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Life Span: 1873-TBD
Location: Clark Street and Adams Street
In the autumn of 1871, the new Lakeside Building was nearly complete; presses and other equipment had been moved in, and some manufacturing was underway. But on October 8 and 9, the great Chicago Fire swept through the city. Donnelley’s son Thomas Elliott, only four years old at the time, later recalled racing with his father north across the Chicago River to escape the flames. The blaze destroyed the city’s bustling business district and left 18,000 businesses in ruins. Among the casualties were over 100 printing offices, including Donnelley’s new building, which was a smoking ruin.
Within days of the fire, which also destroyed his home, Donnelley boarded a train East to seek new presses, type, trimmers, and the other tools of his craft. His business partners, Edward Goodman and Reverend Leroy Church, withdrew after the fire, but Donnelley pressed ahead, rebuilding his business during the most dynamic period of growth for Chicago, and one of the most remarkable for any American city.
Its imposing appearance and chaste style of architecture have attracted no little attention, being notable even among the many wonderful business palaces of beautiful NEW CHICAGO. But this building is distinctive in the purpose to which it is devoted, as well as in outward appearance. From top to bottom it is almost exclusively occupied by the various departments of publishing. It did not require a prophet to foresee that Chicago was destined to be the great western center of literature as well as of commerce, and The Lakeside Company determined to provide the amplest facilities for the pUblication of atlases, maps, gazetteers, books, magazines, newspapers, etc., etc., to supply the ever increasing demands of the people. The result was the erection of a massive six-story and basement stone building 125 x 100 feet, filled with every appliance required in printing, binding, lithographing, map-making and coloring, engraving, etc., etc.
The first floor is occupied for stores and by Geo. Sherwood & Co., school book publishers. The second floor is set apart for offices, among which are those of Donnelley, Loyd & Co., book and directory publishers, also of Baskin, Forster & Co. and H. Belden & Co., map and atlas publishers. The third floor (reached by steam elevator) contains the principal office of Warner & Beers, proprietors of The Union Atlas Company; also their engraving, lithographing and map-coloring rooms.
Here, also, are the offices of Higgind Bros. & Co., atlas publishers; A. C. Fisher & Co., directory publishers A. Maas & Co., wood engravers; and The National Live Stock Journa!. The fourth floor is occupied by Chas. Shober & Co., proprietors of The Chicago Lithograph Company. The fifth floor contains A. J. Cox & Co.’s book binding establishment. The sixth floor is occupied by the manufacturing department of The Lakeside Publishing and Printing Company, book and job printers’. In the basement can be found A. H. Reeve’s gold-beating works.
The advantages of such concentration of all branches of publishing under one roof are obvious, and whatever is undertaken by anyone of the firms in.this building has the hearty co-operation of all the others in their several departments, and their publications, in consequence, are executed with an economy, promptness and beauty otherwise unattainable.
Clark and Adams Streets
Robinson Fire Map 1886
Volume 1, Plate 1