December 13, 2021
No. 37 in Top 100 Projects countdown is 1968’s Sperry & Hutchinson Company regional office, redemption and distribution centers in Hillside, Illinois.
This 350,000-square-foot 3-building campus featured a new warehouse with a 30’ clear height, automatic conveyor system and precast concrete wall panels, which was somewhat novel for its time. What made these precast panels truly unique was, when constructed in 1968, they were the largest ever made, measuring 10’ x 35’ and weighing 16 tons each! In addition, the 7-story office building’s entire structure rested on 12 ball joint connections on top of massive concrete panels. The campus was so large it housed its own rail yard. This project was the seventh that Epstein completed for S&H, a relationship that started back in 1951.
Sperry & Hutchinson produced their popular "Green Shield Stamps" from the 1930s through the late 80s. They were distributed as part of a rewards program operated by S&H, which was founded in 1896 by Thomas Sperry and Shelley Byron Hutchinson. During the 1960s, the rewards catalog printed by the company was the largest publication in the United States; the company issued three times as many stamps as the US Postal Service! Customers would receive stamps at the checkout counter of supermarkets, department stores and gas stations, among other retailers, which could be redeemed for products in the catalog.