Iconic “Girls Work Near Home” sign removed at 6 Corners, but it could return
by BRIAN NADIG
The iconic "Girls Work Near Home" sign for a former job agency in the Six Corners business district was removed last month, but there are efforts underway to bring it back.
It is believed that the Key Personnel sign had adorned the front of a two-story office and retail building at 4006 N. Milwaukee Ave. since the 1950s when the company opened. The business reportedly closed about 10 years ago.
The sign was removed due to tuckpointing work, and the Six Corners Association plans to keep the sign in storage and then hopefully have it re-installed on the building or elsewhere in the district, said association program manager Jessica Vazquez.
A 2011 article in the Chicago Reader states that Don Ruda opened the business in an effort to secure clerical jobs for young women, with Key Personnel receiving a 12-percent salary fee.
Ruda’s wife, Jackie Barratt, said in the article, "Catholic high school girls started the Monday after graduation, (as) the nuns pounded dictation and shorthand into their heads."
The association also is helping to preserve the former neon sign at the Irving Hotel, 4849 W. Irving Park Road. The sign was removed in April, and the association hopes to have it re-installed at the hotel or displayed elsewhere, possibly as part of a local art project.