Kastanes, a Bogan High School graduate, is administrator of the Facebook page "Chicago Extinct Businesses." The site is a reminder of the countless companies that graced the city — from the Northwest Side's Turn Style Family Center to Monarch Dry Cleaners on the South and Southwest Sides.
"If I mention a particular establishment that no longer exists, it always puts a smile on people's faces. It is very gratifying to them and to me," said Kastanes, 50. "They really appreciate me bringing up those forgotten nuggets of Chicago's past."
Justin Breen says the pages are often businesses or locations that Kastanes remembers fondly:
Chicago Extinct Business is one of 20-plus pages Kastanes oversees. He began using Facebook as a memory trove on Aug. 20, 2012, when he created the "A Tribute to Kroozin' Music II on W 79th St Ashburn Chicago" page, which is devoted to a former record store across the street from Bogan High School. That page has a few hundred likes, while Chicago Extinct Businesses is Kastanes' most popular Facebook site with several thousand followers.
Kastanes, who is unemployed, spends a few hours every other day updating every single page. He searches for places that were near and dear to his heart while he grew up in South Shore, Roseland and Ashburn before moving to suburban Oak Lawn in 1995.
"I wanted to share my memories to people on Facebook who are related, went to school, or have worked with me in the past," Kastanes said. "It also includes people I have never met before."
Kastanes said he'll continue to add to his list of pages — and update the existing ones — as long as he has the time.
"I will continue to do this as long as I can, but if I find a job, I’m going to cut it down," he said, laughing.
The list of Facebook pages Kastanes administrates includes:
• Chicago Extinct Businesses
• The Bengal Lancer School Newspaper (Bogan High School) Returns
• Vintage CTA Bus Routes & Signs
• A Salute to Hegewisch Records
• Vintage Chicago TV Guide Magazines
• A Tribute to Kroozin' Music II on W 79th St Ashburn Chicago
• A Tribute to High-Low Foods Stores in Chicago
• A Tribute to Children's Bargain Town USA Toy Store in Chicago
• Ford City Cinema/Double Drive-In from the 60's through the 80's
• When WPWR Channel 60 & WFBN Channel 66 aired Music Videos in the 80's
• I Had This Lunch Box in School
• A Tribute to Polk Brothers Appliance Stores in Chicago
• Classic A & P Grocery Stored Revisited
• Vintage Cigarette Advertising Unearthed
• WBHI 88.5 FM Bogan High School Retro Radio Station
• A Tribute to The Alibi on W 79th St Ashburn Chicago
• Tobie's Snack Shop on W 79th St Revisited
• Edwards Drug Store/Crestline Pharmacy on W 79th St Ashburn Chicago
• Murphy Motors of Ford City Mall Chicago Revisited
• Roseland Music Shop Revisited
• Classic Sounds & Video / Windy City Video Stores on W 79th St Ashburn Chicago Revisited
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