Lumberman’s Exchange Building II, Roanoke Building II, Eleven South LaSalle Street Building
Life Span: 1915-Present
Location: SE corner Madison and La Salle streets
Architect: Holabird & Roche
Lumber World Review, October 25, 1913
“Co-operation not competition is the life of Trade” is the slogan of the LUMBER WORLD REVIEW, and it expresses the prevailing spirit at the dinner given by the Chicago Lumbermen’s Association to its members at the Hamilton Club Tuesday evening, October 21. The meeting was called principally to discuss further details of the project of a building for lumbermen to be known as the Chicago Lumbermen’s Exchange Building. One speaker in discussing the project said: “One thing we have talked about a great deal in this association is greater co-operation among the members. If this building plan is carried out it will greatly facilitate co-operation and a more active trading among the members themselves.”
The dinner from oysters to coffee was really one that was enjoyed by every one of the 150 present. V. F. Mashek, vice-president of the association, in the absence of President McLeod, took charge at the opening of the business part of the program. He read a letter from President McLeod expressing regret that he was unable to be present.
Mr. Mashek said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss further details of the proposed building proposition. He said for many years an attempt had been made to concentrate in one building, but it had never been accomplished. He told how lumbermen had moved around from place to place in the past with the changes in traffic and building facilities and then gave a short summary of the history of the building-for-lumbermen plan up to the present time.
The present building committee, Mr. Mashek said, had done a great work in canvassing the whole loop district in an effort to find just the right proposition for a building that would suitable and they felt the proposition made by the McCormick estate to put up an edifice at the corner of Madison and La Salle streets was an ideal one.
The meeting was then turned over to George J. Pope, chairman of the building committee of the association. Mr. Pope read a short report of the committee in which he said the McCormick people justly required a guarantee of a certain amount of space rented before they would undertake to put up the building. Many of the lumbermen have been called on and up time 20,000 square feet had been rented, but it would require 30,000 square feet more.
Mr. Pope said that the success of the thing could not now be forecasted, but he urged the cooperation of the members of the association and concluded by saying in his opinion the plan should be dropped for all time to come if the present arrangement cannot be worked out.
Holabird & Roche, Chicago architects, have already made tentative plans for the building. E. A. Renwick, of that firm, was present and told of the details in the proposed structure, showing stereopticon views of the front elevation and several floor plans. It is to be 16 stories high, the first floor for stores, the second for banking or large office space, the third for the association club rooms and the remaining floors for office space. Mr.Renwick said it would be the equal of any office building in the city of Chicago, and told of its advantages, especially lent light in all the office Spaces.
M. T. Kimman, who has charge of the physi cal features of the McCormick building, told of the efforts made to keep up the elevator, janitor service, etc., in that building and said it is the McCormick idea to have all their buildings kept clean and in as good order as any man would expect to keep his own home.
William H. Beebe, also connected with the Mc Cormick estate, talked of the handling of an office building from the business standpoint. He said it was necessary for the McCormicks to have an actual guarantee before proceeding with the building, as the city of Chicago was already over built as regards office space in the loop district. On this account he felt that it was not at all unreasonable to expect the lumbermen to guaran tee 50,000 feet of floor space on five year leases. In conclusion he said that it would probably be a long time before such a favorable location could again be secured.
C. C. Collins, of Barr & Collins, was called upon to tell what interest the outsider had in seeing the Chicago lumbermen located or housed in one building. Mr. Collins said it would be a great time-Saver to those outside of Chicago, as visitors could see more lumbermen in a day than by the present arrangenent. He concluded: “We out in the country want to see you do this thing.
Chicago Tribune, January 17, 1914
The Leander McCormick estate has completed arrangements for the construction of the Lumberman’s Exchange building on the site of the present Roanoke building, at the southeast corner of La Salle and Madison streets. Notices are being served on tenants to vacate May 1 next, at which time the work of wrecking the Roanoke building will begin.
The new building, plans for which are being prepared by Holabird & Roche, will be sixteen stories and 200 feet high, the limit permitted by the present building ordnance; will be of the highest type of office construction, and will cost in the neighborhood of $(illegible). It will occupy a frontage of 135 feet on La Salle street and 101 feet on Madison street, out only 65.8 feet deep on the east 35 feet of the lot. As its name indicates, it will be tenanted largely by those engaged in the lumber business and kindred lines. The headquarters of the Lumberman’s Association of Chicago will be in the building, while the Lumberman’s club, now in the Great Northern building, will have quarters there.
Carries Out Agreement.
