Our first Throwback Thursday feature of 2017 takes us back to August 1982 for the opening of the 173,000 sf clothing production plant for Hart Schaffner & Marx located at 1680 Touhy Avenue in Des Plaines, Illinois. For this project Epstein provided full-service architecture and engineering services for an industrial building that housed several different manufacturing operations for Hart including receiving and treatment of cloth from textile mills as well as cutting and assembly of cloth for shipment to sewing operations. In addition, there was a large storage space dedicated to housing the large bolts of fabric being used as well as a 20,000 sf administrative offices space.
This steel framed building featured an aluminum curtain wall at the two-story office area with the rest of the building clad in horizontal insulated metal wall panel. The Hart plant also included a striking skylight that ran the length of the building which served as a transition space between the high-bay process area with an office mezzanine and low-bay cutting area. This skylight brought ample natural light into the main traffic areas of the building as well as enclosing the air handling units for the central hot and chilled water systems.
Epstein’s design of the Hart plant was the recipient of a 1982 Society of American Architects national design award for its elegant combination of the ‘economies of an industrial building with the ambiance of a suburban office complex.’
This building still stands and is still being utilized by Hart Schaffner & Marx, a company who are one of the longest running menswear companies in the United States.