September 23, 2021
Our countdown of Epstein's Top 100 Projects continues with no. 52: J.J. Tourek Manufacturing company’s new production facility, located at 1901 S. Kilbourn in Chicago and opened in 1952.
Tourek manufactured precision screw based machines, ball points and pipe plugs. At the time, this-Epstein designed and engineered facility was the most modern in the screw machine industry.
This 60,000-square-foot building was constructed of brick with concrete block. The roof was comprised of precast concrete slabs supported by steel purins and girders. Along the north elevation, a large bay extension allowed crane service for placing raw materials in bins. The interior finishes consisted of concrete block in the warehouse/manufacturing wing and unglazed structural facing in the employee space. In addition, the facility's elevation utilized a modernist limestone trim at the entrance.
Additional interior features included an enclosed three door truck shipping dock and a two-truck receiving court. Tourek’s offices featured tile floors, acoustical ceilings, wood trim and, for the time, a relatively unique amenity: air conditioning.
Lighting for the plant was from incandescent bulbs. Heating was provided by a low pressure boiler with automatic oil burners. Heat was radiated throughout the factory through unit blowers suspended from the ceiling and, in the offices and other rooms, by wall convectors.