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Vertin Gallery (Vertin Brothers Department Store)
In 1885 Austrian Americans John and Joseph Vertin opened their large two-story department store. Within fourteen years the successful mercantile establishment needed more space. Two additional brick stories were added to the building and extensive improvements made. Large windows, so prominent in Chicago where John Vertin traveled for business, pierce the variegated red and white, rough-cut and rubble Portage Entry sandstone lower exterior walls, permitting the full display of goods. The Vertin Brothers installed an innovative electrical and steam heating plant that heated their immense store, ran its elevators, cash and delivery system, and electric lights, and provided steam heat for the First National Bank and several other buildings. The former department store now serves as an art gallery with private working art studios on the upper floors.
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