Prairie Avenue Bookshop

Sad news over the weekend that, with no buyer to be found, Prairie Avenue Bookshop will close its doors in September. PA has been a Chicago institution, and earned the reputation of “the best architectural bookshop in the world.” It was not uncommon to wander in and see a well-known architect checking out their own books on the shelves. I was always particularly touched by the overstuffed furniture and generous tables that encouraged sitting down and actually reading, instead of just browsing. The Hasbroucks, who have run the shop since 1974, always had a warm welcome for any familiar face. High rents, local taxes, and the recession are all blamed. Architects in Chicago, or just passing through Chicago, will mourn the loss of a great social and retail institution.