Caspian Oriental Rugs, Established in 1971 by Jamshid (Jim) Soomekh has grown into one of the largest oriental rug stores in America. With a store size of 6,000 square feet, and one of the largest rug inventories, it is truly a Chicago landmark. Caspian Rugs (named for the Caspian Sea which boarders Iran and Russia and lies in the center of the oriental rug world), has grown from a small establishment into the premier store for all origins of hand-woven rugs. Jim has grown his collection into a museum treasure of masterpiece antiques, arguably one of the largest in Chicago, along with over 100 oversized rugs.
Caspian Rugs is part of a family business that began in Iran three generations ago.
In 1961, brothers Jamshid and Moussa Soomekh expanded the business to the United States, selling Oriental rugs to dealers in New York. The Soomekhs went on to open stores in Boston, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee with Gimbel Department store. Minneapolis and Detroit with Dayton and Hudson Department store, and in southern California with Broadway Department stores.
In 1968, they established a Midwest leasing operation providing rugs to the Chicago- John M. Smyth stores. Ten years later, they moved to 904 North Michigan Avenue. When that building was scheduled for demolition in 1984, they moved Caspian Rugs to its present location at 700 North LaSalle Street.