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West Loop History on Halsted: Athenian Candle

Halsted Street in West Loop is known for its high density of Greek shops, restaurants, museums, and other cultural sites, many of which are long time neighborhood treasures. Athenian Candle is a specialty spiritual goods shop that’s stood the test of time as Halsted Street has evolved over the past century.

Athenian Candle was founded nearly 100 years ago by Themistocles and Efthimia Godelas in 1920. This fourth generation store is the only original Greek Town business standing.

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Themistocles Godelas in the original Athenian Candle store in the 1940s

Athenian Candle offers over 7,000 products, including handmade candles as well as cultural and spiritual goods imported directly from Greece for use in special events and ceremonies. Products range from incense, essential oils, statues, rosaries, tapered candles, oil lamps, books for a variety of religious and spiritual faiths, and English/Greek greeting cards, and Greek flags and cook books, to Greek wedding and baptismal items like stafana (wedding crowns) and martirika (baptismal ribbons). Each year, Athenian Candle produces thousands of hand dipped paraffin and beeswax candles, ranging from 8 inches, for candles lit during most Sunday liturgies, to 5 feet, for candles used in wedding and baptismal ceremonies. These specialty candles are then sold in both the Halsted Street store and online and via catalog worldwide. The use of top quality paraffin and beeswax is crucial, as most religious and spiritual groups do not condone burning animal fat. Athenian Candle also offers candle burning and other on-site services.

With the blend of historic character and modern additions, Greek Town is a cultural cornerstone of West Loop. Greek Town is conveniently accessible from most of the city via the CTA blue line, the metra trains at Union and Ogilvie stations, and the Kennedy and Eisenhower expressways, making it an equally as convenient place to live as it is to explore on weekends.

Looking for luxury apartments for rent near Halsted Street in West Loop? Contact us today! We’d be happy to keep you in the Loop!