History of Chicago, A.T. Andreas, 1884
Rand, McNally & Co., the well-known printers, engravers, electrotvpers, and map and book publishers, take their origin from a printing establishment opened, in 1856, at No. 145 Lake Street, by William H. Rand, the senior member of the firm. Mr. Rand, in 1860, consolidated with the Tribune job department, at No 51 Clark Street, and assumed the superintendence. In this capacity he continued for eight years, when he and A. McNally, with others, formed a partnership, to establish a printing and publishing house under the firm name of Rand, McNally & Co. In 1873, the firm was incorporated as a stock company, with a capital of $200,000, under the same name, and has since assumed such large proportions, that it is now one of the largest printing houses in this country, with a surplus capital of over $300,000. October 9, 1871, when located at No. 51 Clark Street, the establishment was burned out, but business was resumed temporarily at No. 108 West Randolph Street, until 1873, when the company moved into their own quarters at Nos. 79 and 81 Madison Street. This building becoming too small, they erected a five and six story building, ninety by one hundred and ninety feet, at Nos. 148 to 152 Monroe Street, which the company has occupied since January. 1881. William II. Rand is president and treasurer, A. McNally is vice-president and general manager, and the superintendents of the various departments are as follows John Reid, ticket department ; T. C. Ilavnes, job work; R. A. Bower, map and atlas publications; James McNally, book publications and school maps; R. B. Marten, wood engraving; C. R. Williams, Bankers’ Directory, Bankers’ Monthly, and Business Directory John Ludwig, stationery and blank books. Among some of their celebrated publications may be mentioned the Atlas of the World, Business Atlas of the United States and Canada, large scale-map of the United States, Banker’s Directory, Lumbermen’s Guide, and a map of every country on the globe. The Rand-McNally Railway Guide is known and used the world over.
Rand McNally Building
Chicago Tribune, July 14, 1868
A RETURN TO THE OLD ORDER OF THINGS.—No one thing is more universally necessary to all kinds of people, than writing paper and envelopes. Next to food, anything else can better be dispensed with. But stationery has of late been an expensive necessity thirty to fifty cents per quire for commercial note has long been the ruling price. We are pleased to state that the well-known stationers, McNally & Co., 81 Dearborn street, will sell from this date, the best commercial note at from 10 to 20 cents per quire, cap and letter paper from 20 to 30 cents, and envelopes, best quality, 10 to 15 cents per package. These were the old prices which gave this establishment so much reputation in times gone by. One of the largest stocks of paper-covered and cloth-bound novels in the city can be found there, which are being sold very cheap to make room for a new stock. Their counters are laden with new books just from the publishers.
Chicago Tribune, September 24, 1871
THE OLD DEARBORN SCHOOL
building, of which so interesting a historical sketch was printed in The Tribune of yesterday morning, is at last being torn down, to make way for the splendid new business block to be erected by Messrs. Rand, McNally & Co. The new building will have 130 feet front on Madison street. It will be five stories high, and the front will be built of Cleveland brown stone. On the ground floor it will contain three stories, having frontages of 53 feet, 28 feet, and 51 feet respectively. These are to be finished in black walnut, and be in every respect such as will attract first-class retail trade in all such business as characterize Madison, State and Dearborn streets. On the second floor will be eighteen offices, suitable for all kinds of office business. The building will be furnished with elevators that will be accessible from each store, and in every other respect be one of the finest business blocks in the city. Messrs. Rand, McNally & Co. expect to have it ready for occupancy by April 1.
Chicago Tribune, May 7, 1873
The Clerk presented the engrossed resolution relative to a lease of Rand, McNally & Co. of the Dearborn school lot.
The first Rand McNally printed map as it appeared in the December 1872 edition of its Railroad Guide, and the first appearance of Rand McNally’s location index system.
Chicago Tribune, June 18, 1873
The map showing the sewerage system of city, printed in another portion of this paper, comes from the engraving department of Rand, McNally & Co.’s immense printing establishment. It is the neatest, cleanest, and most correct piece of work of this kind ever turned out in this city, and demonstrates that the artisans of Chicago are advancing toward perfection with rapid strides. The map gives a well-proportioned outline of the city within the limits, and is cut in such a clear manner that no mistake in localities can possibly be made by persons who are at all acquainted with the city. It should be preserved for reference.
