Wednesday, October 16, 2013

O'Gara & Wilson, Ltd. Antiquarian Booksellers


This past June, Chicago's oldest book store closed it's doors in Hyde Park.  O'Gara and Wilson, Ltd. Antiquarian Booksellers had been a fixture in the University of Chicago neighborhood for over a hundred years.  Saul Bellow called it "the best bookstore in America".  Happily, those doors reopened in Chesterton, IN not long afterwards.  You'll find the Wilsons and their books at 223 Broadway in Chesterton.



Now the windows reflect trees and flowers and a slower-paced community.


For our September day together,
Diana, Jane and I decided to start at 
O'Gara and Wilson's.


Indeed!


Old wooden library ladders are 
strategically placed among the stacks.
Books--old, older and rare--can be found there.


Chairs are provided, too.


There are several "nooks" for
perusing or visiting.


A charming vignette.
One of the bookend "readers" has fallen asleep.
That happens to me often!


What readers have used this chair through the years?


The building seemed to have been waiting 
for these booksellers all along.


When you lead a book lover to a book store,
they will buy.
We each left with a bag of books. 


43 comments:

  1. i love the desk chair in the photo with the ladder, beautiful old building and all those books to... and i love that tin ceiling

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  2. I did not know about this bookstore and am so glad they reopened with such a great heritage. Your spoof was darling. I have a boutique type shop and I will say this is a very disappointing time - my 27th year.

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  3. What a beautiful spot. Love book stores and libraries.

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  4. What a fantastic place! I could spend all day there!!!
    xo Kris

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  5. That looks like a wonderful place to visit! So glad the relocated instead of just closing down:@)

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  6. How sad for the Chicago neighborhood to lose such a place but at least it has a new home and it looks wonderful. I clicked on your photos and enjoyed a closer look including the wonderful wood floors. I can just imagine them creaking as people quietly walk among the volumes. What was the building before the book shop took over? Thanks for a wonderful post, Makes me want to drive up to Indiana!

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    Replies
    1. The building has seen many occupants through the years. It started as a drug store and, I believe, was a computer store before the bookstore moved in.

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  7. What an attractive store. I would spend a lot of quality time there.
    Sam

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  8. Oh what a fabulous place..
    If those walls could talk~

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  9. Beautiful book store and your right just lead me to a store like this and will not leave empty handed.
    Wonderful post and I so enjoyed my visit with you tonight.
    Hope all is well and your having a gorgeous week.
    It's raining here so I might get a break from mowing and catch up with my blogging buddies.
    Love
    Maggie

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  10. How far from Chicago? I am in love; it looks like the perfect vacation spot. B.

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    Replies
    1. Chesterton is about forty miles from Hyde Park. Not a lot of traffic! In fact, it is right at the foot of the Lake. Lots of dunes to explore, nature trails, a wonderful history museum and peaceful parks. Come on down!

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  11. I'd love to go there -- I adore bookstores! I'd get lost in there for hours and hours!

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  12. Oh, and the ceiling looks like it could be a Norman one -- made then (and still made now) in the same town that is home to Cottey College. And if you ever visit the college, it's only 20 miles from Linderhof . . . I'd love to have you visit!

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    Replies
    1. I will let you know. It would be a real treat to have tea with you!

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  13. Oh, be still my heart... I can almost smell it. I am so happy that this business relocated to another Old Girl that is perfectly suited for it! Love the books and the building! blessings ~ tanna

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  14. What fun to browse through a bookstore like that one. One by one our bookstores are slowly disappearing. For book lovers this would be paradise. I must remember to tell my daughter about this.

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  15. I absolutely love book stores!! I could literally spend all day in them - I think its the musty smell that reminds me of my grandma's cellar where she kept all her canned goods!

    We just turned on the heat for the first time last night - boo!

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  16. I just discovered your blog by way of "Tomatoes on the Vine." My husband and I always seek out antiquarian bookstores when we travel. I haven't been to this one but your description and photos make me want to hop on a plane just to visit it!

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  17. I adore bookstores like that!! the cake looks and sounds delicious
    mary x

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  18. Lovely. It reminds me of the old Carnegie library in Montezuma Georgia, a lovely historic building and quintessential library. Modern buildings may be better in some eyes but historic buildings are so much more beautiful and lend greater ambiance.

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