Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Schulze Baking Company Building: Great Crust

click images for larger view
The Schulze Baking Company Building at Wabash and Garfield, designed by architect John Ahlschlager, was completed in 1914.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, but is not an designated Chicago landmark.

The five-story, reinforced concrete structure, 298 feet by 160, has columns on 17' 6" centers, and floor slabs up to 14 inches thick, designed to support loads to 300 pounds per square inch, but actually tested to support more than twice that weight, as illustrated in the photograph below.
The building's distinctive for its openness - over 700 windows . . .
 . . . but much more so for its light-colored terra-cotta facades and rich "Sullivanesque" ornament.
 Schulze Baking eventually moved out - as Schulze and Burch, the company now has a large plant on 35th street - and for a time the building was a bakery for Butternut Bread.
 Now, it's empty.  In 2009, a proposal was announced for Cleveland's Ferchill Group to acquire the property and renovate it as 88 affordable housing units, but the company's website currently makes no mention of the project.  Right now, aging scaffolding hems the building to protect pedestrians from crumbling terra cotta, and the proud structure's highest current use appears to be as a cell phone tower.


FGFM said...

Nice to see that the firm is still in business, I go by both their old and new facilities all the time and never made the connection.

Lynn Becker said...


Anonymous said...

Who currently owns this property?