink at Cindy's feels like a bargain to enjoy a moment atop this stunning piece of Chicago history.

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The Uptown Theatre - Chicago North Side Historic Movie Palace
The Uptown Theatre

Uptown - Chicago IL
Built in 1925 as the Balaban and Katz Uptown Theatre, this print of the original entrance structure showcases beautiful terra cotta ornamental details that were common on Movie Palaces of the era. While it's heart-breaking that the Uptown has been closed to shows since 1981, the good news is that the building still stands, and we hold out hope that the theatre will find new life again one day soon in the heart of a great neighborhood on the north side of Chicago.

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Bush Temple of Music - River North - Chicago Avenue -  Historic Architecture
Bush Temple of Music

River North - Chicago IL
Subtly hidden amongst high rises and the upward urban changes that have taken place in River North over the last 120 years, this music temple has not only survived, but has also recently been restored and renovated. Built in 1901 as the headquarters and showroom of the Bush and Gerts Piano Company, this architectural treasure carries beautiful french renaissance accents rarely seen in Chicago.

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Yale Apartments - Englewood Chicago - Historic Architecture - South Side of Chicago
Yale Apartments

Englewood - Chicago IL
Located in Englewood on the south side of Chicago, the Yale was originally built in 1892 as luxury apartments in anticipation of the World's Columbian Exposition (World's Fair) held in relatively nearby Jackson Park. Hidden within, this building has an incredible seven story interior atrium with a skylight that allows sunlight to filter in and showcase an inviting airy space with surrounding walkways leading to individual apartments.

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Chicago Woman's Temple - Historic Chicago Buildings - Financial District - The Loop
Woman's Temple

The Loop - Chicago IL
This was an unbelievably beautiful structure that once stood at the corner of LaSalle and Monroe streets. Associated with the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, this building housed an organization that was sneaky progressive in for its time. "Here women, by holding conventions, circles, debates; by keeping restaurants, establishing hospitals, promoting prohibition politics, variously sought their own happiness and the public good." Sadly, this building didn't even survive the 1920's, but you can celebrate a bygone era of high rise office tower splendor inspired by the Chateau's of France with this completely unique graphic print.

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The Metro - Northside Auditorium Building - Swedish Community Center - Wrigleyville - Lake View Chicago - Clark Street - Wrigley Field
Northside Auditorium Building
(The Metro)

Wrigleyville - Chicago IL
The Northside Auditorium Building was originally a Swedish Community Center when it was built in 1927. In more recent history, the Metro has been the quintessential venue for emerging artists touring through Chicago. Many acts that went on to play arenas and stadiums started out playing shows at this intimate venue. It feels like an oversized bar more than a theatre, but still has the beautiful historic ornamental details found in movie palaces and ballrooms of the era. 

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Blackstone Theatre - The Loop Chicago - Wabash Avenue - The Blackstone Hotel -  Historic Chicago Theatre Theater
Blackstone Theatre

The Loop - Chicago IL
This beautiful french renaissance theatre was built in the early 1900s adjacent the infamous Blackstone Hotel on a site that once occupied Timothy Blackstone's home. At one time there was even a sixth floor skybridge that connected the two buildings encouraging patrons to be entertained without the need to go outside, which is pretty handy during Chicago winters. This print was carefully illustrated to accentuate the original Beaux-Arts architectural elements.

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Aragon Ballroom - Uptown Chicago - Lawrence Avenue - Historic Ballroom
Aragon Ballroom

Uptown - Chicago IL
The Aragon opened its doors during the height of Uptown's prominence as an entertainment district in the 1920s. This beautiful ballroom has played host to countless pieces of musical history, and the moorish inspired architecture within only adds to the nostalgic escapist experience.

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Old Colony Building - The South Loop Chicago - Historic Architecture
Old Colony Building

The Loop - Chicago IL
"Stately, perfectly proportioned, pure in outline and exquisite in tint, it rises at the southeast corner of Dearborn and Van Buren streets." - Joseph and Caroline Kirkland - The Story of Chicago - 1894.

Federal Street and Plymouth Court essentially cut blocks in half between Jackson and Polk Street making a unique rectangular block shape and viewing angles for historic high rises at the south end of The Loop. Among others, the Fisher Building, Monadnock, Plymouth Building, Manhattan, and Old Colony Building make this part of town a joy to stroll through. 

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Garfield Park Fieldhouse - Chicago Park District - Chicago West Side - Historic Civic Architecture
Garfield Park Fieldhouse

James A. Garfield Park - Chicago IL
There are many beautiful examples of civic architecture throughout the city, and Garfield Park's Field House building is a masterpiece. In the late 1800s and early 1900's, Chicago invested vast resources into the development of the park systems and boulevards. This structure has a distinctive gold-leaf dome that anchors the center of Garfield Park.