Chicago Tribune, February 2, 1877
A NEW BUSINESS ATLAS.
Messrs. Rand, McNally & Co., of Chicago, have just published a business atlas which in many respects is superior to any hereto presented to the public. The maps of the Unites States and the Canadas are particularly full, and each one is indexed, according to a new system, so that it isn possible, on a short examination, to find the location of any railway, town, city, county, river, or mountain. The idea is is comparatively of such recent origin that it is worthy of description. The maps are divided into squares by imaginary lines drawn from top to bottom and from one side to the other. Each terminus of of a line has placed opposite it a figure or a number. The States are indexed separately, and the towns, river, etc., referred as nearly as possible to the junction of the two lines. A similar treatment has been pursued with reference to railroads and express-routes, the termini in either case being exactly indicated. The usefulness of such a map for all business men will be at once perceived. It is not an uncommon thing, particularly in our new and growing country, for merchants to receive letters from places they never heard of before, and the situation of which they desire to know. Persons who are much upon the railroads will find the atlas almost invaluable. It shows where every railroad is, and every station upon it. Commercial travelers can lay out routes with the new atlas more accurately and more expeditiously than by any railroad guide. There is much in an appeal to the eye when questions involving considerations of time and space are concerned. The publishers of the atlas also lay claim to credit for a large share of original work. They have been at that pains to rectify many obvious errors in previous maps, and to seek for other errors not so obvious. In the Southern States especially their labors have been of considerable magnitude, extending to every county, and involving the alteration of county-line in cases almost innumerable. Inquiries were addressed to official sources in every case, and the results of various new surveys since the War have been embodied in the atlas. Each State is represented in a separate plate. The engraving, press-work, paper, and binding are of excellent quality, and the whole work is a credit both to the establishment and to the City of Chicago. The price of the atlas in its completed form is $20.
1897 Edition of the Rand McNally Business Atlas, showing the locating system first presented in 1879.
Rand McNally Building
Life Span: 1880-1890
Location: Monroe street, between Clark and LaSalle
Architect: Edward Burling
Chicago Tribune, April 14, 1880
RAND & M’NALLY.
Their New Location.
Yesterday at noon Messrs. Rand, McNall & Co., in the office of Messrs. Hitchcock & Dupee, signed a very important agreement. It is well known that for two years past their present quarters had been too small for them. They spread from Madison on to State street, but the best manufacturing facilities demanded by the firm could not be had in their present present location. They leased a term of twenty years, with the privilege of purchasing within ten years, the property known as the Douglas lot, on the south side of Monroe street, between Clark and LaSalle, being 90 feet front by 190 feet deep. The annual rental is fixed at $5,000, and the price to be faid for the land, if purchased within ten years, is $100,000 cash. It is more likely that the property will soon be purchased by the firm.
They will at once proceed with the erection of two buildings for the use of the house, to cost $75,000. The plan, as proposed and designed by Mr. Burling, the architect, comprises two buildings, fron and rear, with a court of a depth of fifty feet, giving ample light. The buildings will be six stories in height, and the press-room will be the largest and best-lighted of any in the country used fo a like purpose, and will be located under the court, on the ground floor, an innovation of no small importance. The front building will contain the business office of the firm on the ground floor, and there will be some stores and offices to be rented out. The upper floors will contain the book-rooms, artists’, engravers’, and designers’ departments, lithograph rooms, etc. The rear building will be especially constructed for a factory. The latest improvements will be used.
Work will be commenced at once on the construction of the building. Should Messrs. Rand, McNally & Coo. not purchase the property within the ten years named, at the end of twenty years there is to be a reappraisal of the property under the lease, and at the end of thirty years the owner, Mr. Douglas, or his heirs, shall have the privilege of purchasing the improvements at an appraisal, or Messrs. Rand McNally & Co. shall have the same privilege in regard to tye ground. But there is no doubt but that the firm will purchase the real estate long before the expiration of the ten years named in the lease.
