< --Previous Up Next–>
Field, Leiter Warehouse
Life Span: 1872-1911
Location: NE Corner of Madison and Market Streets
This building was five stories high and was erected in 100 days. It served as the warehouse for the Field, Leiter Company up till 1886 in which a new Marshall Field Warehouse was built at Quincy, Franklin, Adams and Wells Streets.
After the Great Fire in October 1871, Marshall Field was looking for a permanent location for the wholesale division. He selected the northeast corner of Madison and Market streets, where the Garden City Hotel stood before the fire.
The neighborhood had been a low character. Along Market Street had stretched sailors’ boardinghouses and groggeries; Madison Street had been lined with whiskey mills and cheap stores. But those evils were gone now, and the site was a convenient one for buyers, who could reach it from most of the new railroad stations and from the North and West sides of the city without plowing through the burned-out district.
Leiter agreed to this move. There was no possible chance at this time, he wrote to Joseph Field, to go back to State Street. “If a store were erected upon our old quarters or near it, it would be of little or no value for occupancy for the coming year. The debris from the burned buildings is so great that it would prevent access of people and the dust arising from it would destroy a stock of goods.” Besides, the Market Street land was cheap, only $7.00 a square foot as compared with the $2,100 a front foot Palmer had charged them for the State Street property.
Now, all the wholesale stocks were carried to the new building, constructed at a cost of $140,000. A retail division was also established in the Market Street building and designated Retail No. 2., while the horse-barn store on Twentieth Street became Retail No. 1. Wholesalers were able to buy at Market Street as early as 4 March 1872, but the public was informed the the grand opening would not be held until the evening of 25 April.
Field, Leiter Warehouse
In 1873, Field and Leiter occupied the Singer Building because they heard that A. T. Stewart, New York’s prime merchant, was interested in the State Street store. Field and Leiter signed a three year lease announced:
We shall remove our Retail Business to our new store, State and Washington Streets, on Monday, Oct. 6
Field Leiter Warehouse
NE Corner of Madison and Market Streets
Robinson Fire Map 1886
Volume 3, Plate 2