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Grand Central Station Chicago - South Loop Chicago - Pere Marquette - Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad
Grand Central Station

South Loop - Chicago IL
It's incredible to ponder the amount of train routes that made their way into Chicago at one point in time. Beyond that, the resources put into the grandeur of these stations in that era is astonishing. The interior columns of Chicago's Grand Central were styled after Norman Castles with intricate carvings and the waiting room floor was even laid with Vermont Marble. To top off the clock tower, a 5 ton bell tolled every hour. The Chesapeake and Ohio's Pere Marquette to Grand Rapids (which Amtrak still runs today) was the last train to depart this station in 1969. 

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Blackstone Library - Kenwood - Hyde Park Chicago - Historic Civic Architecture - T.B. Blackstone
Blackstone Library

Kenwood - Chicago IL
In Kenwood, on the south shore of Chicago, T.B. Blackstone had this beautiful library built as a gift to the city in which he had made his fortune. We love when beautiful architecture is created in public buildings for all to enjoy. Here you can browse stacks of books surrounded by stained-glass ceilings, mosaic tile floors, carved marble, mahogany paneling, and incredible Bronze accents. The whole place is incredibly endearing, and the glass block floors alone are insane. 

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Our Lady of Lourdes - Catholic Parish - Ravenswood - Sheridan Park - Andersonville Chicago
Our Lady of Lourdes

Ravenswood - Chicago IL
When Ashland Avenue was widened in 1929, buildings in the city's right of way were chopped or leveled to make way, but the resilient community behind this parish came together and moved the entire structure across the street! This is an incredible feat in any time period let alone depression era Chicago. Financial struggles of many religious institutions is an increasing issue these days. Regardless of one's spiritual persuasion, we hope there is a preservation minded future for beautifully crafted buildings such as this one.

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Dearborn Station
Dearborn Station

Printer's Row - South Loop - Chicago IL
Still anchoring the south end of Printer's Row in the South Loop, Dearborn Station (aka Polk Street Depot) was built in 1883 by the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad. An imposing and beautiful 12 story clock tower rises above the station that originally had a beautiful steeply pitched roof. Though no trains have entered the station since the 1970s, thankfully the building survives. It now serves as retail and office space, and the former rail yards are occupied by Dearborn Park.

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The Rookery Chicago Financial District - LaSalle Quincy Street - Historical Architecture - Frank Lloyd Wright
The Rookery

The Loop - Chicago IL
This building is a complete masterpiece and a favorite of many Chicagoans. Built in 1886 by Burnham and Root, it is arguably the oldest standing high rise in Chicago, with a re-design of the interior completed in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright. Whenever I'm in the neighborhood, I grab a sandwich at the Potbelly located on the ground floor and enjoy my lunch while staring in awe at the beauty of the interior space that lies within this treasure of a structure.

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Chicago Board of Trade - Historic Financial District - The Loop Chicago - LaSalle Street
Chicago Board of Trade

The Loop - Chicago IL
The Chicago Board of Trade was the first commercial building in Chicago to have electric lighting, and the tallest in the city when it originally had a large clock tower in 1885. As it turns out, the ground wasn't stable enough for this imposing structure, and the building was eventually demolished in 1929, which is probably fitting for a financial institution.

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The Uptown Broadway Building - Uptown Chicago Historic Architecture
The Uptown Broadway Building

Uptown - Chicago IL
Some of the most unique architectural structures are on awkward triangle shaped lots, and this beauty was originally crafted and executed with ornamental accents and terra cotta that remind you of Uptown's glamorous boom in 1920s Chicago as an entertainment district. Much credit goes to Space Architects for their incredible rehab of this building. Be sure to take a close look at the beautifully restored stone façade work next time you're in Uptown.

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Diversey Theatre - Historic Chicago Theatre - Theater - Lake View East - Clark Street
Diversey Theatre

Lake View East - Chicago IL
Built in 1925, the Diversey Theatre was located on Clark Street just north of the busy Clark-Diversey-Broadway intersection. This structure has been through many variations over the years. As the mall craze swept the country, the theatre was gutted and turned into an urban shopping center in the late 1970s. Despite various awkward additions, much of the original façade can still be appreciated today as you stroll up Clark Street, and I would make a point to do just that while you can. The current owners have been attempting to remove the historic stonework completely. All that said, this print was carefully crafted as a tribute to the building's original beauty and craftsmanship.

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Wrigley Building - Michigan Avenue Chicago Gold Coast - Historic Architecture - Chicago River
Wrigley Building

Downtown - Chicago IL
The Wrigley building is an architectural icon in the heart of Chicago at the intersection of Michigan Avenue & the Chicago River. The façade is still covered with the traditional glazed white terra-cotta (and still washed by hand) which makes the building glow when it's lit up at night to show off it's beautiful ornamental details. William M. Wrigley Jr. definitely left a legacy in the windy city despite spending many of his later years in California. A certain ball park on the north side and this treasure are among Chicago's most beloved structures.

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Schlitz Tied House / La Luce - Historic West Loop Chicago
Schlitz Tied House / La Luce

West Loop - Chicago IL
Built in 1892, this beautiful Schlitz Tied House has recently been saved from the wrecking ball (multiple times). Thankfully, in July of 2021, the structure was officially designated a city landmark. The Milwaukee based brewery built nearly 60 different tied houses in Chicago in the late 1800s and early 1900s in order to promote their product. The West Loop scene is booming at the moment, with glass box buildings going up constantly it seems, so it's nice to see a piece of history has been saved in this part of town. Be sure to peer out the train window next time you're on the Green or Pink line over Lake Street and take a moment to enjoy the incredible craftsmanship of this gem.

