2013 – Michigan Avenue Magazine – “Architectural Artifacts Hosts an Auction”

—Elle Eichinger
Photographs Courtesy Michael Monar
April 3, 2013


This weekend (April 5-7), rare antique/architectural elements showroom Architectural Artifacts celebrates 25 years in business with an anniversary auction called by both Donley Auction Services and Kraft Auction Services. Owner and avid collector/archeologist/explorer Stuart Grannen puts more than 1,500 items on the block, from stained glass window panels and carved oak doors to wall sconces and garden statues.

Although Grannen’s inventory comes from around the world—England, Italy, and Argentina—we’ve got our eyes on pieces of Chicago history. The one-ton pillars from Chicago’s Mercantile Exchange that sit in the store/gallery’s courtyard may not be for sale, but other local treasures are. A chandelier from the Civic Theatre Lyric Opera House embodies American Art Deco style in bronze and glass; the incredibly rare piece will start at $3,500 on the final day of auctioning (April 7). On the same day, an American Cutler Mail Chute from the historic Isabella Building will go up for grabs, beginning at $900.

It may seem difficult for Grannen to part with over a thousand items that he has collected over more than 40 years, but for him, the excitement is in the hunt. “I’ll sell anything,” he says. “But I always sell with the thought that I’ll find something better—and I always do.” The auctioning starts at 10 am each day. 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., 773-348-0622