The lot upon which the Central Trust Company Illinois’ building once stood was cleared by the Great Fire of 1871, and remained vacant until 1880, when the building shown above was erected upon it and was occupied by Rand, McNally & Co. It was a five-story building in front and six stories in the rear, with a light court about 40 feet wide separating the two buildings.
Rand McNally Building
Vault and Engine Rooms
Madison and State Streets
Rand McNally Building
Madison and State Streets
Rand McNally Buildings
Robinson Fire Map
Rand McNally Building
Life Span: 1890-1911
Location: Southwest corner of Adams and La Salle streets
Architect: Burnham & Root
Chicago Tribune, January 16, 1889
ANOTHER MAMMOTH BUSINESS BLOCK.
Rand, McNally & Co. Preparing to Erect a New Building.
Rand, McNally & Co. have just obtained a lease which will enable them to erect a building that will be inferior, at least in point of size, to no other printing establishment in the United States. As is known, they leased some weeks ago Marshall Field’s lot, 100×165 feet, just west of the Home Insurance Building, having frontage on both Adams and Quincy streets. They have now secured a lease on a fifty-foot strip adjoining the Field property on the west and extending in like manner from Adams to Quincy street. The land belongs to Calvin DeWolf, who gives a ninety-nine years at $5,000 per annum for the first five years and at $9,000 per annum thereafter. Figuring on a basis of 5 per cent, the terms of the lease give the land a present valuation of $2,000 per front foot on a prospective valuation in 1894 of nearly $4,000 per foot.
Burnham & Root, architects, are preparing plans for a nine=story steel building to cover the land, which Rand McNally & Co. have leased. The first three stories will be of brown stone and the upper stories of pressed brick and terra cotta. Rand, McNally & Co.’s printing plant will occupy the space above the third floor, while the lower floors will be rented as offices or stores. Light is secured in the interior by a court 60×66 feet, with a skylight at the second story covering the space to be used by Rand McNally & Co. for a counting-room. The building it is estimated will cost about $500,000.
Rand McNally Building
160-174 Adams Street
Rand McNally’s Bird’s-Eye Views and Guide to Chicago, 1892
Rand, McNally Co.’s Building acquired special prominence among cosmopolitans because of the World’s Fair Commission, which here carried on the operations of administration and advertisement. The Director-General’s office was at Room 410; Major Handy was at 414. All the fourth and fifth floors were occupied by Fair officials, and here the $18,000,000 were disbursed. But the reader may also be curious to see where this guide was published, and whence the Rialto Series, the Globe Library, Marah Ellis Ryan’s tales, the well-known Rand-McNally globes and atlases, the railway guidis and pocket maps are issued. Here in this steel building, the first that ever stood free oJ brick walls, is one of the largest printing plants in the world, and the greatest of railway-ticket and time-table manufactories. The building is ten stories high and incloses a large court. In the press-room this court is entirely sur rounded with machines, a distance of 630 feet; the map floor is as large, and the compositors, many of whom are stockholders in the company, occupy ample and roomy quarters, among the very best in the city.
This building stands near the southwest corner of Adams and La Salle streets, at 160 to 174 Adams, with a frontage of 150 feet on the latter and a like frontage on Quincy Street, the depth being 166 feet. The reader should visit the counting-room, where he will behold the simple and democratic manner in which the enormous business of a large and noted house is carried on. The skylight under which the heads of departments work is at the bottom of and the court, gives remarkably pleasant effects of light. This guide covers most of the particulars in connection with Chicago’s many notable structures. In proceeding by easy stages with such a task, it will not be out of place here to describe, with some care, the precise means which are taken to make a first-class edifice safe against fire and decay. The Rand-McNally Building may be considered an exemplary product of modern architecture, and the plan of erection will be faithfully followed.
