Hale Block II
Life Span: 1873-1891
Location: SE Corner of State and Washington Streets
Architect: Edward. S. Jennison
The Land Owner, February, 1873
THE HALE BUILDING, CORNER WASHINGTON AND STATE STREETS
This structure adds another elegant and attractive edifice to the long line of imposing fronts on State street. It is five stories in height, 90 by 100 feet on the ground, of the modern style of architecture, and was built from the designs of E. S. Jennison, the architect of the Singer building, just across the road. Its fronts on both sides are marked by fluted horizontal tracings in sections, and small serpentine columns.
The Hale Block, State and Washington Streets.
Stone Fronts of the elaborated Frear Artificial Stone. Company’s Office, 147 La Salle Street.
Chicago Evening Post, May 6, 1873
Probably no entire block, or any single and continuous street section in our brand new city presents a greater extent or a longer line of high and finished frontage, conspicuous in its expensive elegance of construction and an unrivaled splendor multiform and lofty union of buildings forming the east line of State street between Washington and Madison. It was for the purpose of detailing the design, construction, occupancy and ownership of this fair and ornate section of that newly-built street that a Post reporter was this morning detailed. The northern termination of te row (southeast corner of Washington and State), a five-story Frear stone, sharply outlined edifice, 90×100 feet, is the property of Wm. E. Hale, of Hale & Emerson, who has contributed also several of other costly structures in the general make up and adornment of new State street. The general outside aspect and impression of the building is that of solidity, simplicity and unity of architectural proportions. The great thickness of the outer walls with the deep recesses of the windows produce a massive appearance which a tasteful and appropriate height elevates into somber dignity. The design of the building is not so much an effort of imagination as of judgement, the plan of construction looking mainly to practical results and improved conveniences for a thoroughly cosmopolitan occupancy. The State street line being the larger front shows a more ornamental centre. The windows run partly caps and partly columns, giving the massive face a delicate and rather handsome architectural countenance. The internal architecture and general appearance are plain, practical and solid, but thoroughly modern and somewhat expensive. The ceilings are high, the apartments large, well ventilated, well lighted, and designed for a first-class business occupancy. The architect is Mr. Jennison.
An important feature of the modern conveniences of the structure is the Water Balance Elevator patented by Baldwin, and manufactured by Wm. E. Hale & Co. Though of comparatively recent introduction here, this elevator seems to have achieved a notable popularity among builders, and quite a large number are already in operation in many new buildings of the finer class, including Gallup & Hitchcock’s noble office, corner La Salle and Madison, the Marine Bank building, and others. Gen. Buckler, proprietor of the Ashland block, a gentleman of some attainments in mechanics, who introduced it in his building, gave us his unqualified judgement in favor of its practical and honest superiority over all others in the the leading points and features of passenger elevators, that is to say in economy, in simplicity of construction and management, in degrees of speed, and in its absolute immunity from all perils or inconveniences of accident or disorder. The “machinery” of the elevator consists of a pulley six feet in diameter, fixed at the top of the building, along-side a big water tank supplied ordinarily from the public water works, though in Hale’s building from a 1,600 feet artesian well. Over these pulleys pass six metallic ropes, at one end of which is your palace car, at the other end your power, which to be precise, consists of weight being that most mobile of all forms, water. Your car being at the first landing, first floor, the power of water-weight is pendant from the opposite extremity of the ropes, and on the opposite side of the pulley, at the top. The receptacle of the force or gravitation or water weight is a long, upright, cylindrical bucket, valved at the bottom, and moving up and down at the will of the engineer or conductor or boy, inside another cylinder running perpendicularly the height of the building.
The car being at the bottom, the bucket at the top balances its weight. To start it upward, loaded or empty, the conductor, by a spring attached to wire connections introduces a weight of water in the bucket. The bucket descends and the car rises at a velocity dependent on the weight and volume of water, dependent on the volition of the conductor. To run the car down he lets out from the valve at the bottom of the bucket enough water to throw the balance of weight in favor of the car which goes down while the water power ascends, at a velocity dependent on the conductor’s will. The motion is without hesitations or delays, and is noiseless, firm, safe and pleasant.
Of the six metallic ropes attached to the car, dour are for hauling and two for security or superfluous safety. The safety principal of the elevator is seen farther in a corrugated steel ball playing against a safety block underneath the car on one side, on an inclined plane, and against a wrought iron slide on the other. An accident is a simple impossibility by the terms of the construction. The cost of these elevators is, passenger, $5,000 to $10,000; freight, $2,000 to $3,000. The factory is located on Clinton street.
