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Priceless Documents Restored At Graphic Conservation Company

CHICAGO (CBS) -- In a 100-year-old loft building with a skyline view of the South Loop, Picassos, Paschkes and old family heirlooms come through the door at the Graphic Conservation Company.

"That's the beautiful thing about our business, is we have no idea what's going to come through the door," said company president Russ Maki.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports


The company has a long history.

"The company started as a department within R.R. Donnelley, the printing company, here in Chicago in 1921," Maki said.

Now a privately-owned business, the Graphic Conservation Company is one of the largest conservation labs that works exclusively on paper.

"A lot of our clients will bring us fine art, so any major artist you can think of has been in our lab," Maki said, "and a really big growth area for us is important family documents, which would primarily be of a sentimental value; an emotional value. And then the third category is really very special to us, and that would be items that we consider to be of irreplaceable historic importance."

The company recently restored the State of Illinois' copy of the 13th Amendment, which officially abolished slavery in the United States.

"But honestly, the emotional side of our business is seeing a family's reaction to receiving a treasured document back in good shape, is a very rewarding thing for us," Maki said.

Graphic Conservation Company is located at 329 W. 18th St, Suite 701.

To learn more, call (312) 738-2657 or click here.

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