Even a Chicago visionary like Daniel Burnham could not have conceived that the brand new industrial building erected at 728 W. Jackson would become a fashionable, residential address. But, just as Chicago has grown and changed from a frontier prairie town to a world class city – the brick and concrete factory completed in 1926 has successfully been repurposed from a workplace to a stylish home.
The original building at 728 W. Jackson Boulevard was designed by one of Chicago’s most prolific and versatile architects of the 1920’s, Alfred S. Alschuler. After co-founding the Treat and Alschuler firm, the architect designed warehouses, department stores, commercial structures and office buildings. Today, many of Chicago’s most famous buildings represent Alschuler’s influence in style and structural integrity, but sadly, a number of buildings designed by him were demolished.
The architect was hired to design and build a new center of operations for Albert Blake Dick, businessman and founder of A.B. Dick Company, to house a growing office supply manufacturing company. The building that Alschuler designed – an 8-story neo-gothic brick and reinforced concrete structure, is now the Haberdasher Square Lofts building.
Shortly after completion the business needed more space in the same location and A.B. Dick & Company added four and half floors to the original 8-story building simply by “building up” on top of the original structure. However, the Company continued to grow out of space and moved operations to suburban Chicago in 1949. The owner, A.B.Dick Company signed over the property to its new owner – the building’s namesake, Hart Schaffner & Marx – a local company destined for world-wide recognition.
From its inception in 1872 as a humble haberdashery on State Street, HSM grew into one of most widely recognized and respected brands of men’s clothing in the world. In the ensuing years after setting up operations in the newly acquired building, from 1949 until the 1970’s the Company employed hundreds of menswear designers, skilled tailors, sales and management personnel plus thousands of textile and factory workers to mass produce its products.
The entire building, its world headquarters – was occupied by HSM employees with entire floors dedicated to design and business management, cutting, sewing, pressing and packing and shipping ready-to-wear and custom-produced clothing. The freight elevator used today for moving household furnishings, was originally used to transport raw textiles, materials and finished goods from one floor to the next while workers climbed up and down stairways to report to and from work stations and move about the building.
Sewing needles found embedded in the original matchstick floors are a telltale sign of the enterprise in its heyday. Some stairwells and most of the lofts have original floors, much prized by residents who enjoy the authenticity of the historic loft building.
In modern times the business name changed to Hartmarx and to an enterprise as a wholesale clothing supplier. Company-owned retail stores and factories were sold – including the company’s historic headquarters at 728 W. Jackson.
When the property came on the market visionary-developers recognized the potential for a warehouse-to-loft conversion. In spite of what was then considered to be a rough neighborhood, Haberdasher Square Lofts became one of the first buildings in the near west loop to successfully reinvent itself from factory to stylish residence.
Developers also purchased an 8-story brick and timber building adjacent to the HSM property. The building was constructed in 1933 during Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition, and occupied in 1941 by the Wurlitzer Juke Box Company. The building now features authentic timber lofts and 2-story townhomes with exterior entrances and garden-level lower floors. These authentic timber lofts are highly sought after properties, truly unique in space, location and architectural features.
The success of the warehouse-to-loft conversion is attributed to overall superior design and in particular to the attractive floor plans of the spacious units and choice of quality finishes. However, the true appeal of Haberdasher Square Lofts is the building’s original architectural detail and concrete and timber structure – all beautifully preserved and treasured by owners who feel privileged to occupy a small piece of Chicago’s history.
Haberdasher Square Lofts offers residents convenience and security including:
- 24 Hour Door Staff
- Individual Storage Lockers
- On-site Building Manager & Engineer
- Deeded Indoor & Outdoor Parking
- Security Camera Monitoring 24/7
- Freight Elevator
- Maintenance/Housekeeping 7 days/wk
- Residents-only Lending Library
- Intercom and Lockout Service
- Indoor Half Basketball Court
- Modern Exercise Room
- On-site Dry Cleaner & Tailor Service
- Spacious Rooftop Deck
- On-site Laundry and In-unit Washers/Dryers
- Balconies with Open City Views
- Hospitality Room for Meetings/Parties
- 4 Stainless Steel Weber Grills
- Comcast Basic Cable with HDTV/DVR available
- Large Bike Room