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Swedish American Museum Acquires Adjacent Building For Expansion

With several Swedish American businesses closing recently in Andersonville, one very important cultural business will be expanding their operations.

The Swedish American Museum at 5211 N. Clark. has officially acquired the three-story building to its north at 5217 N. Clark, adding 20 percent more street level presence for the museum. With the addition, they plan  to expand upon their mission and programming to further enhance the Scandinavian character of the neighborhood.

“We are excited with this chance to help continue the work of making Andersonville a wonderful neighborhood with a significant history, said Executive Director Karin Moen Abercrombie in an emailed statement.

The acquired building at 5217 N. Clark was constructed by Swedish architect Anders Norman in 1914. Norman, who is also responsible for Ebenezer Lutheran Church (1904), is said to have had his hand in the design of the current museum at 5211 N. Clark as well.

The addition tops off a milestone year for the museum which includes the return of the iconic, Swedish-flag adorned water tower to its rooftop. Abercrombie added, “On the heels of the return of our rooftop water tank, this opportunity to grow is exciting to us.”

Ideas for the new space are already in the works. The Museum will officially take over the new building once current tenants, which includes Smokes on Clark and apartments on the upper two stories, move out.

With financing obtained through commercial financing, the new development is not connected to the current funded improvements to the existing museum.


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