Maybe because we’re fresh off a binge watching weekend of the Eighties-based Stranger Things, but like last week’s Throwback Thursday profile, we stay once again in the 80s to highlight the opening of the 33,000 square foot Chicago Sales Service Center for the Bridgeport Division of Textron, Inc. This Epstein designed and engineered facility, located within the Central Manufacturing District’s 350-acre Industrial Park in Itasca, Illinois, was the regional support base for more than 30 distributors of machine tool equipment and control systems.
This Bridgeport facility was designed to place maximum emphasis on energy conservation and the flexible interior plan allowed for future adjustments/modifications that would require minimum remodeling costs. In addition, additional site was set aside to provide for space for expansion.
When this facility was completed Bridgeport and parent company Textron were in the midst of an expansion boom that necessitated not only this facility being built but also a 200,000-square-foot plant near the company's headquarters in Bridgeport, Connecticut as well as the purchase of two Midwest distributors. Alas, the continued ‘boom’ was short-lived and by ’85 Textron sold the Bridgeport Division to senior leadership and this new independent company operated under the Bridgeport Machines name until 2004 when it was purchased once again by Hardinge, a multi-national corporation whose machine tool brands include Hardinge, Kellenberger, Hauser, Tripet, and Tschudin.