The Platt Luggage Building (originally the Ginn & Company Publishers Building) was designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw and built in 1907 in the style of Beaux Arts. Situated at 23rd Street and Prairie Avenue, the Platt facade was designed in this style and was deemed worth saving when its future came into doubt during a planned expansion at Chicago’s convention complex. When the owner decided to move the facade, Berglund was hired to perform the challenging task.
The relocation process began with the dismantling of the original Platt Building. The existing conditions of the facade (limestone and brick) were documented by using thousands of digital pictures and elevation drawings, and noting elevations and dimensions of all different architectural features of the building. Craftsmen dismantled the building stone-by-stone, brick-by-brick. Workers on the scaffolding cleaned existing mortar from the brick. In addition, craftsmen palletized the brick according to assembly numbers that matched corresponding figures marked on the elevation drawings to make sure that the existing locations of the individual brick were relaid at the new building location as close as possible to their original positions.
The pallets were then shipped to the new location for the facade reconstruction. Rebuilding the Platt Luggage Building onto the new site required the use of a mast-climbing scaffold system and a large crane. Pallets of brick and limestone units were shipped back to new site as needed by using the pallet and assembly numbers corresponding to the area of the facade that was currently being rebuilt. The Berglund craftsmen worked precisely to reassemble the Platt Luggage Building facade at its new location. The relocated facade was built using CMU backup that was attached to structural steel framing.
The Platt façade now serves as a gateway to the McCormick Place West Convention Center. The facade creates a fitting terminus to Cermak Road and has created harmony with the design of the adjacent Donnelly plant. The impact of this project on the community is immeasurable. The effort preserved the work history of one of the most prominent architects in American history for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
The existing conditions of the façade were documented by using thousands of digital pictures and elevation drawings, and noting elevations and dimensions of all different architectural features of the building.
Our masons specialize in historic preservation. This project highlights the care and thought that they put into their work and the respect they have for historic structures.