'Ghost Image' from 1900s Preserved on Chicago Federal Building Wall
During brick wall painting of the newly renovated 11 W. Quincy Court Federal Building in Chicago, Ill., an old coat of paint was removed from the southwest wall, revealing a painted advertisement on the wall indicative of the presence of the former owner, the Bond Clothing Company, circa 1940.
The barely legible painted wall advertisement – often referred to as a "ghost sign" by historic preservationists – is considered historic and will be left in its current state without further restoration in accordance with local preservationists’ advice.
Bond was the nation’s largest men’s clothing chain in the 1930s and 1940s with 150 stores across the country.
As part of the Federal Building's renovation, a new employee entrance was built on Quincy Court just east of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, and a glass wall was added to the upper floors of the west side.
In fact, much of the building has been opened to daylight harvesting with floor to ceiling windows. For an artistic touch, each glass unit is etched with the words of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights. The etched lines run up, down, horizontally, and diagonally, echoing the theme of the building's exterior metal sculpture, "Lines in Four Directions" by Sol Lewitt, hanging on the north half of the west wall.
Since its completion in August, the renovated building provides a new home for the Department of Labor, formerly housed in various leased locations.