The Chicago Varnish Company Building is a rare Chicago example of Dutch Renaissance Revival-style architecture, marked by distinctive stepped gables and materials (red brick and light stone) of contrasting color. It was designed by Henry Ives Cobb and it is the only remaining example of 19th century Dutch Renaissance Architecture left in the city.
After an extensive rehabilitation, including replacement of the multigabled clay tile roof and rebuilding the stepped parapets, Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse opened in the building on October 23, 1987.
Long before this building became was one of Chicago’s most famous steakhouses, it was home to the notorious enforcer of the Al Capone gang, Frank Nitti. He lived in an apartment on the fourth floor with his wife Annette, who’s family owned the building. This was a convenient hideout for him as the courthouse building was clearly visible from the apartment.
Relics from his life of crime were uncovered in 1998 when an electrician drilled a hole in the wall of the basement that revealed a hidden room spanning the width of the upstairs bar. This room was used as a hideout during the Prohibition era as well as a passageway to Chicago’s underground tunnel system, allowing Nitti and his associates to come and go without being seen on the streets of Chicago.
Now referred to as Nitti’s Vault, the secret room and the possessions discovered within it, can be seen in the basement of this building along with photographs, newspaper articles and legal documents from Nitti’s life. One of the most exciting finds was a large safe with three layers of security buried in the basement walls. Also found was Nitti’s personal address book, listing the home addresses and phone numbers of powerful government officials and mobsters. Nitti's Vault has been named #1 on Thrillist's list of Hidden Urban Treasures. ( source)