The ground floor is divided into four commodious stores, 90 feet depth, with good, comfortable width. The corner store is occupied by the firm of Roddin & Hamilton, manufacturing jewelers and wholesale and retail dealers. The room is rather a notable example of elegant decoration and costly furniture and equipment, showing the perfection of French cabinet finish. The side cabinets of cut glass and highly finished wood-work exhibit the genius of architecture in their exquisite design and unity of proportions. The firm makes a specialty of fine watches, fine jewelry and silverware. They were burnt out, it will be remembered, at No. 126 Lake street, corner of Clark, resuming in the November following at the corner of State and Twentieth, and at No. 269 West Madison, re-opening in their present and permanent location No. 99 State street, Dec. 16, 1872. Their present stock, which is certainly displayed with artistic skill and taste, consists of large selections of the finest watches in the world, diamonds, gold jewelry, ornamental sets of heavy silver, etc., etc.1
Next door to Roddin & Hamilton’s is the establishment of Wilson Brothers, shirt and collar manufacturers and men’s furnishers, whose extensive factory, Nos. 53 and 65 West Washington street out on Thursday night last. The fire proved no interruption to business, however, as the firm secured quarters in the same neighborhood on the following day, and within forty-eight hours the whole force of employes were under usual headway, turning out their customary twenty dozen linen shirts a day. The firm were located before the fire in handsome quarters, No. 64 Washington street. They make a specialty of shirts and have given years of careful attention to the production of a superior class of work. Their new rooms, in addition to a full line of their own shirts and collars, display an abundant assortment of underwear, hosiery, neck-wear, etc. They have a branch establishment under Pike’s Opera House, Cincinnati.
Immediately adjoining the store of Wilson Brothers, are the beautiful rooms of E.C. Lawrence & Co., importers of china, crockery, glassware, table cutlery, etc.
Adjoining Lawrence & Co. are the new quarters of Hilger, Jenkins & Faxon, successors to E.G.L. Faxon & Co., importers and manufacturers of paper hangings, window shades, bedding and upholstery goods (No. 107 State), who, nearly a quarter of a century ago, founded the first paper store, if memory serves us correctly, ever established in Chicago. The gentlemen composing the firm are F.R. Hilger, S.B. Jenkins and Nat. Faxon. With near twenty-five steady and progressive development, their trade has logically to its present handsome proportions, and it is a natural that their store should have become a popular headquarters in the branch of commerce represented by them so long, and that some interest should be attached to the conditions of their new location. Mr. Faxon founded the business at No. 70 Randolph, moving in 1860 to No. 70 Lake, and in 1866 requiring enlarged facilities to Nos. 74 and 76 Lake, where the big fire found him. F.R. Hilger, now the senior member of the firm, was for fifteen years associated in business with Mr. Faxon. S.B. Jenkins, the junior partner, was a dozen years the confidential clerk of the same house. N. Faxon, brother of the late E.G.L. Faxon, has charge of the paper hanging department. His large experience for eighteen years constitutes him a most valuable member of the new firm.
The stock of goods displayed at the new store includes a very general assortment of the finer lines of wall paper, and many specimens of style and ceiling decorations, model window shades and lambrequins of matchless elegance and beauty. The store is worthy of public inspection.
The second floor is divided into two large apartments 45 by 90 each, that over Nos. 105 and 107 State being occupied by Cogswell Weber & Co., (Thos. Cogswell, J.H. Weber, O.W. Wallis, and C.H. Knights), wholesale jewelers, who conduct the business with a special view to meeting the requirements of country jewelers and dealers, their establishment being the headquarters and depot of a very large specially and mainly country trade. Their trade is exclusively wholesale, and their stock more than ordinarily general in its assortment. In addition to full lines of American and imported watches, jewelry, silver and plated ware, they keep a large assortment of watchmaker’s tools and materials, which constitute a specialty of their trade. The firm operates a factory at Providence, R.I., which turns out a considerable part of their solid goods for the Western trade. The firm organized in 1865 or 1866 and were located before the fire at No. 120 Lake street. Their new quarters are commodious and comfotable, and tastefully furnished and equipped.
The front room on the third floor, over Messrs. Cogswell, Weber & Co.’s are occupied by Dr. J.G. Trine’s Movement Cure Institute, for the treatment and cure of chronic diseases, broken constitutions, shattered nervous systems, etc., by mechanical vibrations, rubbings, kneadings and special movements. Dr. Trine’s theory, which is perfectly in keeping with natural laws and the ordinary principles of science, is, in the majority of chronic diseases, as of the lungs, liver, brain, stomach. and limbs, to dispense with medicines and get at the circulation by external appliances. The institute is provided with various machinery for producing local and specific movements and vibrations with a view to regulating circulation and forcing it to natural uses. From observations made on the treatment of a large number of patients we were induced to believe that there is a power and honest principle in Dr. Thine’s theory and practice even beyond what its advocates claim for it. We cannot but recommend to invalids the propriety of looking into it.
Opposite to Dr. Thine’s Institute, Dr. Edmond Noyes, well known to our citizens as a dentist of many years successful practice, has taken a suit of two rooms. D. Noyes was located at No. 90 Washington street, afterward and until the completion of Mr. Hale’s new building, at the corner of Washington and Halsted.
