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Enterprise, Power, Light and Heat Co. Building Building
Life Span: About 1890-Present
Location: 616 W. Fulton
Fulton, Desplaines, Jefferson & Wayman Streets
Architect: John M. Van Osdel II (expansion)
Sears Roebuck & Co.
Richard Sears first moved his mail order company from Minneapolis to Chicago in late March 1887. The R.W. Sears Watch Company occupied a building at 55 Dearborn Street, north of Randolph Street. Sears returned to Chicago in 1892 by opening an office on West Van Buren just east of Halsted. Shortly after this he moved the offices into a five story building at 173-175 West Adams Street just east of Halsted.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. outgrew that building and the company moved to the Enterprise, Power, Light and Heat Co. building at the corners of Fulton, Des Plaines and Wayman Streets on March 17, 1896. Repeated expansions and remodels of this building occurred over the next 6 years.
Chicago Tribune, December 30, 1894.
G. S. Abbott & Co., has leased for J. J. Flanders, the architect, to Sears, Roebuck & Co., the building Nos. 173 and 175 West Adams street for a term of five years at practically $5,000 a year, with an option of five years longer at the same rent. The building is just being completed. It os five stories and basement high and fronts 50 feet with a depth of 190.—
Chicago Chronicle, July 26, 1895
The following permits for buildings to cost $1,000 or more were issued yesterday:
M. D. Coffeen, 6-story and basement brick factory, 73 to 89 Desplaines st….$60,000.
Chicago Tribune, April 26, 1896
Chicago Tribune, March 29, 1898
The Enterprise, Power, Light and Heat company yesterday took out a permit to build a seven-story and basement brick side addition to 82, 84, and 86 Fulton avenue, to cost $150,000.
Inter Ocean, September 18 1898
Power Plant Purchased.
M. D. Coffeen has acquired for $220,000 the grounds and plant of the Enterprise, Power, Light and Heat company, of which he was the projector. The plant is located at Desplaines and Fulton streets. Mr. Coffeen secured his title through a purchase from John Spry. Mr. Spry had purchased from the estate of John K. Russell. The company gave Mr. Coffeen a quitclaim deed to all of its interests for $50,000.
Sears Roebuck & Co.
Fall 1896 Catalog
Sears Roebuck & Co.
Sears Roebuck & Co.
Chicago Tribune, January 19, 1899
Circumstances point to Sears, Roebuck & Co. as the purchasers of the ground at the northwest corner of Fulton and Jefferson streets from J. Harley Bradley of the Bradley Manufacturing company. It was sold two weeks ago for $125,000, but the name of the purchaser was not given out at that time. A building is to be erected costing $200,000.
Sears Roebuck & Co.
Account Book of John Van Osdel showing details of the expansion of the Enterprise Power, Light and Heat Co. in 1897-1898 at 82-96 Fulton Street.
Chicago Tribune, October 15, 1905
Sears, Roebuck & Co. Buy.
One of the interesting transactions of the week was the purchase by Sears, Roebuck & Co., from the Crane company, of 90×170 feet at the northwest corner of Fulton and Desplaines streets, 120 feet west of Desplaines, for $126,500. The property is opposite the Sears-Roebuck plant, and its purchase marks the acquirement by the latter of the entire block bounded by Fulton, Wayman, Desplaines, and Union streets.
Just what the company’s plans are in connection with this property are not known, and, according to Mr. Loeb, the manager, it has none. It is said that the original plan was to build a great warehouse covering the entire block, but, convinced that it would not be large enough for its business needs, the company is said to have abandoned the project and decided upon the great plant now in process of construction on Harvard street.
Sears Roebuck and Company Catalogue, Spring, 1898
A pictorial of early Sears buildings.
In 1893 Sears rented a building on Adams street, then in 1896 moved to the Enterprise Building on Fulton & Desplaines, which was expanded several times.
Inter Ocean, February 11, 1906
These large manufacturing buildings were constructed by Sears, Roebuck & Company for their own use, but as they have outgrown these quarters, they wish to divide and rent same for high quality manufacturing, mercantile, and warehouse purposes. They are the most complete factory properties on the West Side, are located just one-half mile west of the city hall, and are in easy access to all freight and passenger depots and all transportation lines. The buildings front 320 feet on Fulton street with a side frontage of 170 feet on Desplaines and 170 feet on Jefferson street and a rear frontage of 320 feet on Wayman streets. These four street frontages give the buildings a total frontage of 980 feet, affording unusual opportunities for light, fire protection, shipping facilities, and advertising, as they overlook the C. M. & St. O., Pan Handle, and Chicago & Northwestern R. R. passenger tracks, and both the Desplaines and Milwaukee avenue viaducts over which all the Northwest Side surface cars pass going to and from their terminus.
The buildings are of mill construction and contain an aggregate of about 500,000 square feet of floor space and are equipped with automatic sprinklers and a most modern power plant.
Power, heat, electric light, and use of electricity will be furnished to tenants requiring this service.
Sears Roebuck and Co.
