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So. Parkway Bldg. Corp. v. So. Center Dept. Store

JUNE 27, 1958.

SOUTH PARKWAY BUILDING CORPORATION, AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF-COUNTER-DEFENDANT, APPELLANT,

v.

SOUTH CENTER DEPARTMENT STORE, INC., FORMERLY KNOWN AS MEADOWS MERCANTILE CORP., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-COUNTER-PLAINTIFF, APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Superior Court of Cook county; the Hon. JOHN J. LUPE, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

JUSTICE BRYANT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This case involves the construction of the granting clause of a lease. The lease was executed on June 24, 1952 between South Parkway Building Corporation, as lessor (that corporation is the plaintiff-counterdefendant-appellant, hereafter referred to as the lessor), and the Meadows Mercantile Corp., as lessee (that corporation's name was subsequently changed to South Center Department Store, Inc., and is the defendant-counter-plaintiff-appellee hereafter referred to as the lessee).

The premises demised are described in the granting clause in five different ways:

(1) "the premises known as 419-429 East 47th Street, Chicago, Illinois"

(2) "being the entire premises presently occupied and utilized by South-Center Department Store"

(3) "consisting of three floors and basement space in the northeasterly part of the building located at the southeast corner of East 47th Street and South Parkway in Chicago, Illinois"

(4) "having a frontage of about 144 feet on East 47th Street"

(5) "which demised premises are more particularly shown on the plat thereof hereto attached marked `Exhibit A'."

It is obvious that description number 2 — "being the entire premises presently occupied and utilized by South-Center Department Store," is a description which is not self-determining, and can only be determined by taking extrinsic evidence. When the plat attached to the lease and made a part thereof is considered, the lease itself discloses certain inaccuracies and ambiguities in the granting clause.

As to the first description: "the premises known as 419-429 East 47th Street, Chicago, Illinois," the plats indicate that that is an accurate description as to first, second and third floors, but that it is inaccurate as to the space agreed by all parties to be demised by the lease as to the basement, in that the boiler room of the entire building would fall within that legal description in the basement, and is excluded from the demised premises by general agreement, and that there was additional space in the basement not covered by that legal description which, it is agreed by all, is part of the demised premises.

The third description, "consisting of three floors and basement space in the northeasterly part of the building located at the southeast corner of East 47th Street and South Parkway in Chicago, Illinois," has exactly the same discrepancies as the first description. The street address, 419-429 East 47th Street, is in the northeasterly part of the building, but the boiler room is also located in the northeasterly part of the building in the basement, and there is additional basement space which runs nearly to the northwesterly extreme part of the building, which is not in controversy. The first, second and third floors are in the northeasterly part of the building.

The fourth description, "having a frontage of about 144 feet on East 47th Street," has exactly the same discrepancy, when referred to the plat contained in the fifth description, as descriptions numbered 1 and 3: that is, the first, second and third floors have a space facing on 47th Street of about 144 feet, and the basement property on 47th Street is much greater than that.

The lessor objects to the introduction of extraneous evidence on the basis that it is not necessary in view of the fifth description of the premises in the ...


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