The large apartment on the third floor, constituting the northeast corner, 50×45 feet, s occupied by Moses Warren, bookseller, and publisher and general Western agent for D. Appleton & Co.’s subscription publications. Mr. Warren’s rooms, previous to the fire, were at No. 80 Dearborn street, afterward at No. 121 West Randolph, and later still at No. 499 Wabash avenue. Among the valuable publications with which Mr. Warren is now supplying the public by large numbers of agents, is Appleton’s Cyclopedia, Seward’s Travels, Picturesque America, etc. This is also the office of Warren, Cockroft & Co., publishers of James W. Sheahan’s Universal Historical Atlas.
The entire area of the fourth floor is devoted to the several departments of H.B. Bryant’s (Bryant & Stratton) Chicago Business College, an institution of considerable renown, and although a private institution, cherished by the public with an intelligent pride as representing the highest development of that specific department of education and culture, for the advancement of which hundreds of commercial universities have been established. The President and proprietor of this institution was the senior member of Bryant & Stratton, the founders and original owners of the chain of forty-six colleges, located in the principal cities of the United States and Canada. The death of Mr. H.D. Stratton in February, 1867, necessitated a reorganization in ownership and management, and this change has been fully consummated. The Chicago College nos has the undivided attention of the founder of the chain. It has abundant capital at its command to make and improvements needed, or to enlarge its sphere of operations.
The system and division of apartments, general construction, instruments and apparatus of scientific instruction, permanent fixtures and appointments, etc., in these new quarters, are an improvement by many degrees upon those of any commercial college in the land. Three hundred pupils are now in attendance at the college, whose practical culture is in the hands of a faculty of educators, each one of distinguished ability in his respective department—teachers enough to afford fifteen class drills at the black board each day session and eight during evening session. To detail the general arrangement of rooms a little, there is one very spacious apartment, 50 by 90 feet, elaborately appointed and equipped with every modern improvement in school furniture, capable of seating 300 pupils, with plenty of elbow room all around. Opposite this great intellectual workshop and foundry of practical ideas are lecture-rooms and recitation rooms for the departments of commercial arithmetic, law, geography, and the entire list of branches, including German and French. It is a good place to get a general education, aside from its specific advantages as a school of commerce. Among the text books are Bryant & Stratton’s business arithmetic, and Bryan & Stratton’s interest tables adopted by Mr. Boutwell in the U.S. Treasury. The results of the vast amount of instruction given at this Commercial University, in developing and elevating the tone and standard of commercial intelligence and morale, in contributing to a prosperous and practical community a higher conception of commerce and its laws, relations and ends, are beyond calculation.
The Post will at an early day give some account of others at the beautiful edifices in Booksellers’ Row, their ownership, occupants.
Chicago Tribune September 27, 1891
A $1,000,000 MEMORIAL BLOCK.
The Columbus Block to be Erected on One of the Prominent Corners.
A million-dollar memorial building is to be erected on the corner of State and Washington streets. This corner is owned by Higgins & Furber and it has long been a question real estate men as to what disposition would be made of it. Any number of negotiations for its purchase or lease have been begun, but at last the owners have decided to improve it themselves. The corner has a State street frontage of 100 feet and a frontage on Washington street of 90 feet. Early next spring, when the leases of the old building terminate, work will begin on a sixteen-story building to occupy the corner. The owners of the corner desire to erect a building which will be an ornament to the city, and the interest of the public in the World’s Fair has suggested that it be in the form of a Columbus memorial. The new building will be known as “The Columbus.” and will be one of the most imposing structures in the city. Plans for the building have been made by W. W. Boyington & Co. They provide for a building after the Spanish style of architecture.
Hale Block II
Southeast Corner of State and Washington Streets
Robinson Fire Map
1In 1869, Eugene A. Roddin and James L. Hamilton entered into the jewelry business, Roddin furnishing by far the larger amounts. Roddin had the business experience and connection, and attended to the buying of goods, while Hamilton was merely a salesman. The business was prosperous up to the time of the Great Fire of 1871. During the first two years after the fire, the business of the firm was not prospering, mainly because Roddin’s time was being dominated by domestic difficulties of an extremely delicate issue (divorce). About the 1st day of January in 1874, the indebtedness of the firm was about $62,000, which they were utterly unable to pay in court. After a highly publicized trial, the court allowed Roddin to turn over the entire assets of the firm to the creditors and he was willing to proceed with the business himself. His ex-wife, meanwhile, tried to get some of the firm’s settlement money which was the company’s and not his, so she was denied. During the summer of 1877 he opened a new store at 151 State Street, leaving the retail business and focused on the manufacturing and wholesale parts of the trade. Mr. Roddin passed away on February 8, 1896.