September 13, 2021
Epstein's Top 100 Projects countdown continues with the 75th entry: Allied Radio Corporation's headquarters, located at 100 North Western Avenue in Chicago.
This ultra-modern Epstein-designed building celebrated its grand opening on August 10, 1953 and, at that time, was the world's largest electronic supply facility! The facility, according to the October 1953 issue of Audio Engineering magazine, was
"designed to serve thousands of customers from all over the world who phone, wire, write, or just come in person, knowing that every one of the more than 20,000 items listed in the Allied catalog will be in stock for immediate delivery.”
The new facility occupied 147,000 square feet and was planned to expand an additional 80,000 square feet. The building featured a first floor consisting of salesrooms, warehousing, as well as shipping and receiving areas. The second floor held Allied’s office space, reception rooms and an employee cafeteria capable of serving Allied’s 500 employees.
For the significant amount of storage, shipping and receiving that went on inside the building, the corresponding material handling systems were truly mindboggling, including a 5-tier conveyor system (consisting of one set of local and express belts supplying the shipping department, another servicing the salesroom and yet another for the return of empty order pans). Additionally, there was a complete system of pneumatic tubes for routing orders to the assembly line.
Allied also featured very modern showrooms, which had display panels, hi-fi studios for testing product, a hi-fi office where customers could work with Allied sales staff, and a Ham radio studio.