LOSS: Prairie School Industrial Building at 1401 W. Wabansia Demolished in the North Branch Industrial Corridor

1401 W. Wabansia Street, Photo Credit: Coldwell Banker

1401 W. Wabansia Street, Photo Credit: Google Street View

The Prairie School industrial building located at 1401 W. Wabansia Street at Ada Street was sold on February 21, 2018. The demolition permit was released on March 27, 2018 and the building was demolished on April 4, 2018.

Built in 1919, this two-story building, with third-story penthouse and roof deck, had most recently been occupied as the Wabansia Warehouse wedding venue. The building was built by the Ralph H. Simpson Company, an iron and steel contractor. The building was owned and occupied by the Simpson-Frisch Company, which manufactured metal stairs and other ornamental metal products.

The building was built by the Ralph H. Simpson Company, an iron and steel contractor. The building was owned and occupied by the Simpson-Frisch Company, which manufactured metal stairs and other ornamental metal products. The Freisch Company was incorporated by three Chicagoans, Paul Frisch, T. M. McQuiston, and Henry W. Huttman in 1916. It appears that the construction company and the Freisch Company merged to form Simpson-Frisch. No architect is given. (Special thanks to Matt Wicklund for his historic research)

The heavy timber floor and ceilings made the interior an interesting and authentic location. The loft building’s dark brown brick and window grouping separated by vertical piers with limestone caps made it a unique and architecturally compelling building.

Low-rise historic industrial buildings are being lost throughout Chicago at an alarming rate. The City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development Historic Preservation Division has conducted a survey which identified approximately 70 historic commercial industrial buildings which should be preserved as part of any redevelopment of the North Branch Industrial Corridor and Lincoln Yards development. Preservation Chicago would like to see these buildings preserved and protected.

The City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development Historic Preservation Division has mentioned in public meetings that they conducted a survey which identified approximately 60 historic commercial industrial buildings which should be preserved as part of any redevelopment of the North Branch Industrial Corridor and Lincoln Yards development. We at Preservation Chicago would like to see these buildings preserved and protected.

Additional Reading

Chicago Wedding Venues Wabansia Warehouse Website with many photos

Coldwell Banker Virtual Tour with many interior photos

Blue Book Entry for RalphSimpson(1922)

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