Desplaines & Fulton Streets
Currently 606 W. Fulton Street, China Club Lofts
1906 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
Inter Ocean, August 3, 1912
A notable deal on the West Side was disclosed yesterday by its being recorded in the sale of the warehouse property at the northeast corner of Fulton and Desplaines streets by George E. Spry to Frederick W. Matthiessen of La Salle, 111., for a nominal consideration, subject to an incumbrance of $165,000. The transaction was negotiated by White & Tabor for the seller and W. A. Merigold & Co. for the purchaser. The property is 170 feet square and is occupied by a seven story ware. house structure under lease for six years to Marshall Field & Co. The buildings at Fulton and Desplaines were occupied at one time by Sears, Roebuck & Co. Mr. Spry obtained in exchange for his equity in the property the vacant property at 733-35 South Dearborn street, near Polk street, fronting fifty feet. upon which a valuation of $85,360 is placed by the board of review; thirty acres of land in Washington Heights and a tract of 160 acres at Forty-Eighth avenue and Ninety-First street.
Chicago Tribune, June 20, 1912
Chicago Tribune, March 12, 1927 (Excerpt)
Replaces 12 Present Warehouses.
Some idea of the magnitude of the proposed concentration of the Field manufacturing, storage, and wholesale departments can be gained when it is known that twelve warehouses and factories throughout Chicago are to be moved to the new building.
These properties are at Polk and the river, Polk and Ellsworth, the Pennsylvania terminal, North Pier terminal, Fulton and Desplaines, Fulton and Jefferson, 14th and Indiana, 17th and Wabash, 14 North Sangamon, 618 South Canal, 705 West Harrison, and 308 West Madison.
In addition to these is the dignified old red granite wholesale house on Adams, between Wells and Franklin, designed by H. H. Richardson, famous architect of Boston. This is owned by the Field estate and leased to the Field store.
Chicago Tribune, August 9, 1991
River West has a new neighbor. This is the opening weekend of China Club, 616 W. Fulton (312-4660400), a multi-million-dollar nightclub run by a trio of New Yorkers—Michael Barrett, Danny Fried, David Boyd—and Chicago entrepreneur Paul Stepan. The original China Club opened in New York in 1985. In 1989, a West Coast version opened in Los Angeles.
General Manager Russ Brunelli, an intense and friendly sort who bears an uncanny resemblance to actor Steven Seagal, says the club will showcase both local and national talent.
“We will not be an attitude bar,” he said. “They’ll be no pick and choose” says Brunelli, referring to the club’s admission policy. “I want people to feel comfortable.”
Weekly jam session, called ProJam, occur on Wednesday night and will feature a mix of top-rated session players, local talent and visiting national and international talent. The club’s house band, the Thunderboys, also will play Wednesday nights.
China Club features top-of-the-line sound, video and lighting systems; 20,000 square feet of space spread out over three levels; five bars, two large dance floors, a photo gallery of the work of the noted Chicago photographer Paul Natkin; a rock ‘n’ roll boutique that sells China Club merchandise as well as rock concert paraphernalia, including authorized tour jackets, t-shirts and caps; and a VIP room.
The Oriental mystique is deliberately played up. Indeed, the name derives from the large Oriental collection of co-owner Michael Barrett, a former New York City police officer. Oriental dragon kites, decorated in vibrant red and gold colors, hang from the ceiling. A small bridge overlooks a rock garden—that is, a garden decorated with electric guitars.
The centerpiece of the club, says Bunoli, promises to be the expansive dance room on the second floor. Deejays play the latest dance music but with a difference. The vocals are removed and are replaced by classic rock, funk and soul vocal tracks. So if you’re curious to find out what “Light My Fire” would sound like with a hip hop or rap beat, this is the place to be.
Chicago Tribune Advertisement, September 28, 1996
The China Club Lofts on Fulton Street is a seven-story elevator building located just steps from River North, the Loop, the Merchandise Mart, and a fitness club.
The building offers a quarry tile and marble lobby, carpeted hallays, and indoor garage parking.
The one and two level lofts have one or two bedrooms.
Unit 617 is featured as Festival Home No. 1G. The two-story unit has two bedrooms, 2½ baths, private balcony, kitchen, with granite island, and a mezzanine-level master suite. The 1,737-square-foot loft is priced from $259,800, with a monthly assessment of $220.89.
Each unit at China Club offers city views from a private deck. Standard features include brick walls, timber ceilings, ceiling heights from 14 to 20 feet, diagonal oak hardwood floors, central air conditionings, washer.dryer hookup, polus many units have private storage rooms nearby.
The terrace lofts are being added to the top floor. These newly built, two-story penthouses will have private terraces, island kitchens, and mezzanine master suites. They are priced from $184,800 to $209,800.
The developer is MCZ Development, and the marketing agent is Jameson Realty Group.
To visit China Club Lofts at 606 W. Fulton in Chicago, take Int. Hwy. 94 to Lake Street, and exit east. At Des Plaines turn north and go one block to Fulton.
China Club Lofts
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