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Chicago Music History: Krause Music Store

Have you ever seen the Krause Music Store? The story behind it’s life is as intriguing as the obscure design. Located at 4611 North Lincoln Avenue, the property for the store was purchased in 1920 by William P. Krause , whom the Goldberg General Contracting company describes as “a successful music salesman.” Krause commissioned the world renown Louis H. Sullivan to handle the architectural end of things, and in 1922 the Krause Music Store was fully erect and ready for business.

The Krause Music Store is a historic landmark in Chicago
Photograph by Marcus Dayton Bailey

The building was meant to be a live in retail venture for Krause. With the music store being on the first level, the second level was an apartment meant to house the Krause family. I guess Krause never heard the phrase “ Don’t crap where you eat”, because two years later Krause’s music store was now a funeral home. According to my research the building is now home to a design firm, but the outside of the building has not changed , thankfully. The City of Chicago gave the Krause Music Store a historic land mark blessing in 1977 . Mostly because this is the last building that Sullivan was paid to produce. Also, the facade is quite the facade. The front of the store has a very basic square design . And the centerpiece of the front is a statuesque ornament that resembles a key. As a result, the store looks like a music box from the right distance. Ask your grandmother about music boxes (or Google it).

It is unfortunate (especially for Mr. Krause) that the store has no researchable music history. However, the name that goes along with the view makes looking at this building all the more pleasant. This Spring and Summer is a great time to take advantage of this functional urban artwork. To find out more about the Krause Music Store please click on the links below.

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