Hi this is Leslie Harris. I have been passed this place dozens of times, but only now that it’s closing did I find out just how cool it is. It’s a Walgreens. Yes, a Walgreens, BUT, it is housed in an old bank, and the vitamins are in the vault!
The Vitamin Vault is definitely the coolest part of the store. The lock boxes line one wall, and some of them are pulled out and display antique medicines like mecuricome. Outside of the vault, you can view blueprints and other artifacts.
The rest of the store is also remarkable. The ceiling and the lighting are stunning, and the cosmetics department is in a loft that overlooks the main floor.
If you want to see it for yourself though, you better hurry. The Wicker Park Walgreens, housed in the old Noel State Bank building at 1601 North Milwaukee, is closing on January 31st. It opened in 1921, and gortunately, since it is part of the landmarked Milwaukee Avenue district, the city requires the preservation of the historical features. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it will be open to the public, so go and see it while you still can!