WIN: Former Olson Brothers Rug Factory/Marshall Field’s Warehouse Adaptive Reuse Begins

The construction permit was released for the adaptive reuse for a portion of the six concrete and red brick buildings of the 1.5 million square foot complex Marshall Field’s Warehouse located on 22 acres at Diversey Avenue and Pulaski Road. Renamed “The Fields”, the developer is Merit Partners with architect Hirsch Associates. Built for the Olson Rug Company in 1928, this site was later occupied by Marshall Field’s, until it was shuttered by Macy’s in 2008, and ultimately sold for redevelopment in 2014.

Heading up the commercial portion of the redevelopment, Merit Partners announced that Crate & Barrel’s Chicago office will move into 117,000 square feet. Other uses include Cermak Fresh Market grocery store, self-storage, warehouses, retail and office space.

“It’s a gorgeous building with 24-inch-round columns and 14- to 17-foot ceiling heights. We’re going to save as many of the original elements as we can. The building reeks of character.” said John McLinden, Hubbard Street’s Group founder and managing partner. (Ori, Chicago Tribune, 1/12/18)

Leading the residential development, Hubbard Street Group announced that construction would begin on the easternmost portion of the complex at 4000 W. Diversey Avenue with groundbreaking anticipated in fall 2018. The Fields Lofts will include studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments.

This is also the historic site of the much beloved and missed Olson Rug Park and Waterfall built in 1935. This park featured an elaborate illuminated rock garden and 35-foot waterfall, which made it a popular Chicago attraction. The site was sold to Marshall Fields in 1965 and the waterfall and park were dismantled in 1970.

Preservation Chicago had numerous meetings with former 31st Ward Alderman Ray Suarez when Macy’s announced they were closing the facility to encourage possible Chicago Landmark Designation and to consider an adaptive reuse of the site for residential and affordable housing within these immense fireproof buildings.

Additional Reading

Next up for former Marshall Field’s complex in Belmont Gardens: 123 apartments, Ryan Ori, Chicago Tribune, 1/12/18

Forgotten Chicago, Olson Waterfall, Daniel Pogorzelski


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