The steel cage, which is really the building, is protected against other buildings on the east and on the west by a wall of sewer brick, 44 inches thick in the lower stories; in the west there is no opening whatever; in the east there is an opening, but into the court of an adjoining building. The foundations for these walls, 23 feet wide, are made of I-beams and T-rail crossed and imbedded in Portland cement. The steel columns that support the floors are square and hollow, painted, and incased in hard-burned hollow tile, afterward plastered, the air circulating inside. These columns support girders of steel, covered with hard-burned hollow tile, and supporting beams of steel. The latter are well stayed with tie-rods, and columns, girders, and beams are hot-riveted together in one complete and integral framework, ten stories and basement. The front and rear columns, those that bound Adams and Quincy streets, are covered with hollow lerra cotla. The insides of these exterior columns are covered with hollow hard tile, and all lintels are backed up with hollow brick. Between all the beams of the floors are concave arches of hollow tile, covering the tie-rods between the beams, and resting on hollow skew-backs or supports; and these skew-backs not only shield the beams, but leave an air-passage. On the tile arch thus formed between the beams is laid two inches of cement, and on this cement is placed a hardwood floor not an inch thick. Across the arches which thus appear in the ceiling, by means of T-irons s. t in the skew-backs, rough slabs of tile are hung across, making a flat ceiling, and leaving large air-spaces in each arch and between each pair of beams. There is no wooden lathing in any portion of the building.
All interior partitions are of fire-proof tile. The windows of the upper five stories have no inside wood-trim, the plaster extending to the window-frames. All stairways are iron. The basement floor is laid with thick squares of vitrified tile. All water-closet floors are marble, with stone wall-slabs; there is no wood’here except for seats and doors. All type-stands and racks, ” furniture,” and imposing-stone frames are of iron, with tin for boxes. All presses stand on zinc. Four staudpipes with iron ladders are attached to each street-front. There are electric signals to be turned in from sixteen stations, with reports from each every half-hour all night to the District Telegraph office; and there are two fire-pumps which connect with the street-main. Heat is by steam, with light by gas and electricity. A large water-tank on the roof is inclosed in a pent-house of vitrified tile, and signal-boxes for fire-alarm are placed on every floor. The sidewalk is stone, and the boilers are under Quincy Street, separated from the basement by tile partitions. Rolling steel shutters protect exposed windows in the east wall. The interior court is faced with white enameled brick. The building has four entrances and several elevators.
With such facilities for cleanliness and security and the reduced chances of wear or destruction, the standard steel building of the World’s Fair era begins its history.
Harper’s Weekly, April 16, 1892
It was no simple affair to draw, edraw, design, and put into blue prints and first lines the various maps and architects’ plans of the Columbian Exposition. From half a dozen large cities in the country were sent the first plans of the structures to the office of the chief architect in Chicago. A full set of facades and elevations, interior divisions, ground plans, and what not was supplied by the designer. Having made one set, the designers of the originals considered their work comfortably at end. But where their work ended, that of the architecture-in-chief began. A large force of draughtsmen were put to work under a director, and hundreds of copies were made. Now that the buildings are almost finished—finished, that is, so far as the plans are concerned—the draughtsmen of the architect’s office have little to do.
This is not true, however, of the department engineering, which may be said to have only begun its labors in earnest. In a low two-story frame house erected within the enclosed grounds at Jackson Park, are two rooms given over to the working force of the engineer. Generally, they resemble the draughting room of a prosperous architect, the main difference between that and them being in size—for there is much to be done—the tables are extensive and force large.
Columbian Exposition, Chicago—In the Designing Room, Bureau of Construction
Rand McNally Building
Rand McNally’s Bird’s-Eye Views and Guide to Chicago, 1893
The Rand McNally Building is a complete steel 10-story structure occupying Nos. 160-174 Adams street and Nos. 105-119 Quincy street, to which it extends. It was erected in 1889, has 10 stories, 16 stores, and 300 offices, but is principally occupied by Rand, McNall & Co., printers and publishers, with 900 employes. The headquarters of the World’s Columbian Exposition have been here, and here are the general offices of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway. Here the Long Distance Telephone Company (Quincy side) enables you to call up New York City. Cost, $1,000,000.
