Artists Frame Service, the country’s largest picture frame business, celebrates its 35th anniversary by adding to its legacy on Clybourn Ave. To mark their 35 years, a large marquee sign has been erected on their iconic building which simply reads, FRAMING. The landmark sign, which is modern with a bit of vintage flair, is homage to old time Chicago signs such as the one found on the Chicago Theatre. As a third generation Chicago retailer, the shop’s owner Jay Goltz has great respect for the new blended with the traditional.
In 1978, when he opened Artists Frame Service, Clybourn Avenue was a desolate, downright dangerous, warehouse district best known for nighttime drag racing. The area is now one of the most thriving retail corridors in Chicago – an urban-renewal success story.
As the first anchor business on Clybourn many credit Artists Frame Service and Jay Goltz with jump-starting the redevelopment of what is now the Clybourn Corridor and sending West Lincoln Park property values skyrocketing. Today Jay’s businesses, which also include Jayson Home and Chicago Art Source among others, continue to set the standard for retailing on Clybourn; they inhabit a full city block now named “Honorary Jay Goltz Way” by the City of Chicago.
In its 35 years Artists Frame Service has grown to become the largest picture frame store in the world, employing over 100 people. Many of whom work in a famous, old factory building on Chicago’s west side, the Cribben and Sexton Universal Stove Company, which Artists Frame Service refurbished to house its production facilities.
Artists Frame Service also marked its anniversary with a brand new website, artistsframe.com.