You are here

Make No Little Plans: The Architectural Artifacts Auction




Thursday, 1 November 2018 to Friday, 2 November 2018

This bittersweet event will celebrate the closing of Architectural Artifacts, Inc. on Ravenswood Ave. in Chicago. After 31 years, owner Stuart Grannen will officially close the Ravenswood store at the end of 2018. Over the years, Grannen has supplied eccentric and unmatched architectural treasures, antiques, and oddities to architects, interior designers, movie and tv productions, as well as to museums and collectors all over the world.

“After 30 plus years I need a bit of a break from retail, and retail probably needs a break from me,“ remarks Grannen. “I will continue to travel the world nonstop buying remarkable items while refreshing my sense of adventure and design. These fabulous finds will still be available to our customers at,” says Grannen. “Stay tuned for what I’ve got cooking. There will be a new collaboration between myself and Erik Retzer, the current Director of Architectural Artifacts. The new project will be a design centric store, with a worldwide aesthetic opening early 2019.”

Founded in 1987 by Grannen, Architectural Artifacts, Inc. became an American institution offering an eclectic mix of objects from around the world and fragments from some of the nation’s most significant buildings. Offerings include important art and artifacts from some of Chicago’s most historic buildings plus unusual and fascinating objects from around the globe. The eclectic collection speaks to Grannen’s eye for quality and his sense of adventure. This one-of-a-kind Chicago store is a national treasure for history and architectural enthusiasts and collectors alike with fun around every corner.

When it opened, Architectural Artifacts, Inc. occupied a 3,000 square-foot space on Chicago’s Ravenswood Avenue. At the time, the city was undergoing massive transformations, and the previous decades brought the demolition of some of Chicago’s most important commercial buildings and private residences. Grannen began salvaging and collecting architectural fragments and ornamentation, valuing each piece as a snapshot of a time and place imbued with history and quality. He soon broadened his interests to a global level and traveled the world for objects that interested him, exemplified great craftsmanship, told a story, or that were simply very cool. By 1992 his space was at capacity, and Grannen purchased a 30,000 square-foot plastics molding factory just a few blocks north. Eight years later he further expanded the store to over 80,000 square feet where Grannen and his team have amassed a vast collection of objects and pedigreed architectural fragments- all of which will be offered at auction.

Composed of approximately 1000 lots, the auction will feature highlights of Architectural Artifacts, Inc.’s 31-year history. Standout items include a pair of monumental carved limestone horses from 1920, an Italian mid-century eightarm chandelier in the style of Stilnovo, a 1930’s colossal Italian pine cabinet by A. Meroni & R. Fossati from the Terme di Salsomaggiore, an ancient Roman spa outside of Parma, Italy, a fantastic zinc zodiac themed clock face from the Schlitz Brewery clock tower in Milwaukee Wisconsin. A rare terracotta fragment from the façade of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Francisco Terrace in Chicago, a pair of large winged limestone griffins from a bank in Kansas City, a pair of original lamp posts from the 1883 World’s Columbian Exposition, an Italian marble bathtub carved in the ancient Roman style, and a 1920’s French cafe bar with beer taps and a zinc top from France.

Venue ( Address ): 

1338 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607

Other events from River North Design District

The 8th Annual RNDD Fall Gallery Walk
Framebridge Celebrates Father's Day
06/13/2022 to 06/16/2022
River North Pup Crawl & Cat Walk
6th Annual River North Design District (RNDD) Fall Gallery Walk



Related Shows This Week

Natalia Irina Roman: in∙ner transit | Art installation reimagining the everyday experience of commuting
04/12/2024 to 06/20/2024
"Orange Sunrise With Flowers, Fruit, and Vessels" by Daniel Gordon
04/20/2024 to 06/25/2024
Worlds World Worlds
04/11/2024 to 08/03/2024
Kai Samuels-Davis: Emergence
05/04/2024 to 06/01/2024
Linder's Work is in the Fine Art Auction, at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
05/10/2024 to 06/02/2024
04/15/2024 to 06/22/2024
Evgeniya Golik "Esoterica"
05/04/2024 to 06/30/2024
Oakmont Alumni Art Exhibition
06/01/2024 to 07/27/2024