602-610 N. Milwaukee Avenue - Bulkley Building
The red brick, Neo-Classical, two-story business block at 602-610 N. Milwaukee Avenue was constructed in 1902 by a member of the Libertyville pioneer Bulkley family. (A misspelling of the family name is the moniker of Buckley Road). The building provided four storefronts at street level and four upstairs apartments. A plumber, a baker, and a female photographer first rented space in the building. Other early tenants included the W.C. Triggs shoe store, Beswick’s photography studio, Brown’s saloon, and the North Shore Gas Company. A succession of apparel shops, small grocery stores and restaurants anchored the block from the 1910s through the 1940s. The Sportsman served the community’s sporting good needs here for several decades beginning in the mid twentieth century. Over the last thirty years, this block has contributed to the revival of Libertyville’s downtown by hosting a series of restaurants and specialty shops.
Backstory and Context
The earliest advertisement found in the Lake County Independent for a business in the Bulkley Block is for Miss Flora Colby, photographer, in January 1902. Little is known about Colby, the daughter of M.B. Colby, owner of an established dry goods store in the 500 block of North Milwaukee Avenue. By 1903, she was no longer in the building and another photographer, C.A. Beswick operated there. Later Beswick also opened a 5 and 10 cent store in the block. John Lester, future proprietor of Lester’s Tavern at 545 N. Milwaukee Avenue, acquired the Beswick store in 1912. Charles Boyd purchased the Beswick Photo Studio in 1914.
Albert Litchfield, plumber, rented the south store of the Bulkley building in November 1902 and Fred Jochheim, baker, rented the north side. Litchfield, previously employed by Libertyville hardware men H.B. Eger and Schanck, set up a workshop in the basement of the building and a showroom of plumbing wares at street level. Jochheim, a German immigrant previously employed at an Evanston, IL bakery, established a wholesale and retail bakery here. In 1907, he built the structure at 547-551 N. Milwaukee Avenue to house his growing business and moved across the street.
The W.C. Triggs shoe store grounded the south corner of the block for a year or two around 1903 alongside the William Deane Sample Room wholesale liquor shop. When Triggs moved to the 400 block of Milwaukee Avenue at the end of 1904/beginning of 1905, the J.W. Brown saloon took over that spot.
The Spring Café, the IGA Supermarket, and The Sportsman were among the myriad of restaurants, markets and shops moving in and out of the Bulkley building from the 1920s through the 1950s. Mrs. Clara Spring opened the Spring Café in the building as early as 1908. In 1923, the Spring Café advertised a multi-course Thanksgiving dinner that could be eaten at the restaurant or a “turkey, duck, or pig dinner made up to take home.” Mrs. Spring served Libertyville until at least 1927. An IGA grocery store opened up on the northeast corner of Milwaukee Ave. and School Street about 1937. The IGA became Bogue’s IGA when George Phillip “Phil” Bogue, a long-time manager for A&P, took ownership in the mid-1940s. The store closed about 1957. The Sportsman, another long-term Bulkley Building tenant, opened on Lake Street in 1950 and moved to this building by June 1952. Bob Davis owned the store from about 1958 until his retirement in 1993. The store continued a few more years after his departure, but closed by 1997.
A string of shops and restaurants have come and gone in this building over the past twenty-five years. Trattoria Pomigliano opened in the south corner spot in 1995 where it leased for 20 years before purchasing a building on Cook Avenue, relocating, and re-branding as Cafe Pomigliano. Chrissoulas occupies the spot in 2020. A travel agency, a clothing store, and a chocolate and baked goods shop previously operated out of the storefront which has been home to Oh, Olive! since 2010. The Main Street Social restaurant followed Lindsey’s gifts and collectibles shop on the north end of the building in 2017.
City Directories, 1901, 1903, 1905, 1908, 1913, 1916, 1922, 1925,
Telephone Directories. Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society collection.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. 1897, 1912, 1924, 1933, 1948.
"Miss Flora Colby, photographer." Advertisement. Lake County Independent, January 24 1902, p.1.
"Bulkley Building Rented." Lake County Independent, November 14, 1902, p.5.
"C.A. Beswick." Lake County Independent, September 25, 1903, Souvenir Edition.
"W.C. Triggs" Lake County Independent, September 25, 1903, Souvenir Edition.
"W.C.Triggs is moving..." Lake County Independent December 30, 1904, p.5.
"A general line of 5 and 10 cent goods..." Lake County Independent November 12, 1909. p.5.
"John Lester, Successor to C.A. Beswick." Lake County Independent December 6, 1912, p.5.
"Photo Announcement." Lake County Independent May 8, 1914, p.4.
"Thanksgiving Dinner with Us." Advertisement. Lake County Register June 30, 1923, p.6.
"Mrs. Clara Spring, Former Resident Here, Dies at Home of Daughter in Wisconsin." Independent Register, July 2, 1931, p. 1
"Know Who AP Manager Is? Why He's George P. Bogue!" Independent Register, February 20, 1941, p.1.
"Large Business Block Changes Ownership." Independent Register, August 16, 1945.
MilwaukeeAveN602-610. HistoricLibertyville.com. Accessed August 29, 2020.
Mikus, Kim. "Family influences flavor couple's Italian restaurant." Daily Herald, May 9, 1995, Business Section, p.1.
Mikus, Kim. "Lake County Business." Daily Herald, February 28, 1997, Business Section, p.1.
Roszkowski, John. "Downtown draws new business." Libertyville Review, May 30, 2020, News Section, p.7.
Mikus, Kim. "Buffalo Grove sisters expand Delicious." Daily Herald, November 8, 2005, Business Section, p.1.
"Healthy oil business opens." Daily Herald, September 3, 2010, Business Section, p.1.
Groenke, Michelle. "Libertyville restaurant hopes downtown magic moves to side streets." TribLocal, January 28, 2015.
Village of Libertyville. HistoricLibertyville.com
Lake County Independent, September 25, 1903, Souvenir Edition.
Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society
Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society
Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Cizek Collection.
Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Libertyville Township Assessor Collection.