Prostrednik & Kroupa Hardware, 1667 Douglas Avenue

Dennis Tully: Quite a few posts here in the past mention Kroupa Hardware Store being located at 1652 Douglas Avenue.
By this photo, it appears that Anthony Kroupa and Joseph Prostrednik ran a hardware store at 1667 Douglas Ave. in the very early 1900’s.
Later, the 1916 City Directory lists Anthony and Libbie Kroupa running Kroupa and Co. (hardware, stoves, furnaces and sheet metal works) at that address.
A few years later (1922), he moved across the street to 1652 Douglas.
In later years, 1667 Douglas Ave was listed as the location of Sally Ann Bakery in the early 40’s and Jensen Bakery in the later 1940’s and then O & H Bakery in the 1950’s.
Still a bakery there, but probably a different building from the Kroupa era.

Lopez Bakery

Jonathan Martens: At the least, it has a different facade (the brick courses don’t match) and the storefront is reconfigured (which isn’t any kind of difficult change, you just take out old and put in new). But it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the same bones.
The road’s risen considerably over time. Remember a few years ago when they found old street car tracks under Douglas just north of there, a couple feet deep below the modern surface: that’s the street level in the photo.

William Wishau: Aside of the makeover on the front, I’d agree that the main shell has been there since 1887 or sooner.

Sanborn maps from William Wishau
1903 new hardware store at 1667 Douglas Avenue
1909 Kroupa and Co., 1667 Douglas Avenue

Todd Wallace: We were just talking about Kroupa Hardware on Douglas Avenue. It looks like another Kroupa has specialized in sheet metal further out on Douglas. And a “hatchery”? Does that mean chickens? This is from the 1927 phone book that I am scanning.

1927 Racine phonebook — Kroupas and Douglas Avenue

Matt V Sisak: Yes it means chickens, ducks, and geese! Often times when I was a young lad my mom would send me to Kroupa Hatchery to pick up a chicken for Sunday dinner. I would go around back to Mrs. Kroupa’s home, that faced Douglas Avenue, and knock on the back door. She would take me down into the basement where there was sinks and tables were they obviously processed the fresh poultry they grew on site. She removed a chicken from a cooler, wrapped it and sent me on my way. I was amazed at that basement workroom that was spotless still wet from an obvious scrub down. I remember there were several large out buildings which must have been the chicken coops. I’m quite sure besides raising poultry they also sold eggs.

Matt V Sisak: I was also my dad’s “go to.” He’d send me to Kroupa Hardware. The owner Tony was also a friend of my dad’s and he knew me the minute I walked in the door often greeting me in Czech. In the winter I would stand on the large metal grate that was in the middle of the hardware store above the gravity furnace warming myself while waiting. There was a mezzanine in the back of the store that was his office that overlooked the entire store. Often times he would be up there when a customer entered he would would come down to serve them.