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Marshall Field River Warehouse

Identification

Marshall Field River Warehouse
133693

Structure in General

high-rise building
demolished [destroyed]
concrete
brick
applied masonry
dark red
romanesque revival

Usages

warehouse

Facts

  • With its corbelled brick eaves, solid walls, and small windows, the buidling resembled an industrial version of a Fiorentine palace.
  • The interior columns were echoed on the facade by raised brick piers, which were joined at the 12th floor by shallow arches.
  • The building was owned successively by Marshall Field & Co. (1904-1919), Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad (1919-c. 1924), Merchant's Warehouse (1952-1973), 310 W. Polk Building Corp. (1973-1974), and the US Postal Service (1974-demolition).
  • The building was connected to the distant Macy's at State Street by the Loop's extensive system of underground coal and freight tunnels for narrow-gauge railcars.
  • In its later years the top floor was painted with signs reading "310 W. Polk Building" while murals on the penthouse tower said "Have Fun! Play Tripoley".
  • Demolished in the mid-1990s to make way for the new Central Post Office. Most of the site is currently an access ramp, since the post office does not border the river.
  • The building was split all the way across the middle by a fire wall with a corresponding parapet on top, dividing it into north and south halves.
  • The sturdy-looking brick tower which disguised the mechanical penthouse was a counterpart to the tower of Grand Central Station across the river.
  • Because of the curvature of the river, the building was 34 feet narrower on its north side than on Polk Street.
  • The design of this warehouse was the model for three later structures to the north: River Center, Randolph Place Lofts, and the Butler Brothers Warehouse II.
  • From 1950-1983 the building was occupied by the Cadaco-Ellis Company, which used it as a factory for their toys, especially a board, card, and dice game called Tripoley.
  • Because of its location the warehouse had access to river barges on the east and railroad cars on the west.
  • The warehouse floors used clay tile flooring, an alternative to the emerging building technology of reinforced concrete. The floorplates were covered with maple floorboards.

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More Information

Location

310 West Polk Street
310 West Polk Street
60607
Near West Side
Downtown
Chicago
Illinois
U.S.A.

Technical Data

150.68 ft
283.00 ft
128.00 ft
13
1904
1905

Involved Companies


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