Loop Back: Furniture And Funerals In One Stop
The three-story building at 115 North 1st Street dates back to 1883 when a carpenter who doubled as an undertaker ran a furniture store and funeral parlor at the same address.
It wasn’t unusual back then for carpenters to be morticians. They were already building the coffins, so they took on the other duties as well.
Casper Himmelsbach and his two sons, Andrew and Joseph, ran both businesses from the building shown above (115 North 1st St) until it burned down in 1883.
After the fire, Himmelsbach built an even larger building on the same lot with a beautiful cornice at the top.
His “undertaking rooms,” as described in newspaper articles, were large enough to hold 100 mourners. And his furniture options included feathers and upholstered goods.
In the 1970s, you could buy wood stoves for your home here, from the Ironwood Stove Company.
From 2001 to 2018, the building was home to a popular gay bar, JetSet.
After sitting empty for nearly four years, developers of the new West Hotel project purchased this building to convert it into extra event space.
We have several more pages of neighborhood history in our Historic North Loop section.
By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association