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Marshall Field River Warehouse


Marshall Field River Warehouse

Structure in General

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




  • 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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310 West Polk Street
310 West Polk Street
Near West Side

Technical Data

151.41 ft
283.00 ft
128.00 ft

Involved Companies

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