A fading ad on 18th St. near Damen (ca.2014)
18th Street looking east, painted bread advertisement
Schulze, the Butter-Nut Bread company was started in 1893 by Paul. The company changed hands in the 1930's then continued on as something separately maintained under the Interstate Bakeries and Hostess Brands umbrella until '37. After a million miles of change, in November 2012 Hostess finally declared bankruptcy. At this time the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Greg cited union wages and pensions as key factors in the brand's liquidation. You go Greg...
The Schulze Baking Company factory is on Garfield at the left edge of Washington Park. The terracotta building eventually became the home for the Hostess Brands until 2004. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency lists the site as an Industry/Processing/Extraction - processing site. It is not listed as having a golden hue with creamy highlights. It's also not listed as an aimless eyesore left to fuel damage and blight. But it's current owners are likely acquiring the means to sprinkle it with Christmas glitter and permanently bath it's eastern face in the warm soft glow of angel food.
Hello, we've moved on. Paul went on to form the Paul Schulze Biscuit Company later known as, Schulze and Burch. He and his son made a fortune baking Saltines for the war effort. The very first cracker ever ever rolled off one of their mechanized-auto-assembling-bakedoo's right in the heart of Bridgeport on 35th Street. The company still produces enough toaster strudel to cover all of Battle Creek with a crisp golden brown patina.
This is about a faded ad painted on the side of building in Pilsen. Once Schulze Butter-Nut Bread was a brand of staid ubiquity in Chicago. Now it's a footnote lingering between 2 buildings on a magical street searching for fresh purpose. Here's a toast for 18th St. Here's a proverb lovingly crafted for you and for this faded sign... Bread might rise but the baker can rise up.
Let's see you in May.
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