An agreement was entered into some time ago by which the McCormick estate was to construct the building providing Lumberman’s association was able to secure leases for a certain number of floors in the building. The report has been current the association had been unable to obtain leases for the amount specified, but the fact the McCormick estate is preparing to begin the construction indicates satisfactory arrangements have been made. It is expected the space not taken by the lumber interests will be rented for general office purposes.
The Roanoke is one of the downtown landmarks. It is a seven-story building, erected shortly after the fire, and was valued by the board of review at $75,000. The land was valued at $1,241,469.
Chicago Tribune, February 1, 1914
GREENEBAUM SONS’ BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, which has four several years occupied the banking floor in the Ashland Block at the northeast corner of Clark and Randolph streets, has leased from the Leander McCormick estate the entire second, or banking floor, floor in the new Lumberman’s Exchange building, to be erected on the of the old Roanoke building, at the southeast corner of Madison and La Salle streets. The space leased comprises about 11,500 square feet, and while the terms of the lease are not disclosed, it is said to call for an annual rent of approximately $35,000.
The plans prepared by Holabird & Roche, architects of the building, provide for a large skylight, such as will give an abundance of light. Special vault specs has been provided for in the new building, on which work will begin next May.
1922 Chicago Central Business and Office Building Directory
Located in the heart of the business district of Chicago; the center of the important hotel, banking, financial and municipal institutions of the city.
The building fronts 135 feet on La Salle Street and 101 feet on Madison Street, and in its construction and interior finish embodies the latest and most approved principles of modern, fireproof, office buildings.
The elevator, janitor and other branches of the service are in keeping with the high character and tone of the building, and insures to tenants at all times ample and efficient service through the installation and operation of the most modern appliances and equipment in all departments of the building.
The building is designed to afford the greatest amount of light, air and ventilation, and the depth of offices is such that the space can be used to its maximum.
Plans, rentals, and other information may be had on inquiry office of the building.
Tenants of the Lumberman’s Building
1922 Chicago Central Business and Office Building Directory
Chicago Tribune, June 3, 1923
Above is how the Lumber Exchange, at the southeast corner of La Salle and Madison streets, will look when the proposed five story addition on top is completed and a twenty-one story addition to the east at 125-29 West Madison street. The L. J. McCormick estate is now negotiating through Greenebaum Home Bank and Trust company, to acquire from Archibald Andrews the long term leasehold on the Stone estate fee, 40×90.
This will give a total frontage on Madison of 141½ and on La Salle of 135 feet, making one of the loop’s largest buildings. Work is well under way on the upper five floors, but construction of the twenty-one story annex to the east will not start till building prices come down. The dotted (red) line shows the present fifteen story building. The Greenebaum bank will enlarge its quarters when the annex is built. Holabird & Roche are architects.
Chicago Tribune, December 2, 1924
If present plans are carried out another tower-like skyscraper will be erected in the loop—a thirty-four story annex to the Roanoke building at the southeast corner of La Salle and Madison streets.
The annex will be just east of the Roanoke on the site of the building now occupied by the Bandbox movie theater, and will have forty feet frontage from on Madison and be 100 feet deep. It will be connected on each of the first twenty-one stories with the Roanoke building, above which it will tower thirteen more stories.
May be Called Greenebaum Building.
The Greenebaum Sons Bank and Trust company now in the Roanoke will use several floors in the annex. It is possible that the name Roanoke will be changed to Greenebaum. Holabird & Roche are architects. The McCormick estates owns the Roanoke.
Chicago Tribune, June 28, 1927
Plans for the structure of a new powerful beacon light in the top of the the new Roanoke building in the loop, as a guide post to night flyers, were announced yesterday by Walter J. Greenebaum, vice president of the Greenbaum Sons Investment company, as he landed in New York from Europe.
Mr. Greenebaum, who returned on the Leviathan, said he had studied studied and investigated aviation, particularly might flying, during his six months abroad. He said that his plan has the sanction of William P. McCracken Jr., assistant secretary of commerce for aviation, with whom it has been discussed, that he himself is not interested in any commercial flying proposition, but is putting up the light simply that Chicago may keep astride with the rapidly developing aviation of the United States.
The light, he added, will be known as the Greenebaum light. He said that Leander J. and R. R. Hall McCormick, owners of the Roanoke building, will cooperate.
