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Prairie Avenue Bookshop


Bill Hasbrouck

We proudly handled a large selection of items from the personal library of Wilbert “Bill” and Marilyn Hasbrouck in a series of sales in 2017, including the 20th Century Art & Design auction on December 2 and the Objects Online auction on October 25.

Architectural Focus

The Hasbroucks ran the legendary Prairie Avenue Bookshop in Chicago, known for its architectural focus for nearly 50 years. At the outset, the Bookshop was located in the Prairie Avenue Historic District in the Near South Side. The Bookshop was close to the Glessner House Museum (Chicago’s oldest surviving building) and the Clarke House Museum (Chicago’s oldest surviving home). Eventually, the Bookshop moved to South Dearborn Street in Printer’s Row. A longtime hub of printing and publishing activity, before finally settling on Wabash Avenue across from the famous Auditorium Theatre in The Loop.

During our 2017 auctions, we offered over 150 lots from the Hasbroucks’ captivating collection. The collection consisted of rare books and ephemera from Frank Lloyd Wright and other prominent architects. Volumes related to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Chicago architectural history, and Art Nouveau. Previously, Toomey & Co. also offered paintings, furniture, and decorative arts from the Hasbroucks at auction.

From the Shelves of the Hasbroucks

Statement from Tim Samuelson, Cultural Historian, City of Chicago

When it comes to architecture-related books and documents, Bill and Marilyn Hasbrouck have always had a sixth sense for finding the rare and unusual. Their legendary Prairie Avenue Bookshop in Chicago was the “go to” place to secure elusive historical items. And while visiting their store, it was impossible to leave without finding other things that you never even knew existed.

Marilyn Hasbrouck

Bill and Marilyn’s shop was always a literal open book for its customers. With a shop so filled with diverse and wonderful treasures, it was natural to wonder what was in their personal library at home.

Well … here’s the answer. Their decision to downsize has resulted in some eye-opening lots for anyone interested in architecture, design, planning, landscape, and other related disciplines.

I’m surprised — and at the same time I’m not surprised. Wonder no more. Welcome to an exciting book hunting expedition courtesy of Bill and Marilyn. Opportunities like this don’t happen often, so enjoy!

Prairie Avenue Bookshop

Prairie Avenue Bookshop interior. Photo courtesy of HPZS

Auction Results and Lots

20th Century Art & Design (Lots 89–151) 
Sale 113: Saturday, December 2, 2017, 10:00 AM

View Results  View Lots


Modern Architecture Books
Objects Online (Lots 1001–1090) 
Sale OO3: Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 10:00 AM

View Results  View Lots


In Memoriam: Bill Hasbrouck

On February 10, 2018, Bill Hasbrouck died at the age of 86 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. We were deeply saddened to hear of our friend’s passing. His contributions to architecture and preservation in Chicago and beyond were unparalleled. We enjoyed working with Bill and his wife Marilyn over the years and have fond memories of Bill’s sharp eye, tales of collecting, and vast knowledge. Bill will be missed by all who knew him.


Wilbert R. Hasbrouck, a pioneering Chicago preservation architect who breathed new life into buildings designed by some of the city’s renowned architects and co-owned a beloved architectural bookstore, died Saturday at a care facility in suburban Norridge. […] “Bill lived his dreams, working on the masters’ buildings,” and discovering the output of their followers across the Midwest, his wife [Marilyn] said. “He loved every minute of it.” Blair Kamin, Architecture Critic, Chicago Tribune, February 13, 2018

Full Obituary

Bill Hasbrouck Chicago Tribune

Bill Hasbrouck, shown in 2009 at Prairie Avenue Bookshop, 418 S. Wabash Ave, Chicago. Photo courtesy of Heather Charles / Chicago Tribune