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After a 37-year legacy in the heart of Chicago, the iconic Architectural Artifacts Inc. is set to embark on its next thrilling adventure in Round Top, Texas, the newfound capital of antiques in America. Founder Stuart Grannen has acquired an original 1880’s cowboy saloon, dance hall, farmhouse, and three acres of land in Round Top, establishing a new home for the renowned and treasured Chicago store.Architectural Artifacts will close its doors in Chicago on April 15th. In his 37 years in Chicago, Grannen has sold over 100,000 items, from a Louis Sullivan designed elevator surround  from the Chicago Stock Exchange to a complete terra cotta facade from the Sheridan Theatre to a granite folly from St Andrews, Scotland to marble tables and benches from the Bank of France. 

“It is with a heavy heart and a warm smile that I make this announcement…It has been a truly extraordinary 37 years in Chicago for Architectural Artifacts and myself. I have grown the business and grown personally in many ways. Some needed, some fun, some painful, but always with the idea to move forward,” said Grannen. “Thank you from my heart to all of our customers, vendors, friends and fans. I will still have a foot or two in Chicago so please stay tuned for what is next. As always, I have some plans and surprises up my sleeve.”

Grannen’s conversion of the historic saloon and dance hall includes the addition of an exquisite antiques gallery, and will feature live music, and food and beverages. Along with the big move, Stuart Grannen secured 15,000 square feet of prime showroom space at Paul Michael’s Market Hill located at 1542 Texas 237, Round Top, TX 78954. He will continue buying and traveling non-stop in Italy, France, Germany and Argentina. Additionally, Grannen will also continue buying in Chicago. 

Architectural Artifacts’ founder, Stuart Grannen, has been collecting, displaying and selling antiques and artifacts from around the world since 1987. Located for many years in Chicago’s historic Ravenswood neighborhood, the original 80,000-square-foot building/showroom dated from the early 1900’s (originally the Boye Needle Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of knitting needles). In 2022, it moved to its current location at 1065 N. Orleans, Chicago.  The nation’s leading treasurologist, Grannen has been playing lost and found with high quality antiques and architectural elements for over 50 years, scouring the globe to acquire unique items.

 

A wayward youth with an eye for wonderful old “stuff” (he bought his first architectural find, a stained-glass window from a Baptist church, at age 7). Stuart started out perusing the aisles of New Jersey antique stores with his parents, then headed to college in Knoxville, TN, where he studied archaeology and became acquainted with the antiques of the American south.

 

In 1981, when a wide swath of homes was torn down to make way for construction of the Knoxville world’s fair, Stuart managed to buy an enormous quantity of artifacts; old mantle pieces, stained glass — everything he could preserve. He stored it all in warehouses and barns, and quickly sold it to a New Orleans antique dealer, who promptly hired him.

 

In his late 20s, Stuart found himself part owner of an architectural resale company in Minneapolis, where the artifacts were plentiful but the winter he found too cold. He headed back south, to Nashville, where he continued to discover and recover all that he could from buildings headed for demolition, selling items to an ever-widening customer base seeking the historic, the eccentric and the truly original for their own spaces.

 

Feeling that Chicago was a receptive launching pad for his forays into far-flung corners in search of artifacts — and was also a city in the midst of a wave of demolition, Stuart relocated his business to the city in 1987. He set up shop in an old factory building on the city’s north side in Ravenswood and flung open the doors on a wonderland of architectural treasures. The love child of an antiques store, a museum, and a curiosity shop (complete with a swashbuckling proprietor) Architectural Artifacts quickly became a place of fascination for the generations of Chicagoans who wandered through. Over the years, Stuart cemented his reputation as one of the world’s premiere dealers of architectural antiques and one of a rarefied group who helped rescue some of the city’s lost architectural heritage.

 

When Architectural Artifacts closed its doors with a no-holds-barred auction in 2019, the story arc was far from complete. Architectural Artifacts opened its doors in a reclaimed school building in 2022, offering an all-new, radical assortment of the treasures Stuart started collecting as soon as the old place closed. The new concept allowed him to do what he does best: travel the world in search of amazing finds and amazing stories, and share them with customers, collectors and all those who care to wander.  

 

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Architectural Artifacts, 1065 N. Orleans, is a world of lost treasures from original fireplace mantels, stained and beveled glass, period lighting, garden furnishings, cast and wrought iron, gargoyles and griffins, carved stone, church artifacts, decorative tile, American and European furniture, and industrial furnishings. Parking is free. For more information call 773-348-0622, or visit www.architecturalartifacts.com