Our weekly Throwback Thursday nostalgia trip through the Epstein archives takes us back to August ’78 for the opening of the $5.5M ($20.3M in 2016), 217,000 square foot headquarters and manufacturing facility for the Bankers Box Company in Itasca, Illinois. This design-build project was located within the Central Manufacturing District’s Itasca Industrial Development at 1789 Norwood Ave. and besides serving as Bankers’ HQ, this building also produced Liberty Storage Boxes, Stax on Steel storage systems as well as many other office products.
At the time this facility was the largest Design-Build project Epstein had completed for the Central Manufacturing District, a relationship that in ’78 dated back nearly 60 years to our founding in 1921.
The 200,000 square foot manufacturing wing was designed with a mezzanine over the center of the production space and since Bankers’ manufacturing process did not require a high clearance, Epstein’s double decking of spaces provided ample room for future expansion of these productions areas.
In ’79, this facility received an Award of Excellence at the National Design Awards held by the Society of American Registered Architects.
Today, this building still stands, looking much like it did 38 years ago, and is still the HQ for Bankers’, although not under the Bankers name. In 1983 Bankers’ changed its name to Fellowes, to honor its founder, Harry Fellowes, as well as to better describe the range of office products the firm produced, which now include paper shredders, binding and laminating equipment, desktop accessories, as well as their ‘famous’ Bankers Box record storage boxes.