THREATENED: Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered

Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Western Felt Works, 1916, R.C. Fletcher, 4115 W. Ogden Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Western Felt Works, 1916, R.C. Fletcher, 4115 W. Ogden Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Debbie Mercer
Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Turner Manufacturing Company Building, 4147-4151 W. Ogden, Alfred S. Alschuler, 1918 – 1921, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Turner Manufacturing Company Building, 4147-4151 W. Ogden, Alfred S. Alschuler, 1918 – 1921, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Turner Manufacturing Company Building, 2309-2325 S. Keeler, Alfred S. Alschuler, 1918 – 1921, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Turner Manufacturing Company Building, 2309-2325 S. Keeler, Alfred S. Alschuler, 1918 – 1921, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Turner Manufacturing Company Building, 2309-2325 S. Keeler, Alfred S. Alschuler, 1918 – 1921, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago
Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, Turner Manufacturing Company Building, 2309-2325 S. Keeler, Alfred S. Alschuler, 1918 – 1921, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Max Chavez / Preservation Chicago

Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings

Western Felt Works
Address: 4115 W. Ogden
Year: 1916
Architect: R.C. Fletcher
Style: Prairie School

Turner Manufacturing Company
Address: 4147-4151 W. Ogden; 2309-2325 S. Keeler
Year: 1918 – 1921
Architect: Alfred S. Alschuler
Style: Prairie School and Classical Revival

Overview

The Ogden Keeler Industrial Buildings are a collection of three historic manufacturing structures situated along West Ogden and South Keeler Avenues on the border of the Little Village and Lawndale Community Areas. The group of buildings were the former headquarters of two lucrative Chicago companies, Western Felt Works and the Turner Manufacturing Company, both of which found great success providing goods to the nation throughout the twentieth century.

The buildings have retained a significant level of architectural integrity since they were built in the 1910s and 1920s, displaying  characteristics emblematic of Chicago industrial design from this era. Most notably, the Turner Manufacturing Company buildings were designed by acclaimed Chicago architect Alfred S. Alschuler. However, these three structures are today threatened with demolition. Current owners seek to create a blocks-long logistics warehouse that will permanently alter the streetwall of this portion of Ogden Avenue, part of the original famed Route 66. Preservation Chicago urges the landmarking of these buildings and their reuse or incorporation into the proposed development.

Alschuler is one of Chicago’s most important architects. Born in Chicago and educated at the Armour Institute of Technology (today, the Illinois Institute of Technology), he was trained in the offices of Dankmar Adler before eventually opening his own practice in 1907. Although the architect became largely known for grand designs like the London Guarantee Building (1922) and KAM Isaiah Israel (1924), Alschuler made a name for himself with his earlier solo commissions which were largely commercial or industrial buildings. His work in this realm is of particular note as Alschuler is regarded as the first Chicago architect to employ reinforced concrete construction in his designs. These buildings’ external expressions often reflected the powerful concrete structure found within, best exemplified by his Florsheim Shoe Company Building (1926) at 3963 W. Belmont.

Read the full story at Preservation Chicago’s website

Ogden-Keeler Industrial Buildings, a Preservation Chicago 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered Chapter

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