Overton Hygienic Building

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Overton Hygienic Building
Overton Hygienic Building Chicago IL.jpg
Overton Hygienic Building is located in Chicago metropolitan area
Overton Hygienic Building
Overton Hygienic Building is located in Illinois
Overton Hygienic Building
Overton Hygienic Building is located in the US
Overton Hygienic Building
Location 3619-27 S. State St.
Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°49′40.94″N 87°37′34.26″W / 41.8280389°N 87.6261833°W / 41.8280389; -87.6261833Coordinates: 41°49′40.94″N 87°37′34.26″W / 41.8280389°N 87.6261833°W / 41.8280389; -87.6261833
Built 1922
Architect Smith, Z. Erol
MPS Black Metropolis TR
NRHP reference # 86001091 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 30, 1986
Designated CL September 9, 1998

The Overton Hygienic Building is a Chicago Landmark and part of the Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District in the Douglas community area of Chicago, Illinois. It is located at 3619-3627 South State Street.

The building was commissioned by Anthony Overton in 1922 as a combination of a store, office, and manufacturing building. Overton would later commission the Chicago Bee Building in 1929. It was regarded as one of the most important buildings within the district.[2] The Overton Hygienic Company was one of the nation's largest producers of African-American cosmetics. Anthony Overton also ran other businesses from the building, including the Victory Life Insurance Company and Douglass National Bank, the first nationally chartered, African-American-owned bank.[3] Walter T. Bailey, the first licensed African-American architect in the state of Illinois, had his first Chicago office on the second floor of the Overton Hygienic Building.[4][5][6]

The building was later named the Palace Hotel and served for some time as a flophouse, with residents crowded into stalls 8 feet by 5½ feet. The second, third, and fourth floors each housed 125 stalls, with dormitory-style bathrooms and showers, for a total of 375 stalls.[7] The building is now owned and being developed by the Mid-South Planning and Development Commission, which will use the building as an incubator for small businesses and startups within the Black Metropolis neighborhood.[8]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Submission: Black Metropolis Thematic Nomination" (PDF). November 7, 1985. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  3. ^ "Chicago Landmarks - Overton Hygienic Building". Chicago Landmarks Commission. 2003. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  4. ^ Bey, Lee. "Art Moderne beauty: First Church of Deliverance", WBEZ, 91.5, February 15, 2010, accessed November 29, 2010.
  5. ^ Savage, Beth L. and National Register of Historic Places. African-American Historic Places, (Google Books link), John Wiley and Sons, 1994, p. 207, (ISBN 0471143456).
  6. ^ Wilson, Dreck Spurlock. African-American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary (1865-1945), (Google Books link), Taylor & Francis, 2004, pp. 15-17, (ISBN 0415929598).
  7. ^ "The View from the Ground - Blog Archive - Up on the Roof". June 30, 2001. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  8. ^ "Chicago Travel Itinerary - Overton Hygienic Building". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-06-26.