Extra! Extra! Read All About It! 1909 Newspaper Found in Terra Cotta Block.

Designed in 1903 by Holabird & Roche, 619 South Lasalle Street in Chicago was once the home to Brock & Rankin, a printer and binder of books, catalogues, and encyclopedias. The company vacated the building in the 1950s and sections of the building were remodeled for office use. Today, Boston Valley Terra Cotta is helping restore 619 South Lasalle into a residential apartment complex. Several original features will be included in the renovation such as mosaic tile flooring, a passenger elevator cab, and a historic metal staircase that will all be included into the lobby area.

We recently received a few of the original terra cotta blocks that were removed from the building and shipped to us for creation of replacement units. Surprisingly, that wasn’t all we received. A newspaper dated from July 8,1909 was found deep inside one of the blocks.

Architectural restoration, terra cotta, #coolFind, Chicago, Holabird and Roche, Brock and Rankin, 1909 Chicago Examiner newspaper,  Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Front page of the 1909 Chicago Examiner newspaper that was found on an architectural restoration project.

Architectural restoration, terra cotta, #coolFind, Chicago, Holabird & Roche, Brock & Rankin, 1909 Chicago Examiner newspaper,  Boston valley Terra Cotta

Chicago Examiner from Thursday July 8, 1909 is a #CoolFind during the start of a restoration project.

Amazingly the paper is still legible even after being stored inside the block for over 100 years! We like to think that one of the construction workers was taking his lunch and placed it inside a piece of the terra cotta, not wanting to carry it down the 7 story building with him.

Architectural restoration, terra cotta, #coolFind, Chicago, Holabird and Roche, Brock and Rankin, 1909 Chicago Examiner newspaper,  Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Original terra cotta block where the Chicago Examiner newspaper was found.

Boston Valley has started the process of replicating the historic red terra cotta detailing for this beautiful building. We happy to be a part of this architectural restoration project that is bringing this building back to life AND getting the chance to glimpse into Chicago’s past.

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