For the sheer wealth of its collection, few architecture bookstores in the world can match the Prairie Avenue Bookshop. Architects and architecture lovers can browse thousands of titles at the store, which set up shop on Chicago's Prairie Avenue in 1974 and has been at 418 S. Wabash Ave. since 1995. Unfortunately for the proprietors, Wilbert and Marilyn Hasbrouck, not all of the browsers have been buyers.
"People would come to the bookshop with their notepad, make notes of what they wanted and then go buy it somewhere else," Wilbert Hasbrouck said last week. He blamed the 10.25 percent sales tax for driving buyers to online booksellers like Amazon.com.
Forty-eight years after Marilyn Hasbrouck started the business from the couple's suburban Park Forest home, the Hasbroucks say they will likely close the bookshop, an institution in Chicago's architecture community, on Sept. 1 -- unless, that is, a buyer can be found.
"We're losing a national resource," said Chicago architect John Eifler. "It's very sad." . . . To read more, click here.
The bookstore will be closing 1 September 2009, and will honor gift certificates until that date.