Pharmacist Charles Walgreen established his drugstore chain in Chicago in 1901. The smooth, streamlined exterior of this steel-framed store suits the corner site it occupies and conveys a fresh, healthy image. A low, round tower wrapped by blue and red neon signage (added c. 1949) marks the corner entrance. Inside, retail departments and a one-hundred-foot-long lunch counter originally occupied the ground floor, the second floor housed a restaurant and kitchen, and the third floor was used for storage. In 1997, Walgreens proposed demolishing the drugstore in order to build a larger structure, but local preservation organizations prevented this; the distinctive neon sign has since been landmarked. The similarly designed neon sign on the CVS Pharmacy (formerly the Gus Mayer department store) nearby at 800 Canal is a 2010 addition to the 1940 building.
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