Richards, Shaw & Winslow Building, E. H. Sargent Building, Boyce Building
Life Span: 1872-1899 (Rebuilt), 1911
Location: NE Corner of State and Madison Streets
1-3 N. State Street
Architect: W. W. Boyington, Jenny & Mundie (1898)
The Land Owner, May, 1872
MESSRS. RICHARDS, SHAW & WINSLOW’S NEW DRY GOODS BUILDING.
Among the long list of new business structure in our Rebuilt Chicago none represents a more attractive appearance, none is so well and so centrally located, as the magnificent building now being erected by the great dry goods house of Richards, Shaw & Winslow for the exclusive accommodation of their business, at the northeast corner of State and Madison streets, in the burnt district. Our artist presents a fine view of the structure as it will appear when completed, drawn from the plans of W. W. Boyington, Esq., the architect.
Richards, Shaw and Winslow Building.
This building stands at the front point of the immense traffic of both the south and west divisions of the city, which pours in here as to a common center, by the south and west side cars, and the omnibuses from all sections of the city. A person going from either side of the city—severed by the burnt district—to the other, must necessarily pass this point, and here also must he alight to change vehicles. More people pass this point than any other street corner in the city, which renders it an extremely advantageous situation for the dry goods trade. This locality is being rapidly built up, as the property is too valuable to lie idle. All things go to show the wise judgement of Messrs. Richards, Shaw & Winslow in selecting this spot for the site of their dry goods palace, and it also goes to prove to land men and property holders that the wholesale business cannot be carried westward to the river, but is to center on State street, Wabash and Michigan avenues from Randolph street to Harrison, including the cross streets.
PRESENT LOCATION OF THE HOUSE AND ITS BUSINESS.
Within thirty days after the fire, Messrs. Richards, Shaw & Winslow had erected and occupied a temporary brick building, Nos. 123, 124 and 125 Michigan avenue, entrance 124 Michigan avenue, where they continued to supply their customers, and where they are at present located, and will remain until their new building is completed. This temporary store affords good facilities for both displaying and handling goods. Their stock at the present time is very large, and their sales extremely gratifying, being fully equal in amount to the sales of the house before the fire. In fact, their old friends and customers have highly complimented them by standing by them under so many adverse circumstances, which is a lasting tribute to their integrity in dealing and watchful care of the wants of their trade, as well as the extremely low prices which they endeavor at all times.
COMPOSITION OF THE FIRM.
The firm of Richards, Shaw & Winslow is composed of William H. Fitch, Esq., a gentleman who has spent the greater part of his life in the wholesale dry goods business, until within a few years, during which he was a member of the well known and popular hat and cap house of Fitch, Williams & Co. Messrs. Richards & Shaw were members of the old reputable dry goods house of Richards, Crumbaugh & Shaw. Both have been in the dry goods business in Chicago for nearly twenty years, and number hosts of warm-hearted and true friends throughout the country. Mr. Winslow came to Chicago in 1854, and connected himself on the day of his arrival with the old firm of Bowen Brothers, first acting as cashier, then as financial clerk. In 1867 the firm of Bowen, Whitman & Winslow was formed, and in 1870 changed to Bowen, Hunt & Winslow, which continued to be its style up to the time of fire, since which the present firm was organized. Bowen Brothers, not willing to desert the dry goods business entirely, particularly after the great calamityy, retain an interest in the business. This short history of the antecedents of the present house, establishes its character and commercial standing, being composed, as it is, of well-seasoned and thoroughly sound timber—men who have been bred to their business. With ample cash capital and large cash resources, they are able to buy entirely for cash, which places them upon the best footing possible in the market, and enables them to take every advantage of it, both here and in Europe, which their customers profit by in the correspondingly low prices they are able to make. Mr. Richards, the buyer for the house, is a gentleman of known good taste, and understands fully the demands of this market.
THE NEW BUILDING.
When completed and occupied by this firm, their new building will be one of the most elaborate externally, and well appointed internally, of any similar establishment in the country. Its location is such that every floor will be thoroughly lighted—quite a consideration with buyers, while it will contain upwards of 60,000 square feet of floor room. When thus domesticated, with every department under the direction of an experienced superintendent, responsible to the house for its efficient and economical management, and with their host of friends and customers, the dry goods house of Richards, Shaw & Winslow will grow to still greater proportions. But until they get into their new building, they will continue to receive their friends at their Michigan avenue store, and serve them faithfully and well.
And thus, by men of means and brains and pluck and enterprise, is the Chicago market being sustained in all its various branches, in spite of the reprehensible efforts of rival cities to break it down.
Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1872
Opening of Another Dry Goods Palace
An important and significant hint as to the location of a future trade centres in the rebuilt portion of the South Side may be discovered in the fact that one of the largest and best known dry goods houses in Chicago, Richards, Shaw & Winslow, have permanently quartered themselves in the magnificent brown-stone building on the northeast corner of State and Madison streets. They occupy the entire structure, five stories and basement, with a frontage of 25 feet on State street, and 160 feet on Madison street, and may may flatter themselves that theirs is the handsomest, best arranged, and best located dry goods house in the city, and one of the finest in America.
Being shrewd, progressive business men, Messrs. Richards, Shaw & Winslow have been among the first to recognize the adventure of fine stores for the wholesale as well as the retail trade, and they lost no time in arranging to get out of the limited unattractive quarters on Michigan avenue, which they had built for themselves immediately after the great fire. Their new establishment is a model of efficiency in detail and convenience of arrangement. Fronting on two streets and a wide alley in the rear, they have been able to secure the best light from the east, south and west, and with their broad floors and high ceilings their immense stock of goods are displayed to the finest possible advantage. The first floor contains the ??? which have been tastefully constructed of black walnut and oak, situated on the north side of the room, while the rest of the ample spacer is devoted to the display of paints, dress goods and alike. From very floor a broad and handsome stairway leads to the story above. The second floor contains the shawl department, attractively arranged at the State street front, and the hosiery and white goods. The third floor is wholly given up to the display of the vast stock of notions. The woolens and cloths take up the fourth floor entirely, the line of goods being an unusually extensive and varied. Two steam elevators run from the basement to the fifth floor, where the packing is done. The basement is the largest floor of all, as it extends twenty feet under the sidewalks on State and Madison streets. It is high and perfectly lighted, and is an admirably and place for handling the heavy domestic cotton goods and blankets. The entire establishment is an ornament to Chicago’s whole sale trade, and the many friends and customers of the solid and substantial firm will be pleased that Richards, Shaw & Winslow are as admirably situated with reference to handling their large and rapidly increasing trade.
The Lakeside Monthly, October, 1872
In the new order of magnificent business architecture which has been so uniformly adhered to in the rebuilding of our city, one of the most prominent and noticeable, both from its admirable location, and its rich, tasteful appearance, is the elegant brown stone structure on the northeast corner of State and Madison streets, an illustration of which is given herewith. As usual, however, in colorless pictures, it fails to convey an adequate idea of the peculiar beauties of the edifice. It is in the Gothic style, the material being the celebrated Oswego brown sand stone, the facade relieved with exquisite ornamentation carved out of the solid stone, the ripe, warm color of which so peculiarly serves to bring out the artistic touches to the finest advantage, and at the same time affords a grateful contrast to the somewhat monotonous hues of the gray and drab stones which have been so largely employed in buildings in its vicinity. The broad high windows contain the heaviest and costliest of plate glass, in panes so large that it was necessary to order their special manufacture in Germany.
The building is five stories high besides the basement, with a total street frontage of over two hundred feet—fifty-five feet on State street, and one hundred and sixty on Madison — and running back to a wide alley. This gives windows on three sides, and renders the interior, with its high ceilings and elegant fixtures of walnut and oak, remarkably light and attractive, besides the more important consideration of the advantageous display of goods. A huge clock surmounts the State street facade, its illuminated dial denoting the time at all hours of the day or night. Taking into account the location, the material and size, the admirable harmony in style and proportion, the artistic ornamentation so judiciously employed, and the massive construction, this is generally regarded as the finest store yet built in Chicago.
Richards, Shaw & Winslow Store
121 State Street
The history of the occupants of this palace of trade—the well-known whole sale dry goods firm of Richards, Shaw & Winslow — furnishes a notable illustration of the proverbial pluck and energy of Chicago business men. The individual members of the firm were all severe sufferers by the great fire of October 9th. The respective firms of Fitch, Williams & Co., of which Mr. William H. Kitch was then a member; of Richards, Crumbaugh & Shaw, of which Jonathan Richards and Theodore A. Shaw were members; and of Bowen, Hunt & Winslow, of which Mr. A. H. Winslow was a member—sustained a loss collectively in the destruction of merchandise to the amount of one and one-half millions of dollars, not over one hundred dollars’ worth being saved out of their united stocks. With energy unconquered and undismayed by the appalling calamity, they organized the present firm out of the materials which the fire could not destroy—their experience, capacity, credit, and reputation — and in a short time they had arranged for a fresh start, having hastily constructed a temporary brick building on Michigan avenue. Keeping a sharp look-out for some suitably located building of sufficient size to answer the requirements of their immense business, they secured, early in the spring of the present year, the building just completed and occupied, and the construction of which was pushed forward at as rapid a rate as was possible with a structure of this character.
