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Merchandise Mart


Merchandise Mart
222 Merchandise Mart


Structure in General

existing [completed]
caisson foundation
applied masonry
light brown
Art Deco


commercial office
shop(s) restaurant metro station


  • The parapet in front of the building holds the Chicago Retail Hall of Fame, with metal busts of major local retailers.
  • Largest office building in Chicago, and one of the largest in the world.
  • Built as a wholesale facility for Marshall Field & Company, the building is still used for trade shows and showrooms.
  • Owned by the Kennedy family from 1945 until the 1990's.
  • In 1992 the first 2 levels were converted to retail, with a department store, food court, and several shops.
  • The lobby appeared in the movie "Hudsucker Proxy" as the interior of the Hudsucker Company headquarters (which was actually set in New York City).
  • The building has a trapezoidal shape with a diagonal side on Orleans Street. Within the block it is honeycombed by several light courts.
  • The lobby is decorated with 17 murals by Jules Guerin illustrating commerce around the world.
  • Until 2004 the Merchandise Mart housed the headquarters of the Chicago Transit Authority, the public agency which runs Chicago's buses and rapid transit lines.
  • A major el station for the Brown & Purple Lines occupies the northeast corner of the second floor, connected to platforms over Wells Street.
  • An enclosed bridge designed by Helmut Jahn links the Merchandise Mart to the Apparel Center across Orleans Street.
  • One of the Mart's most notable customers was the Sultan of Brunei, who dropped $1.6 million here to furnish his entire palace. He claimed that this was the only place in the world where the task could be completed in one week.
  • The building is so large that it has its own zip code: 60654.

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More Information


222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza

Technical Data

103.63 m
103.63 m
103.63 m
98.76 m
220.68 m

Involved Companies


Also recorded for this building:

developer, elevator supplier, facade consultant, facade supplier, general contractor, mechanical systems installation, owner, roofing supplier, steel supplier, structural engineering, tenant

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • Doorman is available
  • Floodlighting at night
  • Light court is present
  • Metro entrance inside building
  • Pedway access is available