Rand McNally Building
Sanborn Fire Map
Excerpted from Chicago Tribune, January 15, 1911
The Continental Commercial National bank plans the erection of what is said will be the largest bank and office building in the world. It will cover the entire block bounced by LaSalle, Adams, Quincy streets, and Fifth avenue, and will represent an investment of approximately $10,000,000.
The building will have a ground area of 53,559 square feet, practically one and a quarter acres, will be at least twenty stories high, with a frontage of 165 feet on LaSalle street and Fifth avenue, 324.66 on Adams and Quincy streets and will cost $6,750,000.
An idea of its true magnitude may be gathering from the fact that including the space including the elevators, vaults, etc., it will have a total floor area of over twenty-five and a half acres.
Another interesting feature of the transaction is the large cost involved in the destruction of the buildings now ion the land in order to make way for the proposed new structure. These comprise the old Continental National Bank building, fronting 165 feet on LaSalle street and 60 on Adams street; the Rand McNally building at 162-172 Adams street, and the McCormick building at Fifth avenue, Adams, and Quincy streets, all of which will approximate $1,000,000 in value.
The Rand McNally Building (1889-1911), in Chicago, was designed by Burnham and Root. The first Z-bar steel columns, invented by Charles L. Strobel, were used in this building; it was the first building of all-steel skeleton construction; and was the first building to use all terra cotta facades on the street fronts.
The building was located at 160-174 Adams Street (on the south side between LaSalle and Wells) and also fronted 105-119 on the backside (Quincy Street). It was erected in 1889 at a cost of $1 million. It had 10 stories, 16 stores, and 300 offices, but the main tenant was Rand, McNally & Co., printers and publishers, with 900 employees.
This building is where the World’s Fair headquarters are located. If so, you will find this to be one of the most magnificent structures in the world. The publishing and printing house of Rand, McNally & Co. started in 1856, since which date the remai’kable growth of its map and book-publishing business has necessitated several removals and enlargements of qusrters. Every time it has shortly found itself cramped for room, until the recent removal into the new building, 162 to 174 Adams St., which makes ample provisions for future expansion. This building is a model in size, convenience and durability, and absolutely fire-proof. It has ten stories and a basement, with a frontage of 150 feet on Adams st , extending back 166 feet to Quincy st. The framework is entirely of steel, the two fronts are fire-proofed with dark-red terra-cotta. in handsome designs, and the interior is fire-proofed with hard-burnt fire-clay, no part of the steel being exposed. In the center of the building is left a court 60×66 feet, having its outer walls faced with English white enamelled bricks. Owing partly to its great size, and partly to the fact that it is the first steel building in Chicago, besides being probably the largest and most complete building ever erected exclusively for the printing and publishing business, it is exciting a great deal of interest. Burnham & Root were the architects. The following facts concerning it illustrate in a striking manner the vastness and solidity of a modern commercial building. It contains 15 miles of steel-railway-65-pound rails in the foundation, besides the 12-inch and 20-inch steel beams. There are 13 miles of 15-inch steel beams and channels, 2½ miles of ties and angles in the roof; 7 miles of tie rods; 10 miles of Z steel in the columns ; 12 miles of steam-pipe ; 350,000 rivets and bolt ; 7 acres of floors ; the boards of which would reach 250 miles were they laid end to end. The foundations contain 1,060 tons of steel, while the beams, etc., will weigh 2,000 tons, and the columns 700 tons; making a total of 3,7 tons of steel in this giant structure. The oflices of the various departments of the Columbian Exposition are accessible by elevator. Just now everybody from the Director General down is very busy, but that need not prevent you from looking around. They will answer your questions civilly—everybody is civil in Chicago-but don’t ask too many at present.
The general offices of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway were located here on the 2nd and 3rd floors, as were the headquarters of the World’s Columbian Exposition, on the 4th and 5th. The Long Distance Telephone Company (Quincy Street side) allowed patrons the ability to telephone New York City, a novelty at the time.
It was torn down in 1911 and the JW Marriott (City National Bank, Continental Bank Building, 208 South LaSalle), building replaced it at 208 S. LaSalle in 1912. This building still stands.