Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalog House

Infobox_nrhp2 | name =Montgomery Ward Company Complex
nhl=yes
designated_other1_name= Chicago Landmark
designated_other1_date= May 17 2000
designated_other1_abbr= CL
designated_other1_link= Chicago Landmark
designated_other1_color= #aaccff
locmapin = Illinois
designated_nhl = June 02, 1978


caption = view from across the Chicago River
location= Chicago, IL
lat_degrees = 41 | lat_minutes = 53 | lat_seconds = 49.94 | lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 87 | long_minutes = 38 | long_seconds = 37.02 | long_direction = W
area =
built =1907
architect= Garden,Hugh; Et al.
architecture= Chicago
added = June 02, 1978
governing_body = Private
refnum=78001125 cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2007-01-23|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
The Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalog House is a convert|600|ft|m|sing=on long trapezoidal building along the North Branch of the Chicago River at 618 W. Chicago Avenue in the Near North Side community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It once housed the warehouse and offices of the national headquarters of one of the nations first mail order companies, Montgomery Ward. It was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 17 2000. [cite web|url=http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Landmarks/W/Wards.html|title=Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalog House|publisher=City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Landmarks Division|date=2003|accessdate=2007-05-10] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a National Historic Landmark on June 02, 1978. [cite web|url=http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1753&ResourceType=Building|accessdate=2007-05-10|title=Montgomery Ward Company Complex |publisher=National Park Service]

History

The two earliest buildings, the old Administration Building and the Mail Order House, are constructed of reinforced concrete and were designed by Hugh Garden, a member of the distinguished architectural firm of Schimdt, Garden, and Martin.cite web|url=http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/chicago/c3.htm|title=Chicago Travel Itinerary|date=2007-07-20|work=A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary|publisher=National Park Service]

The convert|400000|sqft|m2|sing=on, eight-story Administration Building served as the company's headquarters until 1974, and features sword and torch motifs on the base and vertical piers that rise uninterrupted until culminiating in a parapet with motifs similar to the base.cite web|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9904E7DF103AF933A0575AC0A9679C8B63|title=New Roles for Montgomery Ward Site in Chicago |date=2007-07-20|work=|publisher=New York Times] A four-story tower was added in 1929 on the northeast corner of the building, with a pyramid roof crowned with a convert|22.5|ft|m|sing=on bronze statue that originally topped the former Montgomery Ward Building on Michigan Avenue.cite web|url=http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/chicago/c3.htm|title=Chicago Travel Itinerary|date=2007-07-20|work=A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary|publisher=National Park Service] An adaption of an earlier sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens that had topped both Madison Square Garden in New York and the Agriculture Building at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the statue is called "the Spirit of Progress," and depicts a woman dressed in flowing robes balancing on a globe and holding a torch in and a staff. cite web|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9904E7DF103AF933A0575AC0A9679C8B63|title=New Roles for Montgomery Ward Site in Chicago |date=2007-07-20|work=|publisher=New York Times]

Forty feet north of the Administration Building is the convert|2000000|sqft|m2|sing=on Mail Order House, also known as the Catalog House, that was the heart of Montgomery Ward's operations. Completed in 1908, the eight-story building was painted white and capped with a flat roof, with an interior that contained miles of chutes, conveyors, and storage lofts within ceiling heights ranging from 12 to convert|17|ft|m. The west facade, following a bend in the river, is almost convert|1100|ft|m long and a single floor covers six acres. At one time the building had its own post office branch as well as a ground-floor shipping platform that could accommodate 24 railroad freight cars.cite web|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9904E7DF103AF933A0575AC0A9679C8B63|title=New Roles for Montgomery Ward Site in Chicago |date=2007-07-20|work=|publisher=New York Times]

In later years, Montgomery Ward and Company added several warehouses and parking ramps, followed by a 26-story office building in 1972.cite web|url=http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/chicago/c3.htm|title=Chicago Travel Itinerary|date=2007-07-20|work=A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary|publisher=National Park Service] cite web|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9904E7DF103AF933A0575AC0A9679C8B63|title=New Roles for Montgomery Ward Site in Chicago |date=2007-07-20|work=|publisher=New York Times]

Currently

After the bankruptcy of Montgomery Ward in 1999, the earliest buildings were converted into upscale condominiums. The project met the Secretary of the Interior's Standards with the exception of the balconies.cite web|url=http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1753&ResourceType=Building|title=National Historic Landmarks Program|date=2007-07-20|work=Montgomery Ward Company Complex|publisher=National Park Service] In 2004, the office tower also was converted to condominiums.

ee also

*National Historic Landmark
*Montgomery Ward

Notes

References

* [http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/chicago/c3.htm National Park Service, Chicago Travel Itinerary]


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