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Uptown Station - Wilson Avenue Chicago - Broadway - Historic Civic Architecture
Uptown Station

Uptown - Chicago IL
We think it's wonderful when Architectural passion and ornate details are put into structures constructed for the general public, in this case the elevated trains passing through Uptown. It was wonderful to see the CTA lovingly restore the Wilson station recently and bring back the beautiful topped arch to this grand entrance originally built in 1923.

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Hotel LaSalle - Downtown Chicago Architecture - The Loop - LaSalle and Madison
Hotel LaSalle

The Loop - Chicago IL
The stunning exterior structure of this infamous hotel housed equally impressive ballrooms & luxury restaurants within. Hotel LaSalle had lovely ornamental roof accents that remind you of palace hotels in Europe. However, it was quintessentially American architecture with respect to the 23 stories of imposing height when sky scrapers were coming of age in America and Chicago.

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Thalia Hall - Pilsen Chicago - Indie Music Venue and Bar - 18th street and Allport
Thalia Hall

Pilsen - Chicago IL
With multiple publications recently ranking Pilsen in their top 10 of hip neighborhoods world-wide, perhaps the secret is out on this part of town. That aside, the beauties lined along 18th Street have always been worth a stroll, and highlight a completely unique district distinguished by architectural accents put in place by Czech immigrants in the late 19th century, complimented by additions and repurpose visions of the Mexican American community more recently. Thanks to the loving efforts of the current owners of Thaila Hall, this historic venue has been given new life and you'll find some of the best indie shows utilize this fantastic venue when they come to town.

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Federal Building Chicago - architecture history - art print and wall art
Federal Buildling

The Loop - Chicago IL
The Federal Building stood as a beautiful and imposing structure in the heart of the Loop for 60 years housing the main post office as well as many other government bureaus. In its early days the Federal Weather Bureau was even stationed in offices within the dome and took official measurements from the top of the structure.

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Commonwealth Hotel - Chicago Apartment Hotel - Custom Wall Graphic Art
Commonwealth Hotel

Lincoln Park - Chicago IL
The history of the Apartment Hotel is rich on the north side of Chicago, and many of these beautiful buildings went up near the turn of the twentieth century filling needs for vacationers and longer term renters alike. These historic high rises give the north shore a more vertical, densely populated feel in some areas, though many of the tree lined streets near apartments like these still retain a welcoming neighborhood feel to them.

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Aldine Square - History of Bronzeville Chicago - Vincennes Avenue on Chicago's South Side
Aldine Square

Bronzeville - Chicago IL
Built in 1874 as a micro-neighborhood in Chicago's Bronzeville, these picturesque homes were laid out in a square block with an entrance on Vincennes Avenue surrounding a central pond. Unfortunately, these beautiful homes didn't even survive the 1930s, but you can romanticize about a lost era on the south side with this graphic print.

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Cook County Criminal Courthouse - Gangland Chicago History and historic buildings
Cook County Criminal Courthouse

River North - Chicago IL
This landmark houses an incredible amount of Chicago's criminal history within, though it's easy to miss the building with the verticality of the near north side these days. Regular visits were made by many of the well known figures of gangland-era Chicago, and many infamous trials played out within the walls of this structure complimenting an equally infamous pressroom housed on the 4th Floor. This print was crafted as a tribute to the imposing romanesque stonework laid in the late 1800s. 

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Landmark Center MN - St Paul Minnesota historic architecture
Post Office / Customs House

Downtown - St Paul MN
Built in 1902 as a Post Office, Courthouse, and Customs House, this beauty has not only survived the last 120 years, it has also been lovingly looked after & restored with great care. The exterior of the now named 'Landmark Center' still strikingly resembles the original building much more than many other historic buildings who have been trimmed and streamlined over the years.

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The Ryan Hotel St Paul MN - Historic Architecture in Minnesota on sixth street and robert street
The Ryan Hotel

Downtown - St Paul MN
Another unfortunate victim of the late twentieth century car boom that turned treasures like this into... you guessed it, a parking lot. While my heart aches over these unfortunate events, this print is designed to celebrate and appreciate the beauty of the architects and craftsman who labored to create the stunning Ryan Hotel in St Paul, Minnesota.

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Custom Prints

Wall Art paying tribute to your favorite building.

About Vagabond Studios

A passion project born from our love of urban exploration & the stunning beauty of historic architecture.
Though we've spent many stints abroad & on the move in years past, currently our studio is based in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.

Every print is carefully illustrated to accentuate the ornamental details of these architectural treasures. We especially love the craftsmanship and attention to detail common in the era at the turn of the twentieth century.

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Contact

Tell us a story. Ask a question, or inquire about your own custom print.
Consignment selling options are available as well for local shops. 
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