It would be impossible for the visitor to make a tour through this grand establishment, noting the perfection of the building, and its internal arrangements and conveniences—its six floors crowded to repletion with almost every description of dry goods manufactured in this country or in Europe—without experiencing a feeling of incredibility that its proprietors are the same gentlemen who were overtaken by the disaster of October last. Yet such is the fact. It is only one among the legion of business miracles wrought by our princes of trade. With her destinies in the hands of such men, no one need wonder that Chicago should become the novel and the model city of the world.
Colonade & Richards, Shaw & Winslow Buildings
Photographer: Lovejoy & Foster
Chicago Tribune, July 25, 1875
MANDEL BROTHERS. The house of Mandel Brothers is now one of the oldest in Chicago. Older readers will remember that it was established in the year 1855. Subsequently, at the corner of State and Harrison, an elegant building was erected by the firm. This was destroyed in the July fire of last year, after which the energetic proprietors found temporary quarters on Washington street until their removal to the present elegant establishment 121 and 123 State. The building now occupied by them is conceded to be one of the chief dry goods houses of the country. A choice and varied stock of goods, uniformity courteous attention to customers of every grade of life, a willingness to refund money when articles do not prove as represented, and a determination not to be undersold, are the distinguishing features of this excellent institution. These characteristics have given the firm of Mandel Brothers an enviable position in the esteem of the entire community.
LEFT: Announcement made of Mandel moving into the corner of Madison and State Streets at 121-123 State Street. March 13, 1875
RIGHT: Announcement made of Mandel purchasing the Colonade Building, next door to the north at Nos. 117-119 State Street. March 24, 1883.
117, 119, 121 and 123 State Street
NE Corner of State and Madison
New Mandel Building
Inter Ocean, March 6, 1898
Mandel Bros. have leased from Marshall Field for a term of years, for a consideration that is not stated, the property at the northeast corner of State and Madison streets, 53×150 feet, adjoining the store of the firm named. Possession of the building at this corner has been secured, and work has been commenced that will make this structure an integral part of the dry-goods establishment. The height of the corner and adjoining stores will be made seven stories, and the entire space will be occupied by Mandel Bros., making a total of 153 feet on Madison street, covered by a uniform improvement eight stories high. In addition to this is the Wabash avenue extension of the store, which also will be improved.
About a year ago C. D. Peacock surrendered the ninety-nine year lease he had acquired on the property to the owner of the ground, Marshall Field. Within a short time, measured in weeks, Mandel Bros. had secured the property from Mr. Field for a term of years under lease at a rental that is not revealed. During the time from then until now, Mandel Bros. have been preparing to take possession. This was finally made possible by the removal of James Wilde, Jr., & Co., who occupied the main and other floors, to a Wabash avenue location.
Plans have been drawn by Jenny & Mundie for the two fronts, of architectural iron, and the other improvements that are to make of Mandel Bros.’ establishment one of the finest of its kind in the world. Not only the corner but the present store building as well is to be improved. All dividing walls and partitions, as to the State and Madison street premises, are to be removed, leaving an unobstructed sweep from the Madison street entrance (to be made a particular feature) to the north line of the store.
This is the way the building will look May 1 next, when reconstruction is completed. Work commenced on the corner building (until recently occupied by James Wilde, Jr., & Co.) yesterday. The store will be seven stories and basement, 153×150 feet, exclusive of extension on Wabash avenue.
In all, upward of $300,000 will be expended. The sum looks large, but the entire space is to be made over. Sixteen new elevators will be installed, and may internal changes instituted, in addition to the structural and architectural work on the fronts.
It is expected that the work will be entirely completed by May 1 next. The additional space thus secured will be utilized for the installation of new departments, as well as the increase of those established. It is intended that the minninery department shall be superior to anything of its kind in the world. There will be a new and enlarged cafe, and ladies’ apartments, parlors, writing-rooms, etc, commodious and surbly appointed.
The dry goods house of Mandel Bros. was established in 1855. In 1875 the firm located itself on State near Madison street. In 1879 the property adjoining to the north was purchased. Five years ago the Wabash avenue property was bought; and now the corner is acquired. For many years Mandel Bros. have been desirous of securing the corner. The difficulties of one kind or another have been removed. Complete possession has been secured of the of the corner structure, and the work of improvement cannot be delayed.
Richards, Shaw & Winslow Building
121 and 123 State Street
NE Corner of State and Madison
Robinson Fire Map 1886
Volume 3 Plate 9