Evanston Galleria Recalls Heyday of Marshall Field's Building
Evanston Galleria Investors, LLC, is performing a major restoration of the historic Marshall Field & Co. building in downtown Evanston as part of the building's conversion to condominiums.
The landmark, art deco building, designed by Graham, Anderson Probst & White Architects of Chicago, was completed in 1929 and survived both the depression and the WW II. The store is a smaller replica of the famous Marshall Field's State Street store in Chicago and a twin of the store in Oak Park. It was one of the first two Marshall Field's department stores located outside the Loop the other being in Oak Park. Many of the original working drawings have been used during the current and previous updates to the building. The store closed in 1987, and the building was turned into commercial spaces on the first floor and loft apartments on the upper four floors.
Many of the citizens of Evanston have fond memories of their relationships with the store as shoppers or employees. Visitor after visitor to the sales office relates stories about how they worked in the store over Christmas holidays or shopped for their prom formal, eat in the stores resturant or had their hair done in the beauty parlor.
"Although the building's use has changed, many original features are being restored or recreated to maintain its overall character," said Bob Horner, principal of Evanston Galleria Investors. "We're incorporating as much of the building's history into the rehab as possible."
For example, the Marshall Field & Co. store clock, a smaller version of the trademark downtown clock, will be restored to working order, and the stone and metalwork exterior, including bronze and brass finishes, will be refurbished. The elevators are being brought up to date mechanically, but the cabs' design motif will bring to mind the old store with original floor directories, such as Housewares, Dresses or Formal Wear.
The updated lobby and hallway designs recall the art deco style with new chandeliers and a gold leaf stenciled border. The stenciling features an "M" pattern based on a design engraved in the marble trim above the store's elevators. The lobby's original terrazzo floors are also being refurbished.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, both for us as developers and for the people who will own these homes," said Ibrahim Shihadeh, the other principal of Evanston Galleria Investors, as well as the president of Creative Designs, the building's general contractor. "It is very important to us that we do justice to such a historically significant structure."
Some of the key dates in the buildings history are:
Evanston, Illinois 60201
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