January 12, 2022
Our 29th entry in our Top 100 Projects countdown takes us back to the late 40s with the opening of the new Walgreen headquarters, located at 4300 Peterson Avenue in Chicago.
This Epstein-designed 105,000-square-foot, 2-story office building was described in 1949 by the Walgreen's company newsletter, called the Pepper Pod, as "handsome, attractively designed…beautiful, but not pretentious.”
The new building was necessary because Walgreen’s was experiencing significant growth and their old HQ at 744 Bowen could no longer contain all the required corporate departments. The new facility featured late 40’s modernism, including air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, and a contemporary employee cafeteria.
Epstein designed this facility to Walgreen’s wishes, which included practicality and careful engineering to promote maximum efficiency. Walgreen’s desired a clean and pleasant facility, which would contribute to the welfare, comfort and proficiency of their staff. But just as importantly, Walgreen’s saw their new building as proof of their "substantial value" to their business as a whole. The new HQ would serve as a pumping station, bringing with it the "lifeblood of new ideas" to all Walgreen’s drug stores or Walgreen’s agencies throughout the United States. Lofty goals, indeed. And, we would say, by the success of Walgreen’s to this day – this HQ did its job!