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The Landmark in Andersonville Ready For a New Chapter

Jan Baxter believes in her core that it’s not enough to just own and operate a business. Rather,  it is the responsibility of everyone in the community to invest in and participate in growth and development for the good of all residents. She has worked tirelessly to promote Andersonville both as a resident and a shop owner for the last 50 years. Anyone who knows Jan personally can attest to the endless hours she has volunteered and invested into the community she calls home. The Landmark is a staple boutique on Clark between Berwyn and Farragut. The two-story shop features earrings, gifts and art on the first floor, antiques in the basement and a salon run by her daughter Jennifer on the second floor. The neighborhood has always enjoyed the friendly and inviting atmosphere at The Landmark, where customers are greeted by name when they walk in the door. Jan’s commitment to the community, from the annual shopping night for kids to Mid Summer Fest,  has been a special love affair with the Chicago north side neighborhood affectionately known as Andersonville.

LankMarkJan is now positioned to enjoy her next challenge. Her entire adult life has been spent as a mother and a business owner in this unique neighborhood. With conflicted feelings and emotions, Jan has concluded it is time to pass the torch to the next generation of people who will continue to populate the Andersonville business community with the same philosophy that she has maintained. She is not too comfortable with the word “retirement,” and would rather embrace the concept of redirection for a new chapter in her life. She is now actively seeking a tenant to occupy her space and operate it with a similar vision for the community.

Alderman Harry Osterman states: “Jan Baxter has enriched our community for 30 years – as the owner of The Landmark and as a voice for small business owners on Clark Street. Her business helped pave the way for Andersonville’s success as a destination for locally owned, quality retail. I wish her the best on her new chapter and am deeply grateful for the positive and lasting impact she’s made on the community.”

Jan has truly loved the Andersonville area and has seen it maintain its charm and warmth in a city that has continued to change. Soon after leaving Combined Insurance company 38 years ago she opened “Country Creations” in Andersonville, a wholesale business that featured exclusively American hand made items. In 1984 she opened The Landmark. It moved to its current location at 5245 N. Clark St. in 2004 with her daughter Jennifer’s very successful “Salon 10” in the space upstairs.

“Andersonville would not be what it is today were it not for Jan Baxter” says Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce Ellen Shepard. “In the mid-1980s, the commercial district in Andersonville was experiencing a period of decline, with empty and underused storefronts. When Jan, a longtime resident, decided to open a retail store, her genius was to operate the Landmark of Andersonville as a cooperative, so that individual entrepreneurs could share space and expenses. The coop acted as a tremendously effective small business incubator, spinning off multiple businesses that eventually set up shop in their own storefronts. Jan continues to support other business owners, sending her customers down the street to other shops that she thinks they would enjoy. She has always understood that a successful community is about cooperation and support, not competition.”

The Landmark has been just that; a Landmark! A signature business that has provided a great service to the community that she has loved so much. The Landmark will continue to operate until a new tenant is found, but Jan admits that it is now time to refocus her energy toward some endeavors that have taken a back burner to running her shop. Anyone interested in occupying her unique location should feel free to discuss it with her.

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