Architecture and Building, July, 1928
There has recently been erected on the Roanoke Tower, LaSalle and Madison Streets, Chicago, an aerial beacon which rises 45 feet above the roof to an elevation of 505 feet above the side walks. The tower is of steel, hexagonal in shape at the base and sides and square at the peak so that the shaft of light will have the same appearance from all direc tions. The tower has 24 Neon tubes and two rota ting beacons and it is expected to prove effective under all weather conditions. The two rotating beacon search lights are of 8,000,000 beam candle power each and are equipped with automatic lamp changing devices for continuous operation. The 24 Neon tubes will have great fog penetrating power for the benefit of night flyers. In clear weather, it is expected that the light will be visible for a dis tance of 100 miles for those flying at high altitudes.
The Chicago Central Aerial Beacon On Roanoke Tower, Chicago, 111. was designed by Holabird & Roche. The electrical equipment and Claude Neon light units were furnished by the Federal Electric Company.—advertisement.
Air Travel News, September, 1928
FROM its sublime position atop the Roanoke Tower, the Chicago Central Aerial Beacon recently began flashing its directional message to air traffic in the Chicago area. Incoming ships will benefit by its friendly guidance from dusk to dawn, every night in the year.
On clear nights the radiant beam of this great light, 520 feet above the loop district, is visible for 100 miles and indi. cates to approaching fliers the location of various flying fields adjacent to Chicago. Apart from the distinction of being the largest airway beacon to be constructed and the first to be officially recognized by the Department of Commerce and the United States Bureau of Lighthouses, it is notable because of its unique combination of Neon light illumination and revolving beam searchlights.
The beacon is mounted on a hexagon shaped steel skeleton 45 feet in height. Twenty-four Neon tubes, 34 millimeters in diameter, four to each side of the framework, insure visibility from every direction.
Surmounting this tower are two eight-million candle power General Electric searchlights which revolve six times per minute. The Neon flashes “Chicago” in international code. Every safety precaution has been taken to assure continuous operation of the beacon.
Auxiliary lamps are placed in the searchlights—if the operating lamp burns out the other immediately cuts in. Six transformers, one for each side of the tower, and the six Neon units, furnish the high frequency current necessary for operation. If for any reason one of these transformers should fail, a stand-by transformer immediately takes up the work.
The complete automatic control system together with many safety devices make certain that the beacon will keep burning continuously during the appointed hours.
This splendid airway lighthouse has been presented to the city of Chicago by Greenebaum Sons Investment Company in the interest of commercial aviation. This public spirited business house is also assuming the cost of maintenance.
Obscuring of the ground by fog, mist, or rain is perhaps the most serious handicap to night flying. Neon light, because of its brilliance and the penetrating power of its long rays, cuts through these obstructions as no other form of light can. Its use as a beacon means a far wider margin of safety for night travelers of the air.
The Neon tubes for the Chicago Central Aerial Beacon are the largest ever erected in the United States. They are designed after suggestions made by Mr. Greenebaum and are somewhat similar to those employed in the famous light that marks Croydon Field—England’s largest airport.
Claude Neon Federal Company designed, manufactured and erected the Neon portion of the beacon and erected the searchlights which surmount it. This company is also charged with the responsibility of maintenance.
Chicago Tribune, January 26, 1929
Renewed efforts by the Chicago aero commission to speed the construction of the proposed Lindbergh air beacon light, possibly on the new Palmolive skyscraper in North Michigan avenue, will be made at a meeting of the commission next week, Ald. . J. Horan (26th), a member, announced yesterday.
The searchlight has been offered as a gift to Chicago by Elmer G. Sperry, president of the Sperry Gyroscope company of Brooklyn, who formerly lived here. According to Mr. Sperry, the light will have a 63 inch lens and will cast a beam of 1,000 candlepower per square millimeter, visible to a flyer 250 miles away. It will cost $100,000. Mr. Sperry asks the city to pay $16,000 for its erection.
Mr. Sperry offered the light to Chicago in 1927 but several difficulties have arisen to block its acceptance, among them the construction of the Greenbaum & Sons beacon on the Roanoke tower. The Greenebaum company claims to have exclusive rights to a beacon in this territory. The aero commission has asked the war department for a permit for the Lindbergh light.
Several months ago the commission contracted with the Morrison hotel to put the light on a 200 foot tower above that building. Then the Greenebaum controversy balked the city’s appropriation.
Ald. Horan announced yesterday that Mr. Sperry has written to George F. Getz, chairman of the mayor’s advisory committee, asking him to intercede and speed up the project.
Mr. Sperry suggested the Palmolive building as a more favorable location than the Morrison hotel. Mr. Getz, in turn, appealed to the aero commission which already started negotiations with the war department.
Ross and Browne Real Estate Map