August 30, 2021
Coming in at no. 81 in the Epstein Top 100 Projects countdown is the printing and distribution center for the R.H. Donnelly Corporation in Oak Brook, Illinois.
This project came about in November 1959. Sidney Epstein, our former chairman, was asked by Giles McCollum, vice president and general manager for R.H. Donnelley’s direct mail division, to develop plans for a new 170,000-square-foot printing and distribution center. The building, which was located on a 20-acre site at 2000 York Road, was the largest single-story direct mail production plant under one roof in the world when completed in November of '61.
This direct mail division facility featured, relative for the time period, the grand amenity of air conditioning throughout the office and almost all of the plant area. In addition, the print production and warehouse spaces also included high-intensity fluorescent lighting to provide extra illumination for print proofing as well as sanitary interior finishes to help reduce maintenance issues. The production plant was also divided into five principal sections: mechanical inserting, imprinting, labeling and addressing, special bindery, and homeworker department.
A funny little anecdote about this plant: Out of this facility, R.H. Donnelley’s staff served as "professional judges" for the various sales promotion contests that